Tom Brady snags cover of 'Madden NFL 18'

The New England Patriots' dominance in pro football is extending to video games, too.

On Friday, Electronic Arts confirmed quarterback Tom Brady will grace the cover of Madden NFL 18, which launches August 25. It's the second straight year a Patriots player has appeared on the Madden cover. Last year, it was tight end Rob Gronkowski.

The last time we saw Brady on the field, he led the Patriots to another Super Bowl championship — the fifth of his career — after overcoming a 25-point deficit.

Brady's next challenge: avoiding the dreaded Madden Curse.

"The Madden NFL 18 cover is a great honor for me," said Brady in a statement. "Especially since I have been playing the game since growing up next to EA headquarters in the Bay Area. I'm not one to believe in curses, so I'm ready to take the challenge head on like always!"

The Madden Curse involves a football player suffering an injury or a drop in production the season they are featured on the cover of the video game.

The curse hit its peak in the 2000s, but just when it seems the curse is dead, it somehow comes back to life.

For example, two years ago, New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham, Jr. appeared on Madden NFL 16. Beckham had one of his best years during the 2015 season, with 1,450 yards receiving and 13 touchdowns.

The year before that, Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman snagged the cover for Madden NFL 15. Sherman helped Seattle get to their second straight Super Bowl.

So, curse over, right? Nope. Last season, Madden NFL 17 cover star Gronkowski was placed on injured reserve after undergoing back surgery.

As for the video game itself, Electronic Arts will reveal more during June's Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles.

Meanwhile, Madden NFL continues to position itself as a major player in competitive video gaming, or esports. This weekend, EA crowns its first official Madden Champion as part of its Madden NFL Championship Series, which boasts a prize pool of $500,000. The Championship will air on NFL Network on Sunday at 9 p.m. ET, as well as online through Twitch, YouTube and Facebook.

Follow Brett Molina on Twitter: @brettmolina23.

© 2017 USATODAY.COM


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