New England Patriots’ quarterback Tom Brady graces the cover of Madden 18. The Super Bowl winner succeeds his teammate, Rob Gronkowski as Madden coverboy.
Even better, Madden 18 is the G.O.A.T. edition. Who more appropriate to adorn said edition than the greatest quarterback of them all?
Brady became the first starting quarterback to win five Super Bowls when he led his team to a 34-28 overtime victory.
Of course, Patriots fans will take pause at the conjuring of the notorious Madden Curse (which felled the aforementioned Gronkowski last season). And before you dismiss the curse as mere fable, consider its inglorious history.
Remember, in the early years of the Madden franchise, which began in 1988, it was most often John Madden himself gracing the cover in his authoritative rotundity.
Here’s a list of some of the carnage.
Madden 99, Garrison Hearst: Hearst broke his ankle during a divisional playoff game. He missed the next two seasons.
Madden 2000, Barry Sanders: Sanders landed on the cover of Madden ‘00 and promptly retired.
Madden 2002, Daunte Culpepper: Culpepper hurt his knee after the game was released, and his career went into an immediate decline.
Madden 2003, Marshall Faulk: Before the cover, Faulk was a dynamo. After, he recorded 400 fewer yards than his previous campaign and retired three years later.
Madden 2004, Michael Vick: Vick broke his leg in a preseason game after his cover boy appearance. He missed 11 games.
Madden 06, Donovan McNabb: Plagued by a sports hernia, McNabb followed up a Super Bowl appearance in 2004 with a poor 2005 campaign in which he missed the final six games of the season.
Madden 07, Shaun Alexander: Following a 1.880-yard campaign, Shaun Alexander landed the Madden. He broke a bone in his foot after the cover and was never the same runner, retiring two years later.
Madden 08, Vince Young: V.Y.’s career stalled after appeared on the cover. He started just 22 times in the five years thereafter.
Madden 09, Brett Favre: Shortly after his cover, the returned-from-retirement was shipped off to the unfortunate Jets. His former team, the Packers, won the Super Bowl two seasons later.
Madden 10, Troy Polamalu: A force for the Steelers, Troy Polamalu injured a knee ligament and missed 11 games after his cover.
Madden 12, Peyton Hillis: One of the most inexplicable cover athletes, Peyton Hillis rushed for little more than 650 yards across the rest of his lackluster career.
Madden 25, Adrian Peterson: Peterson was charged with abusing his son and played in just one game in 2014.
Madden 17, Rob Gronkowski: Gronkowski missed the final five games of the season and the entire playoffs with a back injury.