On Friday, EA Sports revealed that New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady is the cover athlete of the upcoming Madden 18, which no doubt has Patriots fans both excited and a little nervous. Making the cover of Madden is certainly an honor, but it's also considered a curse – quite literally. Since EA Sports started putting athletes on the cover of the game the vast majority have been struck with injuries or have suffered other inexplicable reasons for not being able to play at their full potential. Michael Vick suffered a fractured fibula taking him out for 11 games when he was on the cover of Madden 2004, Brett Favre was traded from the Packers to Jets after appearing on the cover of Madden 09, Donovan McNabb had the worst season of his career in 2005 after appearing on the cover of Madden 06.
After a few years of less severe problems for cover athletes, and when it seemed as though the Madden Curse was no longer a thing, Rob Gronkowski found himself on the cover of Madden 17 and made it clear to ESPN at the time that the curse had "definitely reversed itself from back in the day." Then he played in only eight games in 2016 before suffering a pulmonary contusion in Week 10 and a back injury in Week 12 that eventually required surgery.
Brady isn't phased though, saying he's "not one to believe in curses." In fact, he's "ready to take the challenge head on like always! It doesn't stand a chance!!! " In order to stare the Madden Curse directly in its face, Brady released a video on Facebook in which he risked seven years of bad luck by breaking a mirror and doubled down on it by walking underneath a ladder.
"I want to let you know that I'm going to be on the cover of Madden NFL 18," Brady says. "Now I've heard there are some of you out there who might be worried about something called the 'Madden Curse.' There's no such thing as curses. It's a total myth, okay?"
The last time Brady was on the cover of a video game – 989 Sports' PlaySation-exclusive NFL GameDay 2003, the Patriots won back-to-back titles.