Everyone loves the Madden football video game series. Whether you had the first John Madden football game for Super Nintendo, or are a more modern gamer who plays either on PS4 or XBox, the release of the latest Madden game is awaited by millions.
Thursday EA Sports announced New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski will grace the cover of the Madden 17 game, and NFL fans around the world wondered, "Will Gronk fall victim to the latest 'Madden Curse'?"
Well, as outlined by Kevin Seifert of ESPN.com, since 2010 there have been very few players who haven't followed up being on the cover of the popular video game with a stellar season.
2010 - Split Cover with Troy Polamalu and Larry Fitzgerald
Polamalu injured his knee in Week 1 and played in just 5 games the season after winning Super Bowl 43, but Fitzgerald recorded a NFL-high 13 touchdown receptions that year.
2011 - Drew Brees
Brees went over the 4,000-yard mark for the fifth consecutive year, a streak that reached 10 years in 2015. Brees also led the NFL with a 68.1 completion percentage.
2012 - Peyton Hillis
Hard to believe Hillis once graced the cover wearing a Cleveland Browns uniform. However, in his final season with the Browns, he rushed for more than twice as many yards (587) as any other Browns running back, and that was after he missed six games because of a bout with strep throat and a painful hamstring pull.
2013 - Calvin Johnson
Johnson set the NFL record for yardage in a season (1,964), breaking the mark Jerry Rice had held for 16 years. Johnson managed to stave off the cover award's effects for three more 1,000-yard seasons before his recent retirement.
2014 - Madden 25
Cover had Barry Sanders on it to celebrate 25 years of the video game.
2015 - Richard Sherman
Sherman repeated as a first-team All-Pro and Pro Bowl selection, and he was the league's least-targeted cornerback.
2016 - Odell Beckham Jr.
OBJ finished the season tied for second in the NFL in touchdown receptions (13). Beckham also ranked fifth in yardage (1,450) and eighth in receptions (96).
So, it might not seem Gronk is destined to flop next season, but along with the release of his cover, EA Sports released the first trailer for the upcoming video game: