Tom Brady will be on cover of ‘Madden 18’ video game


By BARRY WILNER

AP Pro Football Writer

Now, Tom Brady truly has reached the pinnacle. At least in the eyes of his video game-loving son.

To the joy of 9-year-old Jack Brady, the five-time Super Bowl champion will be the cover athlete for “Madden NFL 18,” following his Patriots teammate and buddy Rob Gronkowski.

“To be a fan of the game and play it over the years, it is really a cool honor, so when the opportunity was presented to me, it was something I would not turn down,” said Brady.

Asked if this will put him in the same celebrity realm as Gronk, Brady laughed.

“Nobody has more fun than him,” Brady said of the star tight end who was injured for the team’s championship run last season. “He is such a great player and it’s great for him to experience some of the cool things that come along with being in the NFL.”

Gronkowski’s absence for half of the 2016 season could have given his quarterback pause about accepting the cover role. After all, there’s talk of a Madden Curse.

While pointing out that he works extra hard to keep fit – how many NFL players are in as good or better shape at age 39 as they were a decade ago? – Brady acknowledges that he’s heard about the curse.

“I am not sure it’s supposedly that there is a curse, I think there is a curse,” he said. “I’ve been able to overcome a lot of things in my life, and now we’ve really got to step up our game.”

Brady has to step up his video game skills within his household. Jack, his oldest child, provides stiffer competition than most NFL opponents give the Patriots.

Indeed, Brady isn’t sure he could lead his team back from a 28-3 third-quarter deficit in Madden the way he did against the Falcons in the Super Bowl.

“I think Jack would have a lot better chance to come back,” Brady said with a chuckle.

When Brady does take on Jack in the video game – “Madden NFL 18” became available for preorder Friday – well, it can get a bit awkward. Naturally, they both want to be the Patriots. Or, at the very least, they both want Tom Brady to be their QB. “I think that is one of the negotiations we always go through before we start a game,” Brady said.

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