It isn't time for an Amber Alert just yet - but it's getting close.
Somehow, amidst all of this Free Agent Frenzy, I completely lost track of one of the more important offseason storylines of the year: which player will be gracing the cover of the next installment of Madden Football. Usually I'm all over it, but I guess with everything that has been going on with the New England Patriots this year (thank you very much, Wes Welker), I simply lost track of time.
This year's edition of the classic video game, "Madden NFL 25," deviates from the norm a bit, as it has chosen to include some of the All-Time Greats from years past in the voting process as well. So alongside current players like Ray Rice, Arian Foster, and Colin Kaepernick, voters can choose Dan Marino, Barry Sanders, and Joe Montana to grace the cover instead. It's a pretty cool idea and a nice way to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the video game.
It's also a nice way to make me feel really, really old, but that's neither here nor there.
What really matters today is that Rob Gronkowski, a strong candidate for the Madden cover last season, once again finds himself in the tournament. And I'm embarrassed to say that right under my nose, Gronk has managed to sneak through the first few rounds of voting and already finds himself in the Sweet 16. He dominated Antonio Brown in Round 1, snuck by Darrelle Revis in Round 2,and now finds himself up against Adrian Peterson in Round 3. At this stage in the game the competition is starting to heat up, as Gronk will have to face the likes of RGIII, Andrew Luck, and Jerry Rice if he wants to grace the cover - assuming he makes it past AP. However, the fact of the matter is that it shouldn't even have gotten to this point, and something needs to be done about it now. Gronk seems to have a hard enough time staying healthy without the shadow of the Madden Curse looming over him, and the less things there are out there to distract him, the better off we'll all be. Now some of you might say that the curse has officially been debunked, since last year's winner managed to set an NFL record with 1,964 receiving yards and one of the best seasons ever by a wide receiver, but I personally don't feel like taking any chances.
Honestly, Madden Curse aside - can you imagine the kind of party that Gronk will throw if he wins this tournament? Forget an on-stage DDT- Gronk is likely to straight up gorilla press some poor schlub right through a window. I don't need that kind of added stress.
You can vote for anyone but Rob Gronkowski for the cover of Madden NFL 25 here.