By Rick Stroud
From Tampa Bay Times
TAMPA, Fla.—Tom Brady beat Patrick Mahomes in Super Bowl 55 at Raymond James Stadium last February. Now they are together again on the cover of Madden 22, which was shot in Tampa at Carrollwood Day School.
If there’s any consolation for Mahomes, it’s that Brady, the first Bucs player to be on the Madden cover, said he would be his first choice at quarterback if he couldn’t play as himself in the popular EA Sports game, which goes on sale Aug. 20.
“I’m taking Mahomes and (Travis) Kelce and Tyreek Hill and the Chiefs,’’ Brady told Bleacher Report when asked which team besides the Bucs he would choose when playing Madden NFL 22. “If I can’t play with my team, I’m playing with them because they’ve got an explosive offense and there’s nothing a quarterback likes more than an explosive offense.’’
If there is, it would be a shutdown defense like the Bucs, which did not allow Mahomes or the Chiefs to score a touchdown in a 31–9 win in Super Bowl 55.
The game was billed as a meeting between the GOAT (Brady) and the Kid (Mahomes), but the proverbial torch was not passed.
Instead, Brady won his seventh Lombardi Trophy and the Bucs return all 22 starters from that Super Bowl team. The list includes receivers such as Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, Antonio Brown, tight ends Rob Gronkowski, O.J. Howard, Cameron Brate and new running back Giovani Bernard.
“Having all the guys come back is really an amazing thing,’’ Brady said. “I don’t think that’s ever happened for the times I’ve been in this situation.”
On April 6, two months after the Bucs’ Super Bowl victory, Mahomes flew to Tampa for a photo shoot with Brady and to film a commercial for Madden 22. It’s the first time two players have shared the cover since the Steelers Troy Polamalu and the Cardinals Larry Fitzgerald graced the cover of Madden 10, right after they met in the Super Bowl.
“I, like most players in the League, have been a big fan of Madden NFL for as long as I can remember, and to be on the cover—not only for a second time, but also with Tom Brady, an all-time great—is surreal,” Mahomes said.
Brady admits his gaming skills aren’t what they used to be.
“When I was younger, they were obviously a lot better,” Brady said of his Madden abilities. “As the game’s gotten more complex and the younger generation has spent more time on it than me, it’s not even a fair competition anymore. I love playing, a lot of times I just look for the deep guys to throw to and try to throw bombs and posts and go routes. It’s such a detailed game now, there’s so many defenses and strategies and it’s so life-like.”
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