TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - When Madden NFL 20 hit store shelves on Friday, a familiar face to many East Texas football fans donned the cover: NFL MVP, AFC Offensive Player of the Year, and 2019 Best NFL Player ESPY award recipient Patrick Mahomes II.
Mahomes was given a Madden rating of 97, just ahead of six-time Super Bowl winner and New England Patriots legend Tom Brady, who was rated at 96. Mahomes earned the top spot following a record-breaking season with 50 touchdowns and more than 5000 yards passing.
“Growing up with Patrick, in baseball, it’d be like oh man I’m doing really well but he’s doing so much better,” Keagan Smith, a former teammate said. “In football, when I’m blocking for him, and you feel like you’re not blocking long enough -- you got a guy held for two or three seconds -- and the ball is gone.”
Smith was in line Friday to buy a new copy at the Game Stop in South Tyler. He joked that he might not even open the game.
“It’s like memorabilia now,” Smith laughed.
Keagan also had a message to his former teammate, who could be the subject of what many gamers call the “Madden curse.”
“No, no, no. Hey Pat, if you’re watching this, go throw for 7,000 [yards] this year. We don’t know about a Madden curse,” Smith said. “The only thing this is is Madden blessings.”
Seven-thousand yards, by the way, would crush former NFL quarterback Peyton Manning’s single-season record of 5,477 yards set in 2013. Based on Pat’s first season as a starter, that might not be too far off.