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The first look at Madden 17 is a win for the New England Patriots' Rob Gronkowski, rapper Lil Dicky, and fans of the popular football video game franchise who are eager to get a glimpse at the latest installment. Gronkowski, who was announced as the game's cover athlete during today's 6 p.m. SportsCenter, is the focus of the first-look simulation video. Check out Virtual Gronk lighting up the Jets above.

"When I first found out, I was blessed. It was a surreal moment," Gronk told SportsCenter host Lindsay Czarniak after the announcement. Gronkowski said he had known for a few weeks. "I mean, I've been close to being on the cover of Madden. Last year, I lost to Odell (Beckham Jr.), which he’s an excellent player, but when I found out I was truly going to be on the cover, it was a great feeling." 

The NFL video game boasts one of the most anticipated annual releases in the gaming industry. EA Sports hand selected the cover athlete this year allowing up fan votes in 2015 (Richard Sherman) and 2016 (Beckham).

Czarniak dared to ask Gronkowski how he felt about the Madden Curse, the idea that cover athletes are cursed with the injuries during the season in which they grace the cover.

"I feel like it’s the future now," said Gronk, who referenced the successful years Sherman, Beckham, and Calvin Johnson (the Madden 13 cover star) had during their cover years. "I feel like I've already been through all my injuries."

Gronkowski, the four-time Pro Bowler known for his excitable partying antics, said he didn't do much to celebrate the announcement.

"It was a feel-good moment for sure to know you’re going to be on the cover of Madden with so many elite players out there that have been on it before," the Patriots' tight end said.

The video game will be released August 23.

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