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Give him a hand: Odell Beckham Jr. voted onto Madden '16 cover

Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. was revealed

Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. was revealed on Wednesday, May 13, 2015, as the cover athlete for Madden NFL 16. Credit: EA Sports

NFL fans did something to Odell Beckham Jr. that cornerbacks have so far been rather unsuccessful at.

They covered him.

Beckham will appear on the cover of this year's Madden 16 video game, an honor that typically goes to the most exciting player in the league. He is the first Giants player and the youngest player ever to earn the distinction. The decision was made based on fan voting with 53.1 percent of the vote going to Beckham. Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski was the other finalist.

"It's kind of mind-blowing to think about one year of football and an opportunity to be on the cover," Beckham said as the cover vote was revealed on ESPN Wednesday night.

The picture on the cover is of Beckham skying for a one-handed catch. But not that one. This is a posed photograph that has him extending his left hand for the football.

It was the one-handed catch against the Cowboys -- righthanded, falling backward -- that propelled Beckham into the national spotlight. He finished his rookie season with 12 touchdowns, played in the Pro Bowl, and was named AP Offensive Rookie of the Year. All that after missing the first four games with hamstring injuries.

Voting for the cover began with four nominees: Beckham, Gronkowski, Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown and Cardinals cornerback Patrick Peterson. Beckham and Gronkowski advanced to the final round of voting.

The cover has traditionally been seen to carry as much hex as prestige. For several years there seemed to be a "Madden Curse" that afflicted players who appeared on the cover with injuries and subpar statistical seasons. Last year's selection was Richard Sherman, whose team lost in Super Bowl XLIX.

One notable exception to the curse was Calvin Johnson, the 2013 cover subject who went on to set the single-season receiving record with 1,967 yards. The Lions won only four games that season, however.

New York Sports