Brees on cover of 'Madden NFL 11'

NEW YORK -- Drew Brees has another prize to put next to his Super Bowl MVP trophy: He's the cover model for this year's edition of the "Madden NFL" video game.

EA Sports announced Thursday that the New Orleans Saints quarterback would be featured on the front of "Madden NFL 11," the latest installment of the best-selling football franchise.

Brees, who led his team to a 31-17 victory over the Indianapolis Colts in this year's Super Bowl, said landing the cover of "Madden" was "a great way to cap off an amazing year."

The "Madden" gig is one of the most coveted honors in sports -- even though it has been connected to a much-discussed curse. Such superstars as Donovan McNabb, Michael Vick and Shaun Alexander suffered serious injuries during the season each appeared on the cover.

Brees said he isn't worried.

"I believe in fate, and if it's meant to be, it's meant to be," he said. "But destiny is stronger than any curse, and this team is destined for great things."

Brees joined the Saints in 2006, less than a year after New Orleans was devastated by Hurricane Katrina.

He has become a highly visible spokesman for the city's reconstruction, while the resurgent Saints gave its beleaguered residents something to rally around.

Brees said he hopes the presence of the Saints' fleur-de-lis logo on the "Madden" cover "keeps people focused on what happened to New Orleans, and what the people of this city have overcome."

The Saints quarterback was chosen by fans who voted online to determine the game's cover athlete. The other choices were Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Reggie Wayne and Minnesota Vikings defensive end Jared Allen.

Brees told the (New Orleans) Times-Picayune that he was honored to be the first player voted to appear on the cover.

"Obviously the fans are the most important part of our game. We're representing them," Brees told the newspaper. "And that takes on additional meaning with the city of New Orleans."

While he is New York for the unveiling of a large billboard of the "Madden NFL 11" cover in Times Square, Brees will also tape appearances on "Live with Regis and Kelly" and the "Late Show" with David Letterman.

"Madden NFL 11" will be released by EA Sports on Aug. 10.

Brees told the newspaper that representatives of EA Sports will travel to New Orleans for the launch party, which will take place on Bourbon Street and be called "Madden Gras."

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.