Legendary NFL coach and broadcaster John Madden is hanging up the microphone. Madden is 73, and he has called some of the biggest games in NFL history, including the most recent classic Super Bowl.
"It’s time. I’m 73 years old. My 50th wedding anniversary is this fall. I have two great sons and their families and my five grandchildren are at an age now when they know when I’m home and, more importantly, when I’m not…The network is in good position, having used Cris Collinsworth in Madden's spot for one Sunday Night Football broadcast last year, and having brought in Matt Millen for studio analysis during the playoffs. Though I'd much rather have Millen call games and Collinsworth stay in the studio, doing it the other way around would be just fine.
"It’s been such a great ride… the NFL has been my life for more than 40 years, it has been my passion – it still is. I appreciate all of the people who are and were such an important part of the most enjoyable, most fun anyone could have… that great life with the teams, the players, the coaches, the owners, the League… my broadcasting partners Pat and Al… the production people and the fans …is still great… it’s still fun and that’s what it makes it hard and that’s why it took me a few months to make a decision.
"I still love every part of it – the travel, the practices, the game film, the games, seeing old friends and meeting new people… but I know this is the right time."
As for Madden, it's the end (probably) of a 30-year career in broadcasting. It won't be the same without him. Did he often ramble nonsensically and confuse more than he entertained or informed? Probably. But he was the big-game broadcaster of his generation.
Growing up, there was one way of knowing your team was in the game of the week, and that was if you heard Pat Summerall and John Madden calling it.
Now, it's harder to tell what the big game of the week is, because no one in the business carries the kind of respect Madden had. Not only that, but he became a cult hero to millions of younger fans thanks to the video game.
All in all, it's been a great career for Madden, and he's certainly deserving of his Hall of Fame honors, along with any other accolades that come his way upon this announcement.