I guess John Madden finally got tired of the continual treks across the country in the Maddencruiser. :-) Afraid of flying, which is not too hard to understand, Madden has been traveling via bus for nearly three decades as one of the most prominent, if not preeminent, football broadcaster. After coaching the Raiders to a Super Bowl victory in the 70s, Madden hung it up as the head coach with the best winning percentage in NFL history and went to the broadcast booth. He and Pat Summerall were, far and away, the best NFL broadcast team for CBS and Fox for the better part of two decades. Only in the last several years has Madden been paired up with Al Michaels -- a good team in their own right -- first on Monday nights for ABC, and then Sunday nights for NBC the past couple of years.
Madden has been a polarizing figure for whatever reasons...some people really like him and others do not. This is hard to understand. I think that Madden brought a knowledge and creativity to the broadcast booth that would hold people's fascination...not to mention "the voice." I, for one, will miss him. In addition, what is Frank Caliendo going to do now that Madden has retired? Madden has been his bread and butter impersonation for a couple of years now.
I think that it is safe to say that John Madden leaves the booth not just as a broadcaster, but as an icon. He has truly transcended the sport...and I believe the NFL will be hurt, somewhat, by not having him as one of their regular vip's. He has to head the list on the Mt. Rushmore of NFL broadcasters, along with Summerall, and Howard Cosell -- as individuals who truly left as icons who transcended the game. Chris Berman gets the final icon spot just because...and because of his NFL experience -- you gotta love the guy. And all of this, not to mention the fact that Madden has the all-time great NFL video game that bears his name. So long John...kick back in your easy chair and enjoy some good, homemade turducken. Blessings,