Friday, April 17, 2009
Madden Lowers The "Boom!" On A Great Career
John Madden, pictured here with Al Michaels, retires after over three decades as a color commentator for NFL coverage on four different networks. (Photo courtesy of Digital Sports Daily)
We all knew this day was coming, but even the most rabid of football fans did not want to acknowledge it. Yesterday, after a career that included 30 years of color commentary for four networks, countless Super Bowl assignments, not to mention revolutionizing the broadcasting and video game industries after starting out as a head coach of the Oakland Raiders, 73-year-old John Madden has decided to call it a career.
"You know, at some point, you have to do this," said Madden on the decision to hang up the microphone and headset. Madden's world-famous bus, which he used to travel to and from games after suffering a bout of claustrophobia while flying to one of the first games he covered in 1979, finally pulling into the parking lot for the final time. "I got to that point." Madden will be succeeded on NBC's Sunday Night Football telecasts by Cris Collinsworth, who will now work alongside play-by-play man Al Michaels, who saluted his former partner yesterday by saying that there has "never been anyone like him," and that he was the "gold standard for analysts for almost three decades."
Madden spent most of his career paired with the great Pat Summerall, who worked as the top play-by-play man for CBS and Fox. "I don't think he had any other hobbies," said Summerall of his partner's love for football. "He was the hardest worker and he never lost that passion for the game." Madden's ability to break down football so that the common man can understand it has no doubt instilled the same passion in fans, and hopefully the fire will never burn out.