Thursday, April 16, 2009

Brett Favre Retires, John Madden Retires - Coincidence?

According to NBC Sports, John Madden is retiring from broadcasting. Most teenagers know him as the "video game guy", but maybe the most impressive aspect of John Madden was his coaching ability.

Originally drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles in 1958, his playing career came to a quick halt after he suffered a knee injury in training camp the following season. In an attempt to stay in the game, Madden quickly moved on to coaching at Buffalo State College and quickly rose up the ranks. Al Davis brought Madden to the Oakland Raiders as a linebackers coach in 1967. Within two years, Madden became the youngest coach in the history of professional football at the age of 32 when he he took over the top job with the Raiders. He guided Oakland to five separate AFC Championship losses but finally got his Super Bowl ring in 1977.

Over the next 30 years, Madden was an analyst for all four major broadcast networks and most recently NBC where he partnered with long-time friend Al Michaels. In January of this year, Madden claimed that when Michaels finally decided to retire, he would retire with him. There have been no reports Michaels has left the broadcast booth as well, but it's likely the rigorous travel schedule Madden has to deal with was beginning to become too much. Madden has such a fear of flying that he insists on riding his plush bus to all games he broadcasts.

John Madden was also notorious for his goofy way of analyzing and his extreme love/obsession for Brett Favre as the greatest quarterback to ever grace the NFL. Now that Favre has retired for the second (and hopefully last) time, perhaps Madden felt it was time he walk away as well. Last season, at times I remember thinking to myself that Madden was really starting to ramble and lose his train of thought (more than usual), but it's really sad to see him go. He has been perhaps the most well-known and influential figure in the NFL over the last four decades and Sunday or Monday nights with Al Michaels and (probably) Cris Collinsworth just won't have the same appeal. Let's just hope Madden doesn't pull a 'Favre' this summer and demand a trade to one of the other major networks.

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coffee said...

it was extremely smart of Madden to get into the video game business