Legendary Football Announcer, John Madden, Retires

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Posted by madcityradio.com on April 16, 2009 at 11:55:07:

Madden Decides to Put Down His Microphone

Published: April 16, 2009

John Madden retired on Wednesday from calling football games, leaving a weekly discipline that he revolutionized with a coach's eye, cartoonish sound effects and a taste for Thanksgiving turducken.

"It's time," he said in a statement issued by NBC Sports, where he had been an analyst for "Sunday Night Football" since 2006 following stints at ABC, Fox and CBS, where he began his second career after retiring from coaching the Oakland Raiders in 1979. "I'm 73 years old. My 50th anniversary is this fall." He added: "It's been such a great ride. The N.F.L. has been my life for more than 40 years, it has been my passion - and still is."

Madden rose to prominence at CBS with Pat Summerall as his terse partner and straight man; the two announcers moved to Fox when the network acquired the rights to televise the National Football League. Madden subsequently moved to ABC, where he and Al Michaels called "Monday Night Football." He and Michaels moved to NBC in 2006.

NBC did not name a replacement for Madden but the likely candidate is Cris Collinsworth, NBC's lead studio analyst and the co-host with Bob Costas on "Football Night in America." Collinsworth has shifted between calling games and studio work (he did both at Fox) in his career, and is currently a game analyst for the NFL Network.

Dick Ebersol, the chairman of NBC Universal Sports, said in a statement that he was with Madden on Tuesday to determine if Madden was certain of his decision.

"To put any speculation to rest," Ebersol said, "John has just decided to retire because it's time - nothing more, nothing less. We'll never see or hear another man like John Madden. We will sorely miss him because he was the most fun guy ever to just hang out with."

Madden's retirement means less - or no more - mileage on the plush bus that he used to travel to games to avoid flying. But it will probably have no impact on his connection to EA Sports' "Madden NFL Football," the top-selling sports video game ever. The video game, now 20 years old, is part of a portfolio of commercial work in which Madden has been a spokesman for Ace Hardware, Outback Steakhouse and Tinactin.

He also has interests in real estate and almond orchards.

(NY Times)

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