Not a Moment Too Soon: John Madden Steps Out of the Broadcast Booth

David AllanCorrespondent IApril 16, 2009

OAKLAND, CA - OCTOBER 22:  Former Head Coach John Madden of the Oakland Raiders is presented with his Hall of Fame Ring during a ceremony to honor his recent induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame before the game against the Arizona Cardinals on October 22, 2006 at McAfee Coliseum in Oakland, California.  (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)

It’s finally over, and it couldn’t come a moment too soon for this sports fan.


After 30 years in the booth, there will be fewer "Boom!" moments. Gone are also the descriptions that sound like this, "You’ve got one big guy, and another big guy, so ultimately what you’ve got here is two big guys."


In breaking news, John Madden released a statement saying that the Hall of Fame coach will not be in the booth for NBC Sports with Al Michaels going forward.


Madden, the voice of football for many over the last 30 years, pointed to his age and desire to be home with his wife, two sons and five grandchildren.


In a statement released by the network Madden said, "It’s time. I am 73 years old."


Madden is probably just as visible to a younger generation for being on the title of EA Sports' yearly football game, and in recent years, the game had clearly passed by the former Raiders head coach and became Madden's most notable accomplishment.


Madden has been honored with 16 Emmys, easily making him the most decorated NFL announcer on television.


But in recent memory, I can’t recall an insightful comment or interesting tidbit of knowledge being referenced by Madden on a telecast. I can’t recall ever feeling like he could provide the type of in-depth analysis that improved the game as you were watching it.


As an NFL head coach, Madden was 103-32-7, and he led the Raiders to seven AFC West titles and a victory over the Minnesota Vikings in Superbowl XI. Madden was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame at age 70.


Based on his dominance of an era, the accolades are well deserved.


That being said, as an analyst, the game had long since evolved to a point where Madden could no longer recognize it.


Every week it became clearer that his only reason to break down tape was to figure out which offensive lineman would sweat most violently through his trousers. Madden would then make sure to make use of a tele-strator to circle the sweat line in case you hadn’t noticed it on your own.


Many people were more than happy to listen to John drone on and on about the size of offensive linemen and chuckle hardily at a folly, fumble or big hit.


Possibly as famous for his Man-Crush on the gun slinging QB from Kiln, Mississippi (aka Brett Favre) in recent years as anything, it is more than time for the jolly Analyst to step away from the game.


Madden probably started to think long and hard about his options when he realized that, with Favre legitimately retiring this time, he’d have little to nothing to add to a broadcast.


Heaven forbid he should describe the play on that field, rather than what the play might have looked like if Favre had been playing quarterback, defensive tackle, tight end and safety on the play.


I am sure, in Madden’s eyes, this scenario would have been infinitely better.


I am also sure there will be a ton of articles today singing the praises of the most recognized voice in football. I, for one, won’t miss the mind-numbing obviousness with which John has resorted to when describing things even the causal fan like myself could clearly see.


Hopefully this signals a new beginning for the NFL in the booth, and a situation when analysis is about the information and not the personalities. Although, by staring into the Monday night football booth and seeing Tony Kornheiser...I doubt it.


So John, I wish you the best of luck in your retirement. Hopefully now I can get back actually enjoying a football game without listening to the equivalent of my grandpa laugh about the good old days and how fat offensive linemen had gotten.


I just hope it's like when Madden walked away from coaching, and this is for good.



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