John Madden has officially announced his retirement. At 73 years of age, he has spent the better part of his life in and around football.
After playing football through both high school and college, he was drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles in 1958 in the 21st round. Unfortunately, a knee injury in the preseason ended his pro career. He transitioned immediately from player to coach, working at the college level up until 1967, when he was hired as a linebackers coach by the Oakland Raiders.
On Feb. 4, 1969, Madden was named the head coach of the Raiders. At 32, he was the youngest NFL head coach at the time. Madden never had a losing season as a head coach, and though maligned as not being able to win the big one, he did get his Super Bowl victory in 1976. He ended his coaching career with the Raiders after the 1978 season.
Madden was welcomed into the CBS football announcer's booth at the beginning of the 1979 season. He continued in a commentating capacity and eventually ended up announcing for most of the major networks—CBS, NBC, ABC, and FOX.
I was nine-years-old when Madden accepted his head coaching position. Essentially, I grew up on Madden. I cursed his Raiders team as a teenager and then laughed and enjoyed his “Maddenisms” throughout his broadcast days. I spent a lot of time playing Madden Football into the wee hours of the morning during the offseasons.
Madden will forever be associated with football much the same as Howard Cosell and Pat Summerall.
I missed him recently during Monday nights. I’ll miss spending Thanksgiving with him. I wish to thank him for his long service to the game and my enjoyment of it.
John, enjoy your retirement.