I thought it could never happen. My friends and I all laughed at John Madden every game, calling him senile and crazy and nuts and yet we loved the ever-loving s*** out of him. We would listen intently whenever he spoke just to maybe catch him saying something about Brett Favre or a Turducken, and he never failed to light up my face like a Christmas tree.
All of that is over, though. Never again will I hear John Madden's voice during an NFL game.
I haven't written an article for Bleacher Report since the Philadelphia Eagles lost in the NFC Championship, not because of being upset, but because I felt like there wasn't enough news to write an article everyone could relate to.
If I wrote an article on how the Eagles traded Greg Lewis for a fifth-round pick, would anyone care to read it besides my fellow diehard Eagles fans? Now, if I wrote an article about the most beloved sports broadcaster in the history of the world? It's a topic that everyone can relate to.
John Madden, to me, made football. His sayings, phrases, and belligerent outbursts are what makes football fun. Besides Al Michaels, every football broadcaster is too afraid to put their personality on their sleeve. If they do, they may lose their job. John Madden did whatever he wanted and no one cared. He ruled the TV.
I will never forget on a Thanksgiving day game, John Madden talked about eating a Turducken every year. He described it as a combination of a turkey, duck, and a chicken. What followed next was the most memorable moment in Madden history. He literally put a real Turducken on screen and started pulling it apart with his bare hands. John Madden, during a live nationally-televised game, actually ravaged a Turducken.
Name someone else who can and would do that, and I will erase this article immediately.
The most successful sports video game of all time, the Madden football games are by far my most played games. No other NFL game even comes close to competing with it, and the versions have been around for at least 15 years. Players know about all those stupid Madden phrases that get repeated every single play; "He can't catch it if you knock it down" is my favorite.
No kidding! Despite all of the technology in the Madden games, he only has about 10 phrases!
I feel like a friend has left me. I feel like football will never be the same and I feel bad for all football fans around the globe. There is one person I also feel awful for: Frank Caliendo. This comedian's reputation is his John Madden impression, and without Madden to relate to, he will soon fail.
His MadTV sketch starting with "Hey folks, John Madden here with the quick pop popcorn popper" will soon be forgotten. His stupid love affair with Brett Favre is gone as well, since Favre retired (allegedly) earlier this year too.
Young children will grow up hearing who he was and playing his video game, but will never know what Madden brought to the game of football, both as a coach and an announcer. He changed the game forever and made it complete.
I am not writing this to tell you what he has accomplished or his statistics as a head coach or how many games he has sat through, but am simply stating what he has meant to me and probably millions of other people.
From his love for Brett Favre to his idiotic sayings on his own game, John Madden is my favorite sports broadcaster in any sport and anytime. I also hope to God, Allah, and every other god that Madden retains the voice in all future versions of his video game from now until he passes away.