April 16, 2009 was a very sad day for (most) football fans across the country. News broke that the great John Madden was retiring and would no longer be in the booth for any NFL games.
It really saddens me that a close friend of mine, as well as another article I read, had nothing good to say about Madden, other than his coaching career.
Such comments like "the man hasn't said anything insightful in at least five years," really upset me.
First off, he is 73 years old; of course he isn't going to be as insightful as when he was 50!
Second of all, I disagree completely. He may not have overwhelmed us with insightful comments, but in nearly every game he had some great tidbits about this and that.
Lastly, anyone who watches football on a semi-consistent basis shouldn't feel the need to hear insightful comments. They would already know quite a bit about whatever was happening and those that don't know a ton about football aren't watching so that they can learn why a play is run a certain way on a certain down in a certain situation, they are watching because they are likely with someone that does know a lot about football.
Also, is there anything wrong with watching a football game just to hear whatever it is Madden has to say? The man was one of, if not the greatest, coaches of his generation. I don't care how old he is, he is going to have (and give) plenty of insight.
I have had the great pleasure of listening to Mr. Madden for my entire life, and I have absolutely no problem with anything Madden did, or didn't, say or do.
Here's to you, John Madden, for 30 incredible years in the booth. You will be missed by many.
Thank you for so many great memories! (Not to mention a hell of a video game!)