John Earl Madden.
The last time he graced our homes with his presence was Super Bowl XLIII.
He is a legend of the NFL, though never playing a game in it.
He was that guy that made some ridiculous comments, not unlike: "Hey, the offensive linemen are the biggest guys on the field. They're bigger than everybody else, and that's what makes them the biggest guys on the field." Or, "when your arm gets hit, the ball is not going to go where you want it to."
But it was all in good fun.
Not to mention his constant references to Brett Favre, or using the Telestrator to unintentionally(?) draw genitalia. To put it in Richard Hoffer's words "It was like watching a kid with ADHD operate an Etch-a-Sketch"
Color commentary is hard to do, and good color commentators are hard to come by. Based strictly by what Madden said, he wasn't a great color commentator, he had some average quotes (stated above, or by a quick google search) and he had some points during the season where he would break down and ramble, but it doesn't matter.
In many eyes, he was the best. The amount of passion he has for the game is ridiculous. He was never binded down by the networks he worked for. By the way, he worked for CBS, ABC, NBC, and FOX.
Madden graced our screens even when we didn't watch the football. No, I'm not talking about Tough Actin' Tinactin, I'm talking about Madden the videogame. Any time you need to find a game winning play, you can Ask Madden. He is sure to find you a play that will cost you the ball.
The good times with John, Super Bowl after Super Bowl, Playoff game after Playoff game, the good times.
But he's hung up his hat for the '09 season, to be honest he will be missed, even if some don't think so yet. Chris Collinsworth is going to take his place on Monday Night Football. You will know Collinsworth from Madden 09, the aforementioned video game, where he makes comments not unlike Madden's old comments.
He is just as useful, however, when it comes down to informing the non-football person about what is going on.
So perhaps Madden's legacy in commentating is only to be followed by Collinsworth's legacy in commentating.
We can only hope that the NFL has another Madden on it's hands.