Breaking News: John Madden Calls It a Career.

Dan PieroniCorrespondent 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)

There are two ways I'll remember John Madden as a broadcaster.

On one hand, the man was an absolute marvel. No one, with the possible exception of Tim McCarver, stated the obvious more often than him.

In his later years, he became laughable, based on how many times he could injerject the word "well" into a sentence.

But for a man with many faults, John Madden was always entertaining, even if for all the wrong reasons.

He also breathed life into an analyst job that was severely lacking before his arrival.

Madden was the ultimate insider, and the first guy to really discuss the x's and o's of pro football in an engaging, and interesting way.

It was almost as if he was explaining the complexities of football so much that he could have written Pro Football for Dummies.

But we embranced John Madden, he was the type of guy who wants to go have a beer with you after the game.

He was also the perfect complement to the straight-laced and often dull announcing of Pat Summerall with his loud and boisterous commentary.

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Sure he lost his fastball in later years. I could have killed him when he said the Patriots should have fallen on the ball and played for overtime on their final drive in Super Bowl 36 twice!

But after Summerall mercifully hung it up, Madden seemed rejuvenated with Al Michaels as his partner. They seemed like two guys who enjoyed each other's company and respected each other as professionals.

But now, the partnership has ended. Yahoo! sports reported this morning that Madden has decided to call it a career.

At age 73, Madden has had a long career both as a coach with the Raiders and as a broadcaster for all four major networks.

He was quoted as saying he wants to enjoy more family time, as his 50th anniversary is coming up in the fall, and he would like to spend more time with his grandchildren.

I believe he's more than entitled to do so.

His blue-collar attitude and zest for a game he never stopped loving will be missed, but his impact on the game of football will always live on.

I'd like to end this column with an open plea to any NBC executive that may read this piece.

For the love of God, please keep Collinsworth in the studio!

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