NFL Legend John Madden Retires

Dan Wheat-RiversContributor IApril 16, 2009

OAKLAND, CA - OCTOBER 22:  Former Head Coach John Madden of the Oakland Raiders looks on alongside his Hall of Fame Bust 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)

John Madden retired from the broadcast booth today.  He has been broadcasting football games for 30 years, and before that he was the Oakland Raiders coach for ten, winning one Super Bowl with them.

John Madden will always be a part of my childhood.  I heard him announce games almost every week, and I owned about 80 percent of the Madden video games over the last 20 years.

I will always remember that he toured the country in a bus because he was afraid of flying.  And that he had turkey with eight legs created for the annual Thanksgiving Day turkey leg awards at whatever game he was working, usually a Cowboys game.

Of course, none of this has spoken to his knowledge of the game.  He is a fantastic football mind.  He always had some Yogi Berra type sayings to throw into a broadcast, but you never doubted he knew the game, even if you didn't agree with what he was saying.

As a big sports video game player, his games were an annual staple for me.  I can't tell you how many seasons I've played over the last 20 years, I probably don't want to know.  In many ways, those video games helped me learn and understand the game of football.

What I missed of Madden was his coaching career.  He coached very young, won a lot, and then left.  Not many people do that now, so it's hard to believe.  But, he has a very high winning percentage.

But most of all, I will remember John Madden as someone who was passionate about the game.  He sometimes seemed as if he would burst because of joy watching a game.  He loved a great block or hard hit more than a long pass. 

We will miss you every week John, thank you for everything.


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