A few months ago, through the wonders of itunes, I downloaded the NBC telecast of this year’s Superbowl between the Steelers and Cardinals.
Truthfully I did it out of boredom; a way to ease the withdrawal from football that every fan goes through during the off-season.
But today, that footage became a piece of sports history as the last game called by Hall of Fame broadcaster John Madden.
Madden, the quintessential color commentator of the 90’s and 2000’s, announced his retirement today at the age of 73.
Very rarely in the world of professional sports is an individual equally known and equally regarded for more than one aspect of their career, by three generations. John Madden is one of those guys.
As a coach he grabbed the ultimate prize with a victory in SuperBowl XII. He went on to become one of the most recognizable voices in the history of sports as an NFL analyst for CBS, Fox, ABC and NBC (the only guy to do it for all four major networks) for 30 years.
To a generation of 20 somethings he’s most known is his world-renowned video game, Madden Football. For over 20 years the game has dominated the football video game scene and is the best selling game of all time.
I’m only 24 so I can’t really speak on John Madden the coach, but his video game is essential. Despite the fact that most of the kids from around my way played basketball religiously, when it came to the virtual world Madden was the Holy Grail.
In the booth on Sunday’s is where he made his biggest impact. He sat next to you on your couch and taught you the game.
Whether you were a girlfriend trying to get closer to your guy, or a young video game player who was trying figure out you shouldn’t call a Hail Mary pass each possession, Madden dropped constant jewels on you.