A somewhat sad day for me today, hearing the news of football announcing legend John Madden’s retirement. He was one of those guys, or icons, that you figured would just go on forever, comfortably filling your family room amid the fall sounds of smacking football players and cheering fans.
I had grown accustomed to seeing his face as a brand. I don’t think I would ever remember the (tough actin’!) Tinactin product if it weren’t for Madden’s overenthusiastic endorsement for clean smelling feet.
And, of course, there is the Madden EA juggernaut. Who would’ve thunk he, of all people, would blaze a trail in video game franchising, before the concept even existed?
Most importantly, of course, were his achievements in the broadcast booth. There he established himself with a matter-of-fact, blue collar tone that related easily to thousands of weekend armchair quarterbacks, myself included.
It goes without saying that anytime someone says “boom!” I will always think of John Madden.
Still the game must go on.
And times are changing. I think that the Al Michaels/John Madden booth combination worked well, but part of me believes is had become stale, and slightly out-of-touch perhaps with mainstream America. A little dull and lackluster.
Not that I want wrestling-style call-outs or MTV-like video clips all over the place. But something slightly more interesting and edgy. Like the times when Don Meredith and Frank Gifford used to sing out during the old 70s MNF games… “turn out the lights, the party’s over…”