Read here for more on Madden retiring. Over the years, people have either found Madden to be super annoying or interesting and fun. Earlier on in my football watching days, I was annoyed by John Madden. But as I’ve gotten older, I’ve learned to appreciate what he means to the game of football. I also found that if I listened carefully, he would have good insight from time to time – raising points that hadn’t occurred to me. I always had the distinct impression that John Madden was a friendly guy, which was something that contributed to my improved opinion of him. Maybe I just bought his on-air persona which was usually light and friendly, but after this many years, I’d think it would be hard to fake it game after game. So I’m a bit sad re this news. With Madden’s retirement, I think the NFL has lost a great ambassador today.
Interesting that the guy who will be replacing him has evolved for me anyway, in a similar way. Chris Collinsworth (and his voice in particular) used to bug me when he first started out. But after listening enough to him over the years, I have really grown to appreciate 2 things: 1) that he knows the game really, really well and 2) that he is one announcer who isn’t afraid to reverse his opinion on a call for example, after the replay shows something different (though he usually gets it right live).