The Great John Madden Dead At 85

Football is now America’s game.  Has been for a while.  And John Madden has been the voice of that game for decades.

I’m just old enough to remember John Madden.  Before he was just the namesake for the most popular video game, Madden was the voice of Monday Night Football (Back when Monday Night Football mattered.)  

And he was amazing… but in a ridiculous way.  Disheveled is as good a word as any… the man looked like every stereotype of a used car salesman.  It wouldn’t have been a surprise to see spaghetti stains on his shirt under his sports blazer.  And we would have known; he gradually undressed over the course of a game.  By the second half, the blazer and tie were tossed who knew where, his shirt sleeves were rolled up, and his hair was a mess.

And he yelled… the man had no concept of what an ‘inside voice’ was.  He would ramble, often incoherently.  And it was amazing.

Because John Madden knew the game of football.  Before he was the voice of football, he was the head coach of the Oakland Raiders.  And he was incredible there, as well, posting a record of 103-32-7.  He won a Super Bowl.  And he was the same obnoxious guy coaching that he was in the booth; he would be the guy on the sideline of an NFL game in the picture below…. Smoking a cigarette.  That image sums the man up perfectly.

So many announcers today are generic; cookie cutter talking heads.  Madden was never that.  He was wild.  He was basic.  Almost stereotypical at times.  He was larger than life, but he was one of us at the same time.  Every guy in the world could relate to Madden.  He was a guy we could drink… and talk football… with.

He revolutionized the whole drawing a diagram on the screen thing… by the time he was done explaining a play the screen would look like a 3 year old went to town on it… but damned if you didn’t understand what he was trying to teach you.

The man was a football entertainer, and there will never be another like this.  He was often as good as the games… sometimes better.  Many times he made a game better than it was.  

It’s been some time since John Madden joined us on football days, but for those of us who did… his memory isn’t going away.  As much as almost anyone in the history of the game… John Madden was football.

2022 FBS Team Schedules

2022 FBS Team Schedules

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