John Madden, legendary pro football commentator, retires

There are iconic figures in sports broadcasting.

Earlier this week one such icon passed away, Harry Kalas. Generations of football fans have hung on names like Howard Cossell, Frank Gifford, and of course John Madden. Today, the long time broadcaster of primetime football on Monday and Sunday nights, has called it a career.


John Madden loved using that word to describe a devastating hit. I felt the same kind of impact Thursday when learning Madden had ended his announcing career.

I wasn't surprised so much as saddened. We all knew Madden would be unplugging his telestrator soon enough. He just turned 73. His streak of 476 consecutive weekend telecasts ended last season when Madden — who doesn't fly — declined to take back-to-back road trips between Florida and his California home to call NBC's Sunday night games. And unlike some of his peers — including former partner Pat Summerall — Madden knew better than to embarrass himself by staying in the booth for too long.