There’s only one John Madden, said Ray Ratto in CBS Sports. And now the former Oakland Raiders coach and longtime NFL commentator has announced he’s retiring from broadcasting. It will be hard to replace Madden, although NBC will try—with Cris Collinsworth. Madden’s booming presence alone “told you that the game he was doing was the most important event that day.”
“The man was an absolute marvel,” all right, said Dan Pieroni in Bleacher Report. Nobody in TV “stated the obvious more often" than he did. But sports fans will miss Madden, because, despite his faults, he breathed new life into game broadcasts with his ability to “discuss the X’s and O’s of pro football.”
Things will be different without “one of the most recognizable voices in sports broadcasting,” said Jeffrey Marcus in The New York Times. Madden’s career covered so much ground—the Hall of Famer coached the Raiders to the Super Bowl XI title in 1977, and his name is linked to the hugely popular videogame Madden NFL Football. But as Madden himself said, hard as it is to imagine leaving football, “it’s time.”
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