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John Madden Retires, Ends Sports TV Run

Apr 16, 2009  •  Post A Comment

John Madden, one of the best known and most distinctive voices in television sports, said he is retiring from broadcasting after 30 years.
Mr. Madden, 73, had been an analyst on NBC’s “Sunday Night Football” since 2006; his final game was Super Bowl XLIII in February.
Dick Ebersol, chairman of NBC Sports, said Cris Collinsworth will replace Mr. Madden as the analyst on “Sunday Night Football.” As for how Mr. Collinsworth’s slot on NBC’s studio show would be filled, Mr. Ebersol said that would be addressed in the coming weeks.
“It’s been such a great ride,” Mr. Madden said in a statement released by NBC Sports. “The NFL has been my life for more than 40 years, it has been my passion—it still is.
“I appreciate all of the people who are and were such an important part of the most enjoyable, most fun anyone could have … that great life with the teams, the players, the coaches, the owners, the league… my broadcasting partners Pat [Summerall] and Al [Michaels]… the production people and the fans … is still great … it’s still fun and that’s what it makes it hard and that’s why it took me a few months to make a decision,” he said.
Mr. Madden began his TV career in 1979, joining CBS after retiring as the Super Bowl-winning coach of the Oakland Raiders. When CBS lost its NFL contract, Mr. Madden moved to Fox in 1994. In 2003 he moved to ABC’s “Monday Night Football.”
Mr. Ebersol said he consulted at length with Mr. Madden about the commentator’s decision.
“I spent all day in the Bay Area yesterday with John and tried every way I could to make sure he was sure about his decision,” Mr. Ebersol said. “And in true John Madden fashion, he was sure. He said it best when he simply said, ‘It’s time’ … and I admire him for that.”
Mr. Ebersol added: “To put any speculation to rest, John has just decided to retire because it’s time—nothing more, nothing less. We will never see or hear another man like John Madden. We will sorely miss him because he was the most fun guy ever to just hang out with.”
(Editor: Baumann)
(Updated 11:05 a.m. to add third paragraph)

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