John Madden Calls it Quits: The Audience Loses its Voice


Published: April 17, 2009


... a sports announcer quite like him.  He was an American sports original. 

Madden never talked over our heads.  He would hit us at eye level with small, punchy, syntax-challenged words, pictures, and insights.  He said it, we got it.

John Madden talked about football in a way that everyone could understand.  Along with the fine points of team strategy, he also pointed out the silly, inane little things that go on in games that other announcers would never dare mention.  He often said what we were thinking.

While he wasn’t a comedian, he had a comic’s timing.  We laughed along with him because he never tried to pretend that football was more than just a game. 

But at the same time, when the miraculous happened on the field, those unbelievable moments that cement us as fans, he knew just how to describe what we saw and more importantly why it happened.

John Madden will leave one of the most unusual a...

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