John Madden retires

Boom! The big guy is riding his bus into the sunset with his telestrator.

Football color commentator John Madden retired today from the booth after 30 years of service. He was the only broadcaster to work for all four networks – CBS, Fox, ABC, and NBC.

Madden was the longtime coach of the Oakland Raiders and led them to victory in Super Bowl XI over the Minnesota Vikings. He retired from the Raiders shortly afterward and joined CBS, where he was later paired with Pat Summerall. The duo called games together for more than 20 years, the most successful duo in sports broadcasting history.

When the NFL left CBS for Fox in 1994, Summerall and Madden followed – continuing their partnership until 2002, when Fox cut him loose.

Madden joined ABC later that year and was paired with Al Michaels for Monday Night Football. When NBC acquired the rights to air Sunday Night Football in 2006 (ending ABC’s 36-year hold on MNF), Madden and Michaels jumped to the peacock network.

Madden’s expertise and his love of the sport made him one of the most trusted names in football – and one of the richest. Madden developed a video game football series for Electronic Arts in 1989 for the Apple II Computer. Today, it stands as one of the most successful video game franchises in history, selling millions of copies worldwide.

With Madden retiring, NBC has tapped Cris Collinsworth as a replacement.

Meanwhile, there is no word on what Frank Caliendo will do now Madden is retired. Madden was one of the characters Caliendo imitated on Fox’s Sunday NFL pre-game show and on his now-canceled Frank TV “comedy” program (maybe now he can look for a real job?)

Updated 10:05 p.m. on 2009-04-17 (corrected the Super Bowl John Madden won – round numerals were switched around)

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