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Published: 4/16/2009

NBC broadcaster John Madden retires

ASSOCIATED PRESS

NEW YORK John Madden, the burly former coach who has been one of pro football s most popular broadcast analysts for three decades, is calling it quits.

Madden worked for the past three seasons on NBC Sunday Night Football. His last telecast was the Super Bowl between Arizona and Pittsburgh.

It s time, Madden said. I m 73 years old. My 50th wedding anniversary is this fall. I have two great sons and their families and their five grandchildren are at an age now when they know when I m home and, more importantly, when I m not.

Cris Collinsworth will replace Madden, moving over from the network s studio show, NBC Sports chief Dick Ebersol said. Collinsworth filled in when Madden took a game off last October.

Madden said he still loves all aspects of the game and his job, and that s why it took him a couple of months to make the decision.

Madden s blue-collar style and love for in-the-trenches football endeared him to fans. His Madden NFL Football is the top-selling sports video game of all time.

Madden is reluctant to fly and often traveled to games in a specially equipped bus.

Longtime broadcast partner Al Michaels said Madden will have a unique place in pro football history.

No one has made the sport more interesting, more relevant and more enjoyable to watch and listen to than John, Michaels said in a statement. There s never been anyone like him and he s been the gold standard for analysts for almost three decades.

Madden began his pro football career as a linebacker coach at Oakland in 1967 and was named head coach two years later, at 33 the youngest coach in what was then the American Football League.

Madden led the Raiders to their first Super Bowl victory and retired in 1979. He joined CBS later that year.

He worked at CBS until 1994 when the network lost rights to broadcast NFL games, leading him to switch to Fox. He left Fox in 2002 to become the lead analyst for ABC s Monday Night Football and joined NBC in 2006 when that network inaugurated a prime-time Sunday game.

He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2006.

I don t know that I ve ever met anyone who loves the NFL, or cares about the NFL, more than John Madden, Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said in a statement. As a friend, I know that John s respect and passion for the sport will be the two elements of his legacy that matter the most to him. His imprint and impact on our game were powerful and meaningful. His influence on the sport was felt by everyone the guys in the equipment room, the players, the coaches, the owners, and most importantly, the fans.

He s going out on top as the best we have and the best we have ever had.



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