Tuesday, October 14, 2008
It's pretty amazing to think that John Madden hasn't missed the call of a game in 476 chances, but that's exactly the case. Unfortunately that streak will be ending this Sunday as NBC analyst will take his first night off in almost 30 years. According to the Washington Post, Madden really wants to spend time with family and trying to pull off another cross country trip (his third in a row) was just too much.
It wasn't exactly Madden's idea to take a deep breath and a day off this weekend, but when NBC Sports Chairman Dick Ebersol first broached the possibility with him last spring, Madden said he'd have to think about it. Ten days ago, he spoke with Ebersol again and told him it might not be a bad idea.If Madden were to do this game, he would have had to have rode a bus from L.A. to Jacksonville, from Jax back to San Diego, and then from San Diego to Tampa Bay. I don't even think a group of four college kids on a road trip could have pulled that off. He will be replaced by Cris Collinsworth that night, and like the Post said, hopefully this won't end up a Wally Pipp situation and end up being John Madden's last game. NBC says they are committed to the entirety of Madden's six year contract, but we'll see.
"I wasn't reluctant as much as I was 'let's wait and see how it goes,'" Madden said in a telephone interview Monday. "Last year we had a couple of tough (trips). I still enjoy the travel, but you'd like to be home once in a while. I've got five grandchildren. It's a quality of life issue. The 49ers and the Raiders not being good also has hurt, because you never get a home game. Even when L.A. had a team, I'd get to be home. When you see the grand kids, it's like they've grown two feet. So I'd like to check in once awhile, and this is a good chance to do that."
"Look, I think that John is not only the best game analyst in the history of sports, he remains the best analyst on television," Ebersol said. "I just think it's smart thinking to do it this way."
Madden's Broadcasting Streak To End At 476 Games (Washington Post)