No one did it better.
I’m talking about John Madden who unexpectedly passed away on Tuesday.
Depending on how old you are, you view Madden in different ways.
For people older than me, he was a former Super Bowl winning coach who became a broadcaster.
For people my age, he was the voice of football serving as the analyst on the biggest game each week. A larger-than-life personality, his quirkiness of driving around the country in a bus and introducing us all to Turducken on Thanksgiving made him perfect for TV while he never forgot that it was always still about the actual football game.
He could make anything that happened in a game seem simple. Every TV analyst in every sport can continue to look to Madden as the Gold standard. No one has done it better. No one probably ever will. I would even argue that he impacted football more than any other TV analyst in any sport has ever impacted a game.
His final act was becoming part of a revolutionary video game. He did not just lend his name to the Madden video game series, he became very involved in the game’s development. There are some that know his name from the game and have no clue he was a coach or a broadcaster and his legacy lives on because of the game.
When people pass away, we always wish that the things that we say about them could have been said while they were still living. With Madden, that happened. Fox recently produced a documentary about him that he was able to view. Prior to his death, he was able to see and hear from all kinds of people discussing the impact he has had on them and the game.
What a life lived by John Madden. The greatest TV analyst of all-time and perhaps the greatest ambassador any sport has ever seen.