John Madden retired? Holy Cow! I guess we should have seen it coming, the guy makes so much money on his games that he really doesn't need to work. Last year I was negotiating with Wente Vineyards about buying some acreage planted with Cabernet grape vines in Livermore and I learned that John Madden had already made an offer on the property. In fact, I found out that he owned significant chunks of the Livermore Valley. The man has more money than God! Good for him. John is a once-in-a-lifetime talent who makes football oh-so-entertaining on TV. But, let's face it, the man hates to travel, can't stand airplanes, takes his bus everywhere, and already has enough money for the next couple of generations to live and retire comfortably. So, why am I grumbling? Because I will definitely miss him. Boom!
I think John Madden is the best football commentator ever, or at least since Howard Cosell. One of the reasons I am in radio today is because of some advice I got from John Madden about 16 years ago. We were at a charity event back in the 90's and I happen to sit next to him at the banquet. I mentioned that I had an offer from KFOX radio to do a 7-midnight show, but I wasn't 100% convinced I should do it. John got right in my face. "Do it! Someday, all DJ's will be ex-musicians," he said, "Just like sports. Who would know more about the music than a former professional musician?"
John's words rang true and I took his advice. That was over 16 years ago and here I am, still enjoying a career in radio that seems to have no end. Thanks, John. You probably don't remember it but it sure meant a lot to me.
Good-bye John Madden! TV football will never be the same. We'll miss you!