Thursday, April 16, 2009

John Madden retires

NEW YORK (AP) — John Madden is retiring from football announcing, where his enthusiastic, down-to-earth style made him one of sports' most popular broadcasters for three decades. The Hall of Fame coach spent the last three seasons on NBC's "Sunday Night Football." His final telecast was the Super Bowl in February.

"You know at some point you have to do this — I got to that point," Madden said on his Bay Area radio show Thursday. "The thing that made it hard is not because I'm second guessing, 'is it the right decision?' But I enjoyed it so damn much.

"I enjoyed the game and the players and the coaches and the film and the travel and everything."

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.

Ebersol called Madden "absolutely the best sports broadcaster who ever lived."

Madden said his health is fine, but at the age of 73, he wanted to spend more time with his family. His 50th wedding anniversary is this fall, and his five grandchildren are old enough to notice when he's gone.

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