Legendary broadcaster and outsized personality John Madden on Thursday announced he was stepping away from the booth after a 30-year stint as one of the NFL’s most popular analysts.
Madden made his final scribbles on the telestrator on Feb. 1, as he and longtime partner Al Michaels called Super Bowl XLIII for NBC.
“It’s time,” Madden said by way of announcing his retirement. “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.”
NBC Sports chairman Dick Ebersol said Cris Collinsworth will replace Madden in the booth, moving up from the network’s studio show.
Madden said the decision wasn’t an easy one for him to make. “The NFL has been my life for more than 40 years, it has been my passion––it still is,” Madden said. “It’s still fun and that’s what makes it hard … that’s why it took me a few months to make a decision. But I know this is the right time.”
The 73-year-old began his NFL career in 1967, taking a job with the Oakland Raiders as a linebacker coach. Two years later, Madden was named head coach of the Silver and Black, where he would go on to amass a 103-32-7 lifetime record, giving him the best winning percentage (.763) in NFL history.
At age 42, Madden gave up coaching for a seat in the broadcast booth, joining CBS in 1979. He worked at CBS for 15 seasons, up until 1994, when the network lost the rights to carry NFL games. He then put in eight years at Fox, before assuming the analyst role on ABC’s Monday Night Football in 2002.
When MNF moved to ESPN in 2006, Madden made the leap to NBC, where he and Michaels called the network’s Sunday night game.
He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame as a head coach in 2006.