Tom Brokaw writes the Tim Russert profile in the The New York Times Magazine’s 15th annual “Lives They Lived” issue. The issue takes a look back at 20 influential people who died during 2008.
“Tim Russert was in the next generation of broadcast journalists, and his role model was none of the above,” writes Brokaw. “As he often told me, Tim was a John Madden man. Madden, the large, rumpled former coach of the Oakland Raiders who became the N.F.L.’s premier television analyst, is the guy at the end of the bar whom the patrons turn to when they need some working-class wisdom.”
Brokaw recalls how he and Russert used to joke about politicians who didn’t “wear socks” — “shorthand for politicians who were tone-deaf.”
“Tim and I spent a lot of time together during our 25 years of friendship,” he writes. “I’ve met John Madden only once, before a Giants-Eagles game at the Meadowlands. But in that brief encounter I noticed another common characteristic between these two masters of their game: They both wore socks.”