Legendary NFL announcer John Madden has announced his retirement after a 30-year career behind the microphone, but that doesn’t mean we can expect the Madden NFL franchise to follow in his Tinactin-powdered footsteps anytime soon.
Madden began his coaching career in 1967 as a linebacker coach for the Oakland Raiders, moving up to take over as head coach the next year and becoming the youngest the NFL’s youngest head coach in the process. He won a Super Bowl ring with the team in 1977 before retiring the following year. In 1979 he began his second and more famous career as a color man and analyst for the NFL, ultimately earning 14 Sports Emmy Awards for his boisterous and lively commentary. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2006.
“It’s time. I’m 73 years old. My 50th wedding anniversary is this fall. I have two great sons and their families and my five grandchildren are at an age now when they know when I’m home and, more importantly, when I’m not,” Madden said in a statement released by NBC Sports. “It’s been such a great ride. The NFL has been my life for more than 40 years, it has been my passion – it still is.”
Madden broke into the videogame business all the way back in 1988 with the original John Madden Football, published by Electronic Arts for the Apple II, Commodore 64 and DOS platforms. In the 20 years since, the Madden NFL series has sold more than 70 million copies worldwide and it’s a relationship EA plans to maintain, saying it “will continue to produce new versions of EA Sports Madden NFL with John’s collaboration.”
“His retirement has no impact on EA, other than us wishing him the very best in this next stage in his life,” an EA Sports rep told Kotaku. “He’s earned the time off.”
“John is a true sports icon who has made an indelible impact on the sport of football which will be felt forever,” EA Sports President Peter Moore said in a statement. “His prolific coaching and broadcasting careers, as well as his distinct role in shaping the EA Sports football experience have redefined how multiple generations have come to know and love the sport with unrivaled passion. We’re excited to see his legacy live on in the 21st year of Madden NFL football, and well beyond. It’s been a privilege for EA Sports to have had the strong relationship we’ve had with John for more than two decades and one that will continue into the future.”