The NFL recently lost an icon on and off the field with the death of John Madden. After leading the Oakland Raiders to the Super Bowl in 1976, Madden embarked on a broadcasting career of nearly 30 years, commenting on football matches on Fox, ABC, CBS and NBC Sports and remaining a fixture in world football. In 1988, Madden released a video game series bearing his name, “John Madden Football”, which brought realism to fans seeking to learn and play the game of soccer. Of course, the video game series will eventually evolve into the “Madden NFL”, and it will continue to be one of the most popular video games on the market every year.
for the current Sunday Night Football Commentator Al Michaels, having the opportunity to work with John Madden was something he hoped would pay off when Fox Sports acquired the rights to NFC games in 1994. After a free-agency-like period as a player, Fox Corporation owner and media mogul Rupert Murdoch made him an offer worth $8 million annually to connect to online games – a number higher than the annual salary of any NFL player. Thus, Madden made the decision to go from signing a deal with ABC to join Michaels in 1994, to instead joining on-demand Pat Summerall for NFL coverage on Fox Sports.
Michaels appeared in Dan Patrick Show on Fox Sports Radio Wednesday morning, and discussed the exhilaration he felt when ABC secured Madden’s streaming services in 2002. Reflecting on the seven-year period they’ve released the games together, Michaels confirmed that what I saw was really what I got in terms of working with John Madden.
He was full of life. Full of energy; great conversation [and] “A great teacher but a great listener who wants to learn,” Michaels said. “I loved traveling around the country [and] Being with people… There wasn’t anything about John saying “Hey, I’m a big celebrity.” No – it wasn’t any of that. He was more interested in absorbing things than playing any role.”
On any game broadcasting network, John Madden’s character has shined, communicating the importance of the game being played to all parties involved. Having not worked together prior to 2002, Michaels knew he wouldn’t need a dry run before the duo debuted at the 2002 Hall of Fame Game.
“I heard it over 20 years ago. He was always on the bus after Sunday Night Football“He’s heard me play hundreds of games,” Michaels said. “John and I understood each other’s rhythms [and] From the second commercial [of our first game]I thought I would work with him for 20 years.”
Al Michaels also held a Sunday Night Football on NBC Set to expire after Super Bowl LVI ends, rumor has it that it will start calling games on Amazon Prime next year as part of Thursday night football Games list. He will undoubtedly continue to honor John Madden’s legacy by bringing unique perspectives and great fan commentary as his radio career continues, and like Madden, he’s back on the road again.
“The great thing about John was that he was well versed in not only football, but [in just] Michaels said. “When you work with someone like that, you have all the confidence in the world. You can go anywhere, and you will be right.”