Athens, GA (Oct 13, 2008) - It had to happen sooner or later. The New York Post is reporting that 72 year old John Madden will not be making the trip next week to cover the Tampa Bay - Seattle game:
Madden, 72, told the Washington Post the trip to Tampa Bay was just a little too much to take on at this point in his life.
"I wasn't reluctant as much as I was 'let's wait and see how it goes,'" Madden told the paper in a phone interview. "Last year we had a couple of tough (trips). I still enjoy the travel, but you'd like to be home once in a while. I've got five grandchildren. It's a quality of life issue.
"The 49ers and the Raiders not being good also has hurt, because you never get a home game. Even when L.A. had a team, I'd get to be home. When you see the grand kids, it's like they've grown two feet. So I'd like to check in once awhile, and this is a good chance to do that."
The decision breaks a streak of 476 weeks where Madden had called a game, going back to 1980 when he started with CBS.
Cris Collinsworth, who is usually in NBC's studio Sunday night, will fill in for the game.
It is a shocker. When Pat Summerall retired, we missed his voice of authority. And whether you love Madden or hate him, you know it will just not be the same without him.
New York Post: Madden skipping game