John Madden retires, EA to retain name

[UPDATE]: NFL broadcasting legend hangs up his headset, but Electronic Arts will keep name on NFL games.

143 Comments

NBC announced the retirement of NFL broadcaster John Madden today in a move so sudden it would be deserving of a trademark "Boom!" from the big man himself.

Boom!
Boom!

Rather than taking a season-long victory lap on the network's Sunday night NFL broadcasts, the 73-year-old is stepping down from the booth, effective immediately. His final telecast was this year's Super Bowl, which saw the Pittsburgh Steelers tough out a win against the postseason underdog Arizona Cardinals.

Although Madden was enormously popular for his on-the-fly analysis of games, his expertise drawn from his years as a coach with the Oakland Raiders, and his occasional tangents onto subjects like "cankles" or "great coaches with hats," he also left a significant mark on the gaming industry. John Madden Football debuted on the Apple II and Commodore 64 in 1989 and quickly broke away from the pack of other pigskin sims upon moving to the Sega Genesis the next year. In all, more than 100 versions of Electronic Arts' Madden NFL games have been made spanning virtually every major system released in the last 20 years (sorry, Dreamcast).

As of press time, Electronic Arts had not responded to requests for comment on how the retirement will change plans for the Madden NFL series going forward. In 2005, EA signed a "multiyear" agreement to use the former coach's moniker on its football games, though the exact length of that deal was not disclosed. If the series will change due to the retirement, it might not happen until next year. Madden NFL 10 has already been announced with an August 14 release date.

Madden, who never actually stepped on the field as an NFL player after a knee injury, coached the Raiders to a Super Bowl in 1976. After retiring from the sidelines with the second-highest winning percentage of any coach (behind the legendary Vince Lombardi), he moved on to become an NFL analyst and has won several Emmy awards. The heavy travel demanded by Madden's broadcast job was aggravated by a severe fear of flying, leading the analyst to drive from destination to destination in a tricked-out RV called "The Maddencruiser."

[UPDATE]: Electronic Arts released a statement from EA Sports president Peter Moore saying that the publisher's football series will keep its ties to the Madden name.

"We're excited to see his legacy live on in the 21st year of Madden NFL football, and well beyond," Moore said. "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."

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tequilero

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So long,John.

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nappan

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@JohnnyDrama8: Should Tom Clancy be the VA for Sam Fisher then?

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nappan

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I'm sorry, but the departure of that mumbling alcoholic isn't a tragedy for gaming or football. Anyone who bought or buys madden for the man, and not the gameplay, isn't getting the point of videogames at all.

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JohnnyDrama8

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So Madden 2010 without John Madden that sounds like false advertising to me.

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Avenger1324

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It would be a fitting end to his career to have Madden on the cover of the 20th anniversary game

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Fife1100

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John Madden you will be remembered....

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Mr_Fujiv1

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dont change the name :/

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MrG31

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Madden's family may be living off this game for years after John moves on to the big gridiron in the sky.

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rctyke

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Why change the name? The Madden name has been the best sellings names in the sports game industry. If that happens and it doesn't sell as well, looks like we may have the 2K franchise to rise again.

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zinoalex

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It will be a shame to see the llikeness and candidness of John Madden NOT on an EA yearly release.The franchise has has progressed so well and the loyal following is so great there would be an all-out protest aimed at EA and their affiliates.John does'nt like the Steelers.(A grudge stiil held from the "Immaculate reception" days?)The Steelers won the last Super Bowl. In which he was a part of the broadcasting team.Hmm......

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huladog123

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Look, if the guy is retiring, then should EA really still be using his name let's say-- 20 years from now? A brand new franchise name would do just fine.

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brendanhunt1

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he looks like the joker without makeup

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REA24409

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I say change it to something different, like NFL instead of Madden. It doesn't matter though because the game sucks either way.

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Gelugon_baat

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"EA to retain name." John Madden, you will never sleep well at night. Electronic Arts is going to rip so much out of your name that your parents' gift to you will be synonymous with the term for a para-solid human excrement. You should have forced EA to give up the license to this one aspect of your identity.

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ldonyo

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I played the original on the C64. It was head and shoulders above the competition. Too bad it hasn't stayed that way.

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Da_Skull_King

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they should get his name off the games, hes and idiot who doesnt know what hes talking about. im glad hes not broadcasting anymore

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maverick_76

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From what I know, Madden actually does have the highest winning percentage, Lombardi is second behind Madden. I am glad to hear that EA will keep the name, it would not be the same game without his face and name. Now EA needs to work on making Madden more realistic and simulation like, from what I have heard they are supposedly doing a pretty big overhaul to the gameplay this coming year so I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

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MrWipeMeDown40

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madden is a bad game anyway

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Threesixtyci

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Heh... I actually have the old PC game that is pictured with this article.

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R3DN1N3

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I for one am glad he's retiring, too bad they couldn't just retire the Madden games as well.....

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owens_jay

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about time he retired

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godzillavskong

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I'm going to miss him more as an announcer than in the actual Madden game. I love how he would babble off topic, making comments about certain things irrelevant to the game, but funny as h3ll. I guess no more Turducken on Thanksgiving!

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icepeda

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Good decision on his part, but i want to see what will really happen to the franchise now. Better or Worse?

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darkone321

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While Madden could sometimes be "annoying", for lack of a better word, he is a walking Encyclopedia of the game.. I respect his decision and wish him well.. That said, the last Madden game was lackluster... Maybe he can devote more time to giving us a REAL NFL Football experience...

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pai-may

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Big shame, football will not be the same without him. Who's going to partner Al now?

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XanderZane

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You know EA will pay Madden whatever he wants to keep his name on the game. What the hell would they call it if they losed the Madden brand? ************************************************************ Gastman The NFL 2K series suck, Madden is a better game. ----------------------------------------------------------------------- You don't really believe that, do you? EA literally bought the NFL license to keep 2K Sports from making anymore NFL games because gamers started realizing that NFL 2K was actually a more realistic football game. NFL 2K5 was leagues better then Madden 05. The last two Madden games 08 & 09 that were released were excellent, but with no other NFL games to compare it to, there's no way to every find out if it was the best or not.

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mattcarlo

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Great guy, he will be missed.

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Shidira

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I'm not really a sports game fan and I try to stay away from them, but after 20+ years of having his name on these games, it would really be a shame to have his name taken off. His name practically started the NFL game series and I hope that, even after he's long gone, he'll be remembered in gaming with his name on all NFL games.

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necronaux

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Hope they still continue to use his voice as the announcer. Like him or hate him, his voice will always be recognized as the voice of football.

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Gastman

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The NFL 2K series suck, Madden is a better game.

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NightRain

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Goodbye Madden... but hey... why not just change the name if he's gone? NFL 10 would be okay and people would still buy it.

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Get_Shorty

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NFL 2K series was better and I'm still waiting for it's comeback.

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jadefury27

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Thanks for all the memories john...BOOM! maybe they can get frank caliendo from fox sports & blitz: the league 2 to take over. he does a hell of a john madden impersonation.

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willripyouanew1

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Good call, I wouldnt wanna associate my name with a game that yesr after year is basicaly the same.

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Nocturnal15

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No disrespect to John at all, but EA is killing his name. After all, we really do need another 10 years of Madden NFL that seems to be just as stale as the previous installment. Quit hogging the NFL license and bring back the competition. I want to see an NFL 2k10.

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fredbalsdon

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John Madden is the man and he will be missed

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lakeerie_effect

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all these young kids dont respect john. sorry he will always be better than you.

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aRE-you-AFraid

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Wow, I couldn't stand John Madden. I'm glad that he finally retired so I don't have to hear him constantly commenting on the game that I am watching! "Playing good football wins games, and good football comes from good players. And good players make good plays that leads to good football." Enough Madden! Enough.

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RLJSlick

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Well the reason I say that is because, during his broadcasting, he never shut up, it's really hard to enjoy the game when he is always talking, usually about something pretty obvious! I do agree with you about EA though.

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eitremn

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he annoyed me, so see ya later. I hope he enjoys his retirement!

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valdarez

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@RLJSlick, John Madden doesn't think he's bigger than the game, EA Sports think they are bigger than the game. Don't confuse the two. ;)

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RLJSlick

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Personally I say good riddens, anyone that think they are bigger then the game can just retire. As far as the game, wll EA should really look for someone huger, that can relate with the younger game players.

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Gymbo-59

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"The thing about Brett Farve is, Brett Farve is Brett Farve, and he's gonna do Brett Farve things". Other than his man-crush with Ol'' Brett, I actually enjoyed listening to him.

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xbox4life76

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As long as we can still hear his voice in the game, I'll be happy. I personally love Madden 09.

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hunter8man

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"Boom! Tough Actin' Tinactin" I'm going to miss the guy. Not only was he the coach for my favorite team, he along with Summerall made the best broadcasting duo in NFL history. It won't be the same without him. Collinsworth is pretty good, but he's no Madden. At least there will a sharp decline in the amount of Brett Favre talk in the booth Sunday Night.

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-HCMF-

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and with no real compitition, the game will also remain sub-par, and bland.

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DemannameD

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In my best attempt at a John madden impression. You see fans basically when you retire, you quite doing what you've been doing for a period of time. And the best way to quite is to stop what your doing. Its who ever's carrier is over is the person that retires..... I hate John Madden. His tomb stone will read... John Madden Here lies John Madden

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parhar67

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@ Inconnux you have nothing intelligent to say....retire the series? are you serious? last time i checked the NFL was still in business.....you obviously arent a football fan.....and you obviously dont know anything please next time say something smart. Asfor madden retiring i will quote something he would say during a telecast "If the quaterback throws a pass and the reciever catches it in the endzone that is a touchdown" lol goodbye madden you will be missed!!!

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ChampionOfLight

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While sports games are not my thing, and in the past few years, his ramblings and ''Mr. Obvious'-like statements elicited loads of teasing or screaming at the TV from myself and the other guys watching (all in fun of course), his familiar voice during the big weekly games will surely be missed. Enjoy your retirement to the fullest, Madden. You deserve it.

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tony382

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John Madden is class act, a great Football man, and one of the nicest people I ever met. I actually had a 15 minute conversation with him in 2006 in NYC and he didn't have a problem with all the questions I asked. His great voice will be missed every week, I wish him well.

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