Cliff Notes: Thank you, John Madden

by Cliff Gibson

This post was initially published in The Cliff Notes by CSN contributor Cliff Gibson.

I’m not gonna waste my time or yours with a long post about John Madden. Although he certainly deserves any and all praise he receives, there will be so much coming over the rest of the NFL season, and I’d rather not repeat any of those things, but rather keep it short and to the point. John Madden played a huge role in my childhood and into my adult years. The first football game I owned (I had to play Tecmo Bowl at friends’ houses) was Madden ’92.

My introduction to the Madden franchise began here.

That game was so iconic and resonated so loudly with me that I can still close my eyes, see the graphics and hear the sounds. Plus, it had the greatest animation – the renegade ambulance.

Pat Summerall and John Madden — the greatest broadcast team in sports history.

There was something magical about that voice duo of Madden with Pat Summerall. To me, Thanksgiving and Christmas memories include hearing them call the games while I watched from the couch at my great-grandmother’s house with the entire family gathered for the holiday. But he wasn’t just a great X’s and O’s guy. Madden had a way of entertaining in a way I always enjoyed.

Of course, I grew up playing and still play Madden video games. I don’t think most kids today even realize who the man behind the name is, and how much he means to football. But I’ll never forget.

Decades of greatness.

I could go on forever. Madden is a true legend. When I think football, I think of John Madden before some of the iconic players and teams throughout history.

John Madden IS football.

“Nothing jazzes me up like football. I’ve acquired more passion over the years, not less. Not to love it wouldn’t make sense.”

John Madden

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