It’s no secret that John Madden has a serious crush on Brett Favre. Turn on any Packers game over the past decade called by Madden, and you’re certain to catch at least ten Brett Favre replays and Madden gushing over how great Favre is. Favre could roll out of the pocket on 3rd and 2, huck the ball out of bounds, and Madden would be singing his praises for having the know-with-all to make such a smart play.
Unfortunately for Favre, Madden decided to retire from broadcasting last year. Madden had a phobia of airplanes, and would be driven from game to game during the football season on his Madden Cruiser. How he survived as long as he did with this arrangement is a miracle. Lucky for Madden, he has the video game royalties to fall back on which is no small sum.
Cris Collinsworth will do fine replacing John Madden, but he’ll never have the same aura of Madden. I certainly will miss him, and so will comedian Frank Caliendo. His whole act of two impressions, John Madden and George Bush, are now both irrelevant.
John Madden joined Fox Sports Radio on Thursday for his first radio interview since retiring from the broadcast booth.
On if he’s enjoying retirement thus far:
“It really hasn’t started yet until the season starts. I’ve been doing the same things in the off season. I did miss the Canton Hall of Fame game, but other than that, I’m doing the same stuff. In fact, I went to a Raider/Dallas game, Raider/49er practice and I’m getting ready, although I don’t know what I’m getting ready for.”
Madden was asked if the luster for Brett Favre has worn off with all of the shenanigans over the few months:
“No, not at all. I think that for some reason people think they can take ownership of someone’s life just because they’re a player or a public person, and they can make decisions for them. ‘He shouldn’t do this, he shouldn’t do that. He shouldn’t go back, or say that he’s going to.’ You know, it’s his life. This isn’t a game. This is what he does and it’s a tough decision. The big part of it, to be honest with you, is that he’s worried about not how he’s going to be in August and in training camp or in September, but can he get through the whole season. Can he get through the sixteen games and play at the end of the season at a very high level. The Minnesota Vikings were in the playoffs last year, so they’re not bringing Brett Favre into the Vikings to win six, seven, eight games. They’re brining him in to get into the playoffs, win some playoffs and maybe get to the Super Bowl. If that’s what he wants to do, I say ‘hey, more power to you.”
On if he thinks that Michael Vick will be able to get back to the level he was once at:
“That’s going to be hard. I had a player one year who missed a year to spend a year in jail and came back and he never played again, and he was a great player and performed well. I think that’s the first thing about Michael Vick, can he play? Does he have the talent? I know that he’s not going to beat out Donovan McNabb. McNabb is their quarterback and they didn’t bring him in to beat out McNabb. They have this guy who’s their second quarterback, Kevin Kolb, and I know that they like him. I would think that they have in mind, if he can play, if he gets in shape, if he can do some of those things would be something like a quarterback-slash-receiver. You know, run the wildcat, those kinds of things. I don’t see him starting at quarterback for the Philadelphia Eagles.”
Madden was asked if there is any chance that he’ll come out of retirement:
“No, there is no way. I felt the same thing when I coached, that I enjoyed every bit of it and I was going to miss it because I loved it so much but I was never going to go back. It’s the same thing with broadcasting. I enjoyed every bit of it. I loved every bit of it, and because of that I’m going to miss it but I’m never going to go back.”