SBD/Issue 232/Sports Media

Madden Not Regretting Retirement, Still Focusing On Football

Madden Says He Has Yet To Feel
Full Effects Of His Retirement
Retired NFL broadcaster John Madden said he harbors no regrets over his decision earlier this year to walk away after more than three decades behind the microphone. The 73-year-old Madden, making a tour of interviews to help promote the recently released EA Sports game “Madden NFL 10,” said he has yet to feel the full effects of his broadcasting retirement -- he was recently in Ohio for the Pro Football HOF induction ceremonies, has been at several practices recently for the Raiders and 49ers and watched every preseason game last weekend either live or on tape delay. “Things haven’t really changed yet. My routine, for now, has been sort of the same. I'm still around the game of football, and following what’s happening. But it’s going to be different. There’s no remorse, no regret, no wishing I was still there, though,” Madden said. “I did the right thing at the right time. I’m going to miss it, for sure. I enjoyed every moment of it. But that doesn’t mean you do it forever.” As for the new NBC announcing tandem of Madden’s longtime partner Al Michaels and Cris Collinsworth, Madden predictably praised the pair’s performance during the Bills-Titans HOF Game. Madden: “They did a great job. I enjoyed watching them. They’re going to be just fine. This is Al Michaels and Cris Collinsworth we’re talking about.”

I AM THE GAME: Madden, as has been his custom, consulted with EA on high-level strategic elements and the overall look of the namesake videogame, delving into particularities such as quarterback drops and the emergence of the Wildcat offensive set. But he remains uninvolved when it comes to business, marketing or technological elements of the game. “What I’m after is the overall look and the realism of the game, the way it plays. Does it reflect the current reality of the NFL? And I think we’ve done some really good things on the [quarterback] drops, how running backs finish runs, the gang tackling.” Meanwhile, EA Sports today will release results from its second annual survey of football fan intelligence in partnership with the Univ. of Oregon’s Warsaw Sports Marketing Center. And once again, the research showed players of “Madden” are demonstrably more versed in the strategy, rules, history and business of football. The latest survey, polling more than 9,000 players of “Madden” and football fans at large, also indicated “Madden” players are roughly three times as likely to consume at least 16 hours of NFL-related programming per week during the football season compared to non-players of the game, and are nearly four times as likely to not let other events interfere with watching a particular NFL game. “This is not surprising,” Madden said. “We’ve been around the game for a long time, and have been the No. 1 [sports] game [in the U.S.] for a long time. There’s a cultural resonance there, and we’re definitely a big part of building a deeper and more passionate fan.”

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