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John Madden, legendary NFL sportscaster and coach, dies at 85


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He was the coach on my favorite team when I was a teen. I loved the "run to the left" philosophy they had at the time. Madden later said it was because he had two All-Pros there, Upshaw & Shell. Stabler was a LH QB as well, which even added to the fun. Icing on the cake was 41 year old QB George Blanda winning critical games when the other QB's were hurt enough to not be able to play. He played like a 30 year old. 

I've got all of Madden's books. I don't know if he wrote them or transcribed it verbally, but they're great reads. "One knee equals two feet" was his phrase in a game he was doing. I happened to be watching it live when he made that up. He was also amazed when a guy jumped from the upper level of a tunnel to catch an extra point kick. Obviously this was before they would raise the net behind the posts. I bet the guy dropped 15-20 feet too. He also caught the kick in mid-air, no small feat, IMO. Madden laughed his head off & keep showing the replay.

Kids are too young to have seen them, but he helped make the original Miller Lite commercials. Light beer was brand new to the public then, most men wouldn't touch it as it was thought of as a "sissy" beer. Miller hired a bunch of retired players (another new idea, everyone used current players. Who wanted retired, old farts?) like Bob Uker, Bubba Smith, Dick Butkus, Ben Davidson, Wilt Chamberlin, Ray Nitschke, Billy Martin, Mickey Spillane & some new guy by the name of Rodney Dangerfield. 

These were the few commercials that tv viewers would stay to watch instead of getting up from their seats. Madden would burst through some sort of paper background, waving his arms around like a madman. Funny as hell.

Best thing I ever heard from Madden was when he described going to a seminar held by Vince Lombardi. Madden was still a college coach then, I think? He said Lombardi talked about nothing but his famous Packer sweep for about four hours. Nothing else, just that. 😄

In the current time of buttoned-down coaches, political correctness & coach-speak, John Madden was a great interview for the media. Even when broadcasting he would be quick to say when a rule was something he didn't like. I doubt anyone ever was brave enough to ask him to tone it down either. LOL! 

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6 hours ago, bobsguns said:

Miller hired a bunch of retired players (another new idea, everyone used current players. Who wanted retired, old farts?) like Bob Uker, Bubba Smith, Dick Butkus, Ben Davidson, Wilt Chamberlin, Ray Nitschke, Billy Martin, Mickey Spillane & some new guy by the name of Rodney Dangerfield. 

Interesting that the old Miller Lite commercials would come up on a gun forum and Grits Gresham wouldn't be mentioned

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Loved Madden as a broadcaster but first as coach of the Raiders ..... Shell, Upshaw, Stabler, old man Blanda, Ted “The Stork” Hendricks, etc.  

Once when “The Snake” was injured and Blanda had filled in as QB, after the game a reporter asked Shell “What is the main difference in the huddle between the two QBs?”   To which Shell supposedly replied “Well, with Blanda you don’t smell whiskey!”   What a coach and what a team!

And the miles Madden racked up in that bus as broadcaster because he refused to fly!!  Plus he was strong enough to get along with Al Davis (at least most of the time).

Thanks for the memories Coach.  I reckon the angels took you to Glory in a big ole bus instead of flying you there on their wings.

RIP

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