Though NBC has already passed the Sunday Night Football commentary torch to Chris Collinsworth, the New York Daily News’ Bob Raissman shudders at the thought of a 2009 NFL season without the dulcet tones of Hall of Famer John Madden. “Come late September, when the air gets a little cooler and the leaves are turning, does anyone doubt that Madden, whose whole life is football, is going to miss not being in the middle of his world?” asks Raissman, blissfully unaware the coach/broadcaster would just as soon watch the games at a favored eatery in El Paso, TX.
In an unprecedented move, Madden works for Fox, CBS, ESPN and NBC. Fox and CBS each provide Madden with a partial schedule of West Coast games. That sked would negate him from having to venture far from his northern California home. Madden would stay fresh. Most of these games would be regional broadcasts not seen (except for the satellite crowd) throughout the entire country.
Still, the public in markets like San Francisco, Oakland and San Diego, would be well-served by Madden’s presence. So would the networks. Just the prospect of Madden, the legend, working with a young broadcaster from CBS or Fox would generate the kind of buzz the suits love.
Madden could return to the national stage working West Coast dates on ESPN’s “MNF” and the Peacock’s “SNF” packages. Since Collinsworth is quite fond of Madden, he would readily step aside for a game, or two, and let his hero reunite with Al Exigente. As for ESPN, well, the Bristol faculty wouldn’t likely pass on a chance to bring Madden into its “MNF” booth (ESPN will air Cardinals-49ers on Dec. 14).
Raissman’s Victory Tour concept is intriguing ; why didn’t anyone propose this when Fran Healy was taken off Mets telecasts?