If you love football, chances are that John Madden had a hand in establishing your appreciation of the game, either as an over-enthusiastic and iconic color commentator from 1979-2008 for CBS, FOX, ABC, and NBC or as the face and more recently the name attached to EA Sports’ Madden Football franchise. And that’s to say nothing about the 10 years he spent leading the Raiders as their coach, as they won one Super Bowl and 103 games.
My point is that Madden, who turns 79 today, is football, and even though he’s fed thousands of valuable insights to armchair quarterbacks by way of their TV sets, he’ll probably be equally remembered as the Godfather of the Turducken, a Tinactin pitchman, and for all of the weird and wonderful flubs for which Will Ferrell’s biggest fan is responsible. With that in mind, here’s a look at some of the best quotes and a few glorious clips that display the essence of John Madden to the masses:
“Have you ever seen a defensive back with a good personality who was any good?”
It’s a good quote that becomes a GREAT quote because Madden is smacking down Pat Summerall’s polite praise of Burt Reynolds, actor/mustache model/former defensive back who Summerall apparently coached at Florida State University.
“Playing in this nice weather really makes me remember all the times I got stung by a bee.”
How many times, John?
“One thing that Tillman is really good at is stripping the ball. He’s one of the better strippers in all of the NFL.”
Madden picked up on what he said immediately and barely stifled a giggle. Which, in many ways, took all the beauty out of this flub for me.
“There’s always been like a mother and father. This is the father bucket, this is the mother bucket, and since the last game, they had a baby bucket.”
Apparently, Madden has an insane belief that buckets can procreate. Which is something that, I suppose, involves spigots and maybe careful stacking?
“Here’s a guy who can use his arms and legs at the same time.”
Madden is equipped to be a judge on Dancing with the Stars.