Legendary NFL broadcaster John Madden is retiring after nearly 30 years on television.
The former Oakland Raiders head coach has called football games for all four of the major broadcast networks, most recently with NBC, where he called Super Bowl XLIII earlier this year.
"It's time. I'm 73 years old. My 50th wedding anniversary is this fall. I have two great sons and their families and my five grandchildren are at an age now when they know when I'm home and, more importantly, when I'm not..." Madden said in a statement.
"It's been such a great ride... the NFL has been my life for more than 40 years, it has been my passion - it still is. I appreciate all of the people who are and were such an important part of the most enjoyable, most fun anyone could have... that great life with the teams, the players, the coaches, the owners, the League... my broadcasting partners Pat and Al... the production people and the fans...is still great... it's still fun and that's what it makes it hard and that's why it took me a few months to make a decision.
I still love every part of it - the travel, the practices, the game film, the games, seeing old friends and meeting new people... but I know this is the right time."
NBC Sports chairman Dick Ebersol flew to California to talk to Madden about his decision. With the 2009/2010 NFL schedule just announced, he asked Madden if he would take October and December off, while still working in the booth the other months. Madden, who does not fly, declined the offer.
"I would have changed the workload, anything, to have some part of John," Ebersol says. "But just like he did with the Raiders 30 years ago, he wanted to leave at the top of his game."
Madden has served as an analyst for NBC's Sunday Night Football since 2006, and before that on ABC's Monday Night Football from 2002-2006. Cris Collinsworth will replace him in the Sunday night Football broadcast booth next season. He was the lead analyst for Fox from 1994-2002, and before that worked for CBS, which he joined in 1979 after retiring from the NFL.
Madden coached the Oakland Raiders from 1969-1979, and was at the time the youngest head coach in the American Football League.
He is the recipient of 16 Sports analyst/personality Emmy Awards and the American Sportscasters Association named him sportscaster of the year twice, in 1985 and 1992.
He also gave his likeness and expertise to what is the best selling videogame franchise of all time, EA Sports' Madden NFL Football, which has sold more than 65 million copies since its first edition was released more than 20 years ago.
His endorsement deals will continue, as will the videogame.