Nice piece on John Madden from Richard Sandomir:

Madden was gracious to the guests sitting on either side of him and was not distracted by their questions about football. "But if I'm talking to the guy from Safeway, I'm not asking him how many Prilosec pills he sold," he said.

An informed guest, his friend and NFL Network analyst Matt Millen, sat beside him for a while. During the San Diego-Dallas game, they spoke in tandem, with the Cowboys trailing, 20-10, with 26 seconds left.

Madden: "Kick the field goal."

Millen: "Kick the field goal."

From the set, CBS's Phil Simms said: "I'd take one shot in the end zone."

Madden: "Kick the field goal." With seven seconds left, he added: "I'd still kick a field goal. You can't win going for the touchdown." (Dallas scored a touchdown with seven seconds left but lost, 20-17.)

I know that in his last broadcasting years, folks feel like Madden declined. I don't much care about that. Madden, as much as anyone else, is responsible for my love of football. As a kid, coming up in the 80s, listening to him and Pat Summerall was like football clinic.

Semi-related, from to time I scroll through some old clips of the NFL Today from the 80s. It's amazing how much production has changed. I'm not sure the analysis is any better, though. I get the NFL Network's pregame show on Sundays. Whenever I watch, I feel like a bunch of dudes are yelling at me.

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