Boom! Legendary NFL commentator John Madden is walking away from the broadcast booth after nearly 30 years.
"It's time," Madden said in a statement issued by NBC Sports, where he has worked since 2006 as an analyst on Sunday Night Football, and for whom he called the most recent Super Bowl. "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.
"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," Madden said.
The former Oakland Raiders coach has called games for all four of the major broadcast networks. He joined CBS in 1979 after retiring from the NFL. He was lead analyst for Fox from 1994 to 2002, when he joined ABC's Monday Night Football. He left that post for NBC in 2006.
NBC Sports Chairman Dick Ebersol met with Madden in California to discuss the decision. Ebersol offered to let Madden work fewer months during the season, but Madden declined.
"I would have changed the workload, anything, to have some part of John," Ebersol said. "But just like he did with the Raiders 30 years ago, he wanted to leave at the top of his game."
During his career, Madden earned 16 sports analyst/personality Emmys and has been named Sportscaster of the Year twice. He also lent his voice and likeness to EA Sports' Madden NFL Football, the best-selling video game franchise of all time. His endorsements and video game deals will continue.
Cris Collinsworth will replace Madden in the Sunday Night Football booth next season, which kicks off Sept. 10.
Are you sad to see Madden go?