It's Christmas morning 2003. All you heard throughout the year was 'that's too expensive' or 'you don't need another video game' from your parents.
But as you wander cautiously into the living room, your eyes catch that perfect rectangle wrapped safely beneath the tree. Your heart starts racing. It's the first present you grab. You tear into the paper...
It's hard to imagine any other human having the same impact on a sport the way John Madden did on the game of football.
The legendary coach, sportscaster, and purveyor of all things football, died yesterday at the age of 85.
His illustrious career included a Super Bowl XI win in 1977 as head coach of the Oakland Raiders, 16 Emmy wins for his outstanding game coverage 11 of which were Super Bowls. And lest we forget the Madden video game franchise.
In 1981 Madden joined Pat Summerall in the booth for CBS, and the dynamic duo was born. Summerall on play-by-play and Madden as the color commentator.
The two even shared a cameo together in the 2000 film, The Replacements.
Madden would become famous for his passionate one-liners such as 'BOOM', 'THWAP', 'WHACK', etc...
John Madden was a larger than life personality, and that always shined through in his broadcasts. (You know when Family Guy pokes fun at you, you're doing something right.)
Madden's love and passion for the game was unmatched.
In 2006, he was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Another accolade in a list of many.
One of his greatest contributions may have come in 1989 when EA Sports released his video game, John Madden Football.
With a masters degree in physical education and a love for the game of football, at his core John Madden was a teacher.
According to those close to Madden, the original concept for the Madden video game was to use it as a tool to teach kids plays and fundamentals of the game.
That's the Madden I'll remember most. Passing his love of the game on to others. Rest in peace, John Madden.
1936 - 2021.