Football fans everywhere heard the news on Thursday: John Madden is leaving the broadcast booth. The first thing gamers wondered upon hearing the news, no doubt, was how Madden’s retirement would affect Electronic Arts’ flagship football series, “Madden NFL.”
The immediate answer is that it won’t. EA representatives confirmed to multiple media outlets Thursday that the company is under contract with Madden long-term. Who knows? At this point, EA might have enough audio of Madden that they can just splice together any words they want from previously recorded snippets, ensuring the perpetuity of the license indefinitely.
In all serious, Madden’s direct involvement with the series has declined somewhat over the years, and while the Hall of Fame coach and broadcaster told the San Jose Mercury News that he intends to become more involved with the gaming franchise, there’s something to be said for spending one’s retirement relaxing.
This Madden talk makes me wonder, though, at what point down the road will EA consider a name other than “Madden NFL” for its football franchise? At some undetermined time in the distant future, a new generation won’t have grown up watching Madden on the TV. He’ll either be some old guy from a video game, retired altogether or shuffled off this mortal coil. One day, “Madden NFL” will have the anachronistic ring that “Cosell NFL” would have today. Hopefully, “Madden NFL” won’t one day give way to “Bradshaw NFL.”