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October 6, 2015

john madden

Could Rex Ryan Be the Next John Madden?

by Joel Keller, posted Sep 10th 2010 4:30PM
Rex Ryan, head coach of the New York JetsAnyone who follows the NFL or New York sports has probably heard Jets head coach Rex Ryan's shtick by now. He's blustery, boastful, and likes to use colorful language.

But now the rest of the country is seeing what the hubbub around Ryan has been about via the ever-interesting HBO series 'Hard Knocks,' which documented the Jets training camp this summer. Ryan's national profile has skyrocketed, leading Bob Raissman of the New York Daily News to already wonder if Ryan can be the plain-spoken heir apparent to John Madden in the broadcast booth.

It's an interesting thought, one that has some merit. But if Ryan were to make his way into the booth after his coaching career is over, he's going to have to make some changes in order to be successful.

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NFL Pro and CBS Broadcaster Tom Brookshier Dead at 78

by Allison Waldman, posted Feb 1st 2010 5:28PM
tom_brookshier_philadelphia_eaglesIf you're old enough to remember before the merger between the NFL and the AFL, or if you're a Philly football fan, the name Tom Brookshier is a familiar one for you. Philly fans will remember Tom as a hard-hitting defensive back and part of the 1960 Philadelphia Eagle championship team.

But for the mainstream NFL fan, Tom Brookshier was the sideman to Pat Summerall before John Madden. That was when the NFC was on CBS, and Summerall and Brookshier were the top broadcasting team.

On Friday night, January 29, Tom Brookshier succumbed to cancer at the age of 78. At his hospital bedside when he died were his wife, Barbara, and his partner for so many years, Pat Summerall.

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Who's the top football broadcaster on TV today?

by Allison Waldman, posted Nov 22nd 2009 1:03PM
gary_danielson_cbsWhat does it say about the state of television broadcasting when the voice of television football is a guy who's voice is indiscernible? Is there really nobody that's filled the void since John Madden stopped acting out in the booth with the booms and the pows and the turducken and horse trailer references? Afraid so. According to Sporting News' list of the Top 25 Football Broadcasters in America, CBS football broadcaster Gary Danielson is number one.

Sporting News used a measuring system based on fan reaction and the input of its reporters and editors (including SportsBusiness Journal/SportsBusiness Daily), and despite the fact that Danielson's voice is pretty much just like Bob Griese's (I always confuse the two), he's considered the best because "he explains it before most of us have seen it." That's on target. He is pretty smart, just unmemorable.

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NBC renews deal with the NFL

by Allison Waldman, posted Aug 21st 2009 9:29AM
NFL_Sunday_Night_Football_NBCIf there's one night of television that NBC has a handle on, it's Sunday. At least during football season. Football Night In America works, and you know the old saying, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." That said, NBC has renewed its NFL deal for two more years. The new deal – the extension – secures that NBC will be broadcasting NFL games through 2013, so there will be plenty of games for all those analysts to yap about.

NBC has nearly enough guys to field a team on the pre-game show: Bob Costas, Dan Patrick, Keith Olbermann, Tony Dungy, Tiki Barber, Rodney Harrison ... with Al Michaels and Cris Collinsworth calling the games. Will we notice that John Madden is gone? Probably not, especially if the games are good.

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Dungy in, Bettis Out at NBC's Football Night in America

by Allison Waldman, posted Jun 3rd 2009 12:04PM
Tony DungyNBC continues to play musical chairs on Football Night in America, the network's Sunday night blanket coverage of the NFL including a prime time game. (I'm surprised NBC hasn't added Jay Leno to the broadcast!) The latest change is an interesting one: Super Bowl winning coach Tony Dungy is joining the panel and former running back Jerome Bettis is out. What's interesting is that they are two completely different types.

Bettis, whose nickname is "The Bus," is well-known as the smiling winner from the 2006 Pittsburgh Steelers' Super Bowl team. He's loud, boisterous and a larger-than-life personality. Dungy, on the other hand, was the architect and head man for the 2007 Indianapolis Colts' Super Bowl championship. He is cerebral and thoughtful and the author of a bestselling memoir, Quiet Strength: The Principles, Practices, and Priorities of a Winning Life. You could say that the two men are the anti-thesis of each other, which is likely why NBC has made the switch.

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Monday Night Football shakeup: Kornheiser out, Gruden in

by Allison Waldman, posted May 18th 2009 3:37PM
Monday nightThere'll be a new face in the Monday Night Football booth this season. Pardon The Interruption's Tony Kornheiser is out after three years and former Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach – and Super Bowl winner -- Jon Gruden, is in. Gruden, who was dumped by the Bucs at the end of last season, has been sitting in on ESPN as a commentator, so this is a logical progression for him, although he does claim that he wants to be a head coach again some time in the future.

That's an interesting notion because usually when a guy gets into the booth, he doesn't get out. Dick Vermeil is one of the few to jump back and forth; John Madden, who retired from NBC less than a month ago, was one who never returned to the sidelines.

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Ebersol says Madden retirement will stick; Collinsworth named as replacement

by Nick Zaino, posted Apr 16th 2009 2:24PM
John Madden retiresJohn Madden is done. NBC announced today that Madden, perhaps the most famous broadcaster in football history apart from Howard Cosell, is retiring from the booth after covering the NFL for 30 years, winning 16 Emmys and the admiration of football friends everywhere.

Madden addressed listeners this morning on KCBS in San Francisco about the decision, which was obviously not easy for him. "I decided to retire," he said. "Heck I can't even say it. It's tough, not because I'm not sure it's the right time. I really feel strongly this is the right time. I'm just going to miss everything about it because I enjoyed it so much."

Football is in Madden's blood. He's a Hall of Fame coach, winning the Super Bowl with the Raiders in 1977, a college stand-out offensive tackle from California Polytechnic State University, and his Madden NFL is a perennial best-selling video game on multiple platforms. He joined ABC's Monday Night Football crew in 2002, and spent the past three years on NBC's Sunday Night Football.

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John Madden retires from NFL broadcasting

by Allison Waldman, posted Apr 16th 2009 12:29PM
madden nbcBoom! Faster than you can say, "Tough actin' Tinactin," NFL Hall of Famer John Madden, the legendary voice of Monday Night Football and the creator of EA Sports video game Madden NFL Football, has decided to take himself out of the game. Madden's retiring from broadcasting. He'll be leaving NBC's Football Game of the Week as the color commentator; Al Michaels is continuing at the play by play voice.

The fact that Madden has retired at 73 is not really a surprise. This is the same guy that walked away from the Oakland Raiders head coaching position (when it still was a prestigious gig) after winning a Super Bowl and while he was still a young man.

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Say goodbye to Frank TV

by Nick Zaino, posted Mar 6th 2009 1:31PM
Frank CaliendoThe first season of Frank Caliendo' s Frank TV debuted with some of the strongest numbers TBS had seen with over three million viewers for its first episode. That was bolstered by a constant barrage of spots during the MLB playoffs, and although that first run was cut to five episodes by the writers' strike, the show's future seemed bright.

Now season two is in the books, and that will do it for Frank TV. Broadcasting & Cable reported yesterday that Caliendo's series has been canceled.

Caliendo entered the second season in an optimistic mood. He had made some changes with the bigger budget TBS gave him, adding people to the cast to address the major criticism from Season One that Caliendo was playing every part. When doing impressions is your main strength, you're probably going to need an ensemble cast. Caliendo is one of the most talented mimics in comedy - watch his face during his signature George W. Bush or John Madden impressions. He gets the physical tics, as well as the voice, perfect.

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John Madden parks the Cruiser for a week

by Joel Keller, posted Oct 13th 2008 7:08PM
John MaddenTwo-and-a-half years ago, I asked the (admittedly) dumb question, "Could Frank Caliendo take John Madden's place?" At the time, my contention was that Caliendo's loopy Madden impression was no longer that far off reality, and that Madden had become such a caricature of himself that Frank could have stepped in and no one would have known the difference.

If NBC Sports president Dick Ebersol had a sense of daring, he could have tried that experiment this Sunday night, as Madden is going to sit out NBC's broadcast of the Buccaneers-Seahawks game in Tampa. The week off was Ebersol's idea; last night's game was in San Diego, making a cross-country trek for Madden and his famous Cruiser (he doesn't fly) right before a week off, as NBC defers to the World Series.

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NBC wrap-up: Slater's split personality, and Selma Blair's a wise-ass - TCA Report

by Joel Keller, posted Jul 22nd 2008 10:28PM
Kath & Kim panel
Today was the very last day of the press tour here in Beverly Hills. It was "TCA Day," with members of the association (including me) going to the Warner Brothers lot to visit the sets of ER, Pushing Daisies, and Chuck, where we spoke to cast members and producers (Oh, we went to the set of America's Best Dance Crew, but let's just forget I mentioned that one). Then we bused it over to the Fox lot, where Joss Whedon showed us around the set of Dollhouse, and the entire cast of King of the Hill gave a table read of their 250th episode. All this fun will be in upcoming posts later this summer.

Despite some of the griping you may have seen from me, it's been lots of fun. It's just a very tiring experience. Case in point: On Monday, NBC decided to close out the press conference portion of the tour by having us sit through ten panels, five of them after lunch. Here's a wrap-up post that goes over some of what went on yesterday that I haven't already covered.

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And now, a word about the two-bit weasel slug

by Bob Sassone, posted Aug 16th 2006 3:36PM

Tony KornheiserAh, yes, the two-bit weasel slug. I remember seeing something about this on Animal Planet. They're only found in certain climates around the world, and are usually harmless, unless provoked by sports columnists.

A few days ago we talked about Tony Kornheiser's worry that he would be a flop on Monday Night Football. I didn't see his first performance so I can't comment on it (but you can go ahead and put your comments below), but his coworker at The Washington Post did and wrote a review of it. And now Kornheiser is fighting back at Paul Farhi's review, calling him a two-bit weasel slug and saying he's someone "I would gladly run over with a Mack truck."

For the record, the coworkers here at TV Squad never say bad things about each other. Ever.

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Kornheiser freaked out about Monday Night Football

by Bob Sassone, posted Aug 14th 2006 4:09PM

Tony KornheiserThe ESPN sports show host (and subject of that lame Jason Alexander sitcom from a couple of years ago, Listen Up) makes his debut tonight on Monday Night Football, a preseason game between the Raiders and the Vikings, and he's a little worried about it. As he says in a not-so-subtle way in this New York Times piece, "I'm going to bomb."

Maybe this is just a way of lowering expectations. He's not going to bomb or be terrible. I mean, Tony, it can't be any worse than Listen Up, can it?

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The Five: Mike C's fall picks

by Michael Canfield, posted Aug 4th 2006 2:36PM
Allison MackFrom John Madden to Sarah Paulson, Bradley Whitford, and superheroes on the small screen (where they really flourish) -- here are the five things I'm looking forward to this Fall TV season:

1. Lex, Lana, and General Zod love triangle: Forget Bryan Singer's not-too-bad film, forget the foul and execrable My Super Ex-Girlfriend, Smallville does comics right. And no ditzy bimbo sidekick for television's Lex Luthor, who appears to have won the heart of Clark's ex, Lana Lang, over the course of last season, and now he's possessed by the Superman II film villain, Zod. That's character development that movies, (even 2 hour 45 minute movies) just don't have time for. A Smallville cast addition: Jimmy Olsen? Who cares. And is that freckled goofball the best they can do as a love interest for adorable Chloe (Allison Mack)? Also, I'm thankful the suits passed on Aquaman. There's a reason Aquaman is the fake movie on Entourage -- the very idea is just ridiculous. A superhero should have powers that at least outweigh his weaknesses. (Has gills and the ability to bond with lobster and other entrees, but can't be out of water more than one hour?) Now, Justin Hartley is freed up to play Green Arrow on a Smallville arc. Come to think of it, cut Chloe a break and hook her up with Green Arrow.

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Tirico, Kornheiser to join ESPN's Monday Night Football: Michaels to NBC?

by Joel Keller, posted Feb 8th 2006 5:42PM
Madden and Michaels to be reunited on
NBC?In a development that surprised no one, ESPN has announced that Mike Tirico and Tony Kornheiser will join Joe Theismann in the booth for their version of Monday Night Football, set to debut this fall. Because Kornheiser also co-hosts the popular ESPN show Pardon The Interruption, this means that Tony and his PTI compadre Michael Wilbon will take the show on the road every Monday during the football season, airing the show from the location of that night's game.

So, what happened with Al Michaels? Wasn't he supposed to be doing MNF next year? Well, considering the fact that a) he has also been removed as ABC's number-one NBA announcer (to be replaced by Mike Breen), and b) there have been rumors floating around that he wanted to break his newly-signed ESPN contract and join John Madden on NBC's new Sunday Night broadcast, chances are good that Super Bowl XL was the last game Michaels called in his thirty-year ABC career. No official announcement has come out yet, but expect to see Michaels on the Peacock Network next fall.

More information can be found in this Reuters article, with actual quotes on Michaels from ESPN executives included.

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