I agree: John Madden’s rep is inflated. Not only as a coach, but as a play-by-play guy too. I generally found what he said to be less amazing than how people took it, the type of insights that one can get by just watching the game. He’s a cool guy, seems like the type you’d enjoy a conversation over beers with, but by that qualification anybody could be football analysts. I’d personally like NBC to put Olbermann & Jerome Bettis in the in-game booth, they play off of each other so well. Unfortunately that would disrupt Countdown, so it wouldn’t be done, though IMO that show has cratered since Bush left office*.
That said, the Madden video game franchise is an insult to him still. The series has sucked since ’95, as graphically it’s gotten cartoonish & the controls feel like the game is on auto-pilot half the time. I’m not buying another NFL liscensed game until 2k Sports can make one again.
(* – y’know who needs to get that type of TV show? IOZ. But I digress…)