John Madden, the most recognized analyst in television sports, is calling it quits.
In a statement issued Thursday morning, Madden, who was NBC's No. 1 NFL analyst on the Peacock's Sunday night package, said: "It's time. I'm 73 years old...It's been such a great ride...the NFL has been my life for more than 40 years, it has been my passion - it still is. I appreciate all of the people who are and were such an important part of the most enjoyable, most fun anyone could have...It's still fun and that's what makes it hard and that's why it took me a few months to make a decision."
There was some speculation last season concerning Madden's future when he missed one game. At that time, NBC Sports boss Dick Ebersol said Madden just needed a brief rest.
Ebersol said he spent all day Wednesday with Madden at his Bay area home. "I treied every way I could to make sure he was sure about his decision," Ebersol said. "And in true John Madden fashion, he was sure."
Madden, who coached the Oakland Raiders to seven AFC Western Division titles and a win over the Vikings, in Super Bowl XI, started his broadcasting career atCBS. He also worked with Fox and ABC on "Monday Night Football."
His likely replacement at NBC will be Cris Collinsworth