If you haven't watched the All Madden documentary from Fox that aired Christmas Day, do yourself a favor and watch it tonight while all of these John Madden tributes are rolling in. I had it saved and was planning to watch it Tuesday night and then it came down that Madden had passed away Tuesday.
Let's just say by the end of the show, I was nearly in tears. It brought back all those memories of being a kid in the 1980s and Madden broadcasting the late CBS game as my dad gave us the word that the chili was ready to crush. Winters seemed snowy back then in southwestern Ohio. Very cold. Dark. But there were always those Summerall and Madden afternoon Redskins or 49ers games to get us through. I'd be filling up NFL sticker books with my Christmas stocking hauls and listening to those games religiously. I can still go back in my mind to 1987-1989 specifically and remember the setup in our house and how we'd spend Sundays with the NFL.
I think the thing that will stick with me about Madden's broadcasting career is just how fun he made things. Thanksgiving broadcasts were so much fun. Those frozen tundra Green Bay games out of Pat & John were works of art. The All-Madden Team was genius and, again, made things fun.
Will there ever be another Madden? Clearly not in our lifetime. Imagine -- in 2022 or beyond -- a blue-collar everyman crisscrossing the United States in a bus to broadcast NFL games.
The guy was perfect for the time he served as the NFL's circus ringleader. I'm just happy to have memories of 20 years of his career.
• Beau in Toledo shares his thoughts on Madden:
Hall of Fame
Those words are not vigorous enough to describe what John Madden meant to the NFL and all of Us who grew up listening to his voice and his stalwart description of The Game. He used His wit, knowledge, and the available broadcast technology to give us a view into the mind of a coach and player, undoubtedly making many a future coach and player that much better just by watching his broadcasts.
He, along with Pat Summerall, made most NFL games feel like you were sitting on the couch between pops and grandpa watching an epic battle between the Bears and the Packers. His persona, vocal cadence, and knowledge of the game place him among the Mt. Rushmore of Broadcasters, including the aforementioned Mr. Summerall, Ernie Harwell, Chris Schenkel, Jack Buck, Howard Cosell, and many other greats of the booth.
Rest In Peace, Coach
• Daniel G. is keyed in on my recent Bourbon Bros. diatribe and writes:
Saw this and thought of you.. found in Erie, PA. Probably for bourbon snobs.
I have to believe that my ancestors had some sort of relation to the original Kinsey Whiskey folks. My Kinsey ancestors came to the Philadelphia region back in the day and the Kinsey Whiskey is now produced by New Liberty Distillery out of a north Philly neighborhood.
That's right, it's very possible that I have long lost Kinsey family members that are certified Bourbon Bros. and it's something I'll have to come to terms with. At least I can be certain that my ancestors weren't members of the bearded Triple IPA mafia that made fun of Busch Light drinkers over the last decade before they pivoted to becoming Bourbon Bros.
• Grant B. has been out on the road and has some observations:
I traveled over the holidays and I noticed a few things:
I know we are led to believe that we are as divided as ever, and maybe we are, but the humanity and grace I witnessed while traveling through the airports gave me hope that maybe things are either not as bad as they want us to think, or we are getting back to doing this thing together.
My friend, Canoe Kirk, brought up a great question this morning in the Instagram DMs.
Are you more likely to get in a fight at an NFL game or on an airplane?
I think based on the sheer volume of flights and people on those flights, it's more likely right now to get in a fight on an airplane, but it's close. For example, there were two fights at the Cowboys game alone on Sunday. I have to believe there have been more than two fights on planes this week. As for arguments and verbal attacks, despite what Grant B. reports, I have to believe planes are right up there with NFL stadiums.
• Ian M. slid into the Twitter DMs to ask a very important question:
Is the woke bracket coming back this year? Please I hope so!
100% the woke bracket will be back in March/April. We'll have to work on the exact dates, but I have three main jobs around here. (1.) Screencaps (2.) Thursday Night Mowing League (3.) Woke bracket challenge
And trust me, it's a job. I put together all the graphics for the posts. I write everything. I keep track of the standings. There's promotional work. Clay has me come on the radio (not sure if that will happen this year since most of his listeners don't care about Rovell). I even have to find gambling experts to weigh in on the matchups.
The woke bracket challenge is definitely a busy time of year for me to say the least.
We'll get to work on this soon. Hang tight.
• Michael S. writes:
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!! The smoked prime you posted looked amazing! Did you use a dry rub to get that crust on it??
Please direct me to the recipe if it's online anywhere, or if it's an old family recipe, perhaps you would like to extend the holiday spirit and share.
Hoping the best for you and your family in the new year,
Michael is talking about the prime rib sent in by Ryan W. I'll have to let the pitmaster explain the crust because this is outside my expertise. I have to agree, though, this prime rib looks amazing. Here I wasn't even setting out to create a daily column where guys sent in photos of their meat. It just happened naturally.
• And with that, let's get this show on the road. Let's hope for bowl games to actually be played. Let's hope there are no surprises out of the Final Four games. Let's play some football and have some fun to end the year.
Speaking of fun, I need to call and get an indoor golf reservation.