John Madden Made Us Smarter

John Madden doesn’t get enough credit. He’s getting plenty of love, of course, on the occasion of his retirement from football broadcasting after 30 years, but the celebration of the 73-year-old’s career still underestimates his influence. Fox Sports President Ed Goren describes Mr. Madden as “the No. 1 sports analyst on television,” but that doesn’t go far enough. Nor do his 16 Emmy Awards tell the entire story of his extraordinary impact.

Mr. Madden is a transformational figure in the history of entertainment. He changed the way that we watch television and the way we think about sports.