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News » Tunney side of the street


Tunney side of the street


Tunney side of the street
A fter further review ? John Madden's retirement from NFL broadcasting recalls his quote from the foreword of my book quot;Impartial Judgmentquot;: quot;I never thought that was possible. I mean, who are these guys? Ever hear of a kid growing up wanting to be a referee? Or going to college to be one? Then, all of a sudden, boom! There they are telling you what to do?quot;


Madden retired from on-field coaching in 1979 after 10 years as head coach of the Oakland Raiders with 103 regular season victories. The Raiders were the winningest team in the 70s. He's now retired from broadcasting as the quot;best there ever was.quot;

I had the privilege of refereeing in the NFL every year Madden was the Raiders coach. The Raiders were a no-holds-barred group of renegades. They played all-out, every play, every down. As a referee, it was challenging. As successful a coach as Madden was, he said later that he finally became well-known when, after his retirement, he did a Miller's Lite beer commercial by busting through a fence. His 30-year career as a broadcaster has taken that fame to the pinnacle. He was always a coach; but as a sportscaster, he coached audiences, not players.

Madden lessons stand out.

Lesson No. 1: Following their Super Bowl XI victory over the Minnesota Vikings, the Raiders started the 1977 pre-season against the Seattle Seahawks in the King Dome. Before that Seahawks game, which I was assigned to referee, I talked with Coach Madden before the game and noticed his diamond-filled Super Bowl ring. I said, quot;John, that's a beautiful ring, but I don't understand; you were the coach in Super Bowl XI and I was the referee. We were both on the field for the same three-plus hours; you got that beautiful ring and all I got was this (inexpensive) watch that the League gave me. How come what's the difference?quot; Madden smiled and said, quot;Because you don't care who wins!quot; Profound.

Lesson No. 2: After Coach Madden retired, he became a sportscaster on CBS for NFL games. His partner was Pat Summerall. Madden said he and Summerall would ask each other before EVERY game, quot;Is your bucket full?quot; Meaning, did you do your homework on the players, coaches, formations and strategies so that you could help the viewer better understand the game they were about to see. That lesson on preparation remains paramount with me today. I will miss John Madden.

Will you miss the quot;Maddenismsquot; that you have heard from the coach for the last three decades?

For more information about Jim Tunney, please visit his Web site: www.JimTunney.com , or if you would like to respond to this message, please send your email to Jim@JimTunney.com



Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: April 28, 2009

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