It was widely speculated that, after recently retiring from broadcasting, John Madden could step right into a position with the Raiders in some capacity. Whether that be as a General Manager or just as a Consultant. He was immediately asked about such a career move for which he has said repeatedly that he has no intention of holding any such position.
In a recent interview with Los Angeles Times writer Sam Farmer, John Madden explained that while he has no intention of returning to the game of football as a job, he will be attending all Raider home games this season from the suite that he owns.
So there is no doubt that he will at very least be around at all times which means that if, after some time off, and a season of Raider football, who knows what could happen? If he feels the ‘itch’ he could decide to move from the suite to the office.
“You know how people say, ‘You have to let it come to you’? I think that whatever is going to come up is going to come to me, and it hasn’t yet. People say, ‘How do you feel now that you’re retired?’ Well, I’m really not retired yet because this is my normal off-season right now. When I’m really going to feel the effect of retirement is when August comes and I miss that first game in Canton, [Ohio], and then I miss the preseason games, and then the regular-season games”, said Madden.
Well, the Raider Nation and indeed the entire sports nation will certainly miss Madden and the flair he brought to the game. The difference is that while he has settled in with moving on from broadcasting, the Raiders still clearly have his heart. No doubt he will have a captive audience in his luxury suite during games when he speaks of the intricacies of the game. I wonder what kind of wagers will be placed as to how quickly he tries to draw circles on the TV by his seat out of pure habit?
It is no secret that John Madden and Bill Walsh were extremely close. The bond between them was strong throughout their careers and long after. Those two probably learned more from each other about football and life than any of us will ever know on the subject. The main difference is simply that Madden found his calling after his coaching career while Walsh spent the rest of his life searching for something he would never find.
“I was with him the day before he died and we were talking about the old days and decisions he made in his life”, Madden recounted. ”He knew he was going to die. And he said at that time that the biggest mistake that he made was retiring after winning the Super Bowl. He said that he was just tired and drained and didn’t give himself enough time. He did it too quickly, and then when he wanted to come back it was too late.”
So take all the time you need John. Enjoy your retirement and time spent with your family. Find some resort (within driving distance of course) this offseason so you can recharge those batteries that have been running for the last fifty plus years. Then come back in August, ready to see some Raider football purely as a fan.
We will all watch Raider games feeling a whole lot better knowing you are up in your suite cheering on the team you love and dissecting the finer points of this Raider team and their game plan. And I am sure that while you won’t hold the title of “Consultant”, there is no one alive that Al Davis respects more than you. And that should make the Raider Nation feel pretty safe knowing that you will be around.