Saturday, April 18, 2009

Dark Days

It is a darker world today than it was yesterday. John Madden has retired. For anyone who does not know, John Madden is a footbal legend, first as a coach and then as a broadcaster. He is retiring and, for me, watching the games will not be the same without Madden's unique voice.
How lucky for Madden though to have spent his whole career in the field he He played football, then he coached football, then he broadcasted about football. He has written books about football. He made a video game about football and he has been in movies talking about football.
Hmmmm, maybe this is not so much "luck" after all. Maybe Madden demonstrated an unflinching approach to making his passion become his livelihood. I am sure there were times early on when Madden thought he might end up having to be a salesman or a construction worker or whatever, but he refused to to that. He devoted his life to football, but not just as an interest. He made himself an expert on it. He read everything about it. He researched it. He met and talked to the experts in the field at the time. Even at the height of his popularity, he studied hours and hours of film each week so that he could talk coherently about the game. He could have given up a long time ago and become something else. Instead, he devoted his life to his passion and his passion supported him. He made himself and expert on it. He became a name that will be associated with the game of football for decades (at least). He couldn't be anything else. He became Madden.

How lucky.

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