Madden Hangs Up the Telestrator

Highlights from Slate’s coverage of John Madden over the years.

Venerable football commentator and video game titan John Madden announced his retirement Wednesday after a 30-year career calling games. In 2002, Robert Weintraub was unimpressed with Madden’s debut on Monday Night Football alongside partner Al Michaels. The next year, Chris Suellentrop described the Madden video game series—then in its 14th iteration—as the new Wheaties box, the arbiter of status for players hoping to be enshrined on its cover. Felix Gillette found the 2007 version of the game so nuanced that it taught him more about football than watching the real thing. Last year, Slate V chronicled the storied history of the Telestrator, the electronic crayon that Madden debuted in 1982.