There is no denying that John Madden's resume is certainly extensive, very impressive and speaks volumes to the success he's achieved.
* Professional football coach, where he was the youngest coach to win 100 career regular season games, including a Super Bowl title and finishing without ever having a losing season as a head coach -- check.
* Broadcasting career, where he lasted 30 years and became arguably the greatest and most beloved color announcer in the history of professional football, where he earned 16 richly deserved Emmy awards -- check.
* National Football League Hall of Fame member, where he was inducted in August of 2006 -- check.
* Cultural icon, with his name -- and voice -- are associated with the top selling sports home video game of all time -- check again.
But Madden's crowning glory is the section of his resume which usually gets one line, buried in the middle of a lengthy story, but is the most important in his mind -- loving husband, devoted father and doting grandfather.
It's those final three accomplishments which drove Madden to retire from broadcasting in April of this year, leaving behind the incredible legacy he created in 30 years of coming into America's households through their televisions each fall and winter during football season.
Even though Madden loves football -- the man still lives, eats and breathes the game -- make no mistake about it, his first love always has and always will be his family. Countless times over the years, Madden would draw reference to Pleasanton and his family on both television and any radio programs he would do. It's educated football fans across the country as to exactly where Pleasanton, Calif. is located.
Now after stepping away from the career which kept him on the road from late August through January for the last 30 years, Madden, who has put Pleasanton on the map, now has the chance to be John Madden, the full-time family man.
At 73 years old, with five grandchildren and his 50th wedding anniversary with wife Virginia coming in December, it was time to walk away from the broadcast side of football and focus on family.
One week ago was a perfect example, as Madden was able to sit high up the stands at Foothill High and watch his sons Mike and Joe coach their freshman football team to a 34-7 win over Miramonte. Running around John and Virginia were some of the grandchildren. It was a classic scene and one which seemed so natural. There's no denying he was enjoying every minute of it.
Had it been a year earlier, chances are he'd have been on his bus heading out for this week's Sunday night football game.
"I think at sometime in your life, you have to get that," Madden said of the family time. "When you're a coach you don't get to see others play and when you're a broadcaster, you zone in on your own game. This is one of the great things now. For the first time, I can sit and watch other people play during the football season. I will be able to watch Joe and Mike coach the freshman team and be able to see the grandkids' games."
In other words, the loss to football fans across the country is the Madden family and Pleasanton's gain.
It's been a while since Madden has had the luxury of setting his own agenda this time of year. In fact, since 1950, when Madden was a freshmen in high school, he's seen his fall schedule pretty well set with football, first as a player in high school and college, then as a coach and finally, the incredible career as a broadcaster.
Now it appears, on the surface at least, Madden has time to burn and he's getting no shortage of suggestions how to fill the time.
"During football season, I would never see other people, but now I've got people asking me to go duck hunting," Madden said with a laugh. "(The fall) is duck hunting season, so I've never duck hunted and I'm not getting started now. I even had someone ask me to go dove hunting and I didn't even know they hunted dove."
While some may think Madden now has an empty slate, that couldn't be further from the truth, as Madden's plate is still very full. For starters, Madden is now a special advisor to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, a job which includes a conference call once a week, as well as one face-to-face meeting a month, which will probably take place in New York.
"I am trying to keep this to football as it's played," explained Madden of the advisory position. "There are plenty of guys in the NFL office who do the business and revenue sharing. I want this to be about the game as it's played on the field and everything which goes with that. It's about the competitive spirit -- making sure it doesn't go in the wrong direction."
In addition, Madden is also the chairman of the Coaches Sub-Committee, which also involves a weekly conference call with coaches around the NFL. Add in any promotion he does for the legendary Madden football video game -- and it's obvious he's not going to be just sitting around.
"I was worried about being bored," Madden said. "But advising the commissioner is going to take some time and the coaching sub-committee is taking up some time. I'm not bored yet."
And when he needs his football fix, Madden has a set-up which would make any football fan envious. Located in his Pleasanton office, Madden's got a man-cave for the ages, with nine, 63-inch monitors, as well as a big projection screen. It gives Madden the capabilities to watch every NFL game on TV, with audio options available for all 10 screens.
"The idea started years ago with CBS," Madden said. "They had a room with all the games they called, 'Roast Beef Central.' I had some weekends off and would go in there to watch all the games."
Even with the NFL season in the early stages, it didn't take Madden long to immerse himself in an NFL Sunday, something he's never been able to do before.
"I had all nine games on at 10 a.m., then the three or four games at 1 p.m., followed by the Sunday night game," Madden said of the first week of the season. "By the end of the day, I had a pretty good idea what was going on."
Week two of the NFL season saw Madden back on his bus and headed to Dallas for the regular season grand opening of the new Cowboys Stadium, which featured the Sunday night game of the week with the New York Giants.
"People ask me what I did with the bus," Madden said. "I still have a bus and I am still going to travel. The first two weeks (of the NFL season) have been pretty hectic. I went to the Raiders (Monday night) game the first week, then down to Dallas. Just because I stepped away from broadcasting, I didn't lose my passion or energy. I don't want to just sit in a rocking chair -- that's the last damn thing I want to do."
Credit his passion for football or his love and adoration for his family for his staying busy, as certainly both are true. But also give an assist to the late Walter Cronkite.
"When Cronkite died, I remember hearing something he said," Madden said. "When someone asked him for his advice to someone retiring, he said, 'Don't do it.' I really changed my tune by saying I didn't retire, I just retired from broadcasting football. I still have all these things -- I just retired from a part of it. I can see Cronkite's point and it's well taken."