John Madden has become a household name in America. Aside from EA’s flagship football franchise, a certain stand-up comedian’s impression of the analyst has made Madden even more ubiquitous. But as time has passed, Madden himself has actually had less and less involvement in the video game series that bears his name. When Madden made the next-gen jump, the Hall of Fame coach was relegated to the seldom-used “Ask Madden” function.
He and his play-by-play partner, Al Michaels, were replaced in the broadcast booth by a “radio announcer” who showed more enthusiasm for the on-field action. But many gamers, who had become accustomed to years of Madden/Summerall or Madden/Michaels calling the game, ultimately felt that he was entirely too impersonal.
Now it appears that EA has heard your bitching; they’re going to do away with the radio guy. In an interview with GameZone, EA Audio Director Aubrey Hodges let slip this juicy tidbit:
I know it's kind of early in the year but can you give us an idea of what kind of sound changes we can expect from Madden, NHL, FIFA — all the different sports games?
AH: I have to be careful about this. Although I can... We are making a change in the Madden commentators. I can't mention who they are. We are using some of the biggest names in the business. We listened to the fans and we are making a change. And that will be more than one. It will be a fantastic year for Madden fans, I think they're gonna be thrilled with this new direction. I don't think I can say much more than that.
The interview goes on to discuss changes in the Tiger Woods franchise, but let’s stick with Madden for a moment here. What do we see happening for Madden NFL 09? Will the turducken fan be back in the booth, or will a different dynamic duo be calling the action? Awful Announcing threw out some suggestions, and if you think about it, there really are only a select few groups of people that EA could be talking about when they say “the biggest names in the business.” My money’s on the current FOX Sports pairing of Joe Buck and Troy Aikman — what about you guys?