Wednesday, May 28, 2008
Very sad day, I say.
Madden was not liked by all, which is completely understandable. His shtick was more shock-jock-ish on the radio personality pendulum, than say...lame ass Mike Tirico. Of course his constant self-proclaimed "genius" remarks were meant to get under your skin. But if you took Madden too serious, that's where he got you. That's where he struck a nerve. Lighten up, I say. He'd often poke fun of the white trash yinzer contingent, and if you take a step back from the Black & Gold Kool-aid, even a die hard can admit that group is an easy target.
I love the Steelers, and I grew up on Pittsburgh sports. But once and awhile, you need to sit back and laugh at yourself. It's therapeutic. I can laugh at the fact that I'm a huge dork come game day (sometimes, a boozed-up dork). But at the end of the day, I don't take myself too seriously.
So what if he made fun of Hines Ward. I like Hines Ward on my Steeler team. And I'll be sad the day he's no longer a Steeler. But was Madden wrong when he said Hines whines for attention at times? Of course he does. I can take off my Black & Gold colored sunglasses for a while to see that. Like when Hines insists he was never given a shot by the experts, that he had to fight and scrap his entire career, or when he took offense at Ben's "tall WR" comments. Dude...you were a 3rd round draft pick. You didn't come outta "nowhere."
And so what if he didn't like Jerome Bettis. Personally, without the pads, I didn't like Jerome Bettis. Is anyone going to tell me that Jerome Bettis was never self-serving? Jerome served a purpose...he was a great RB on some great Steeler teams, and I'm glad he was here because he made my team better. But I'd never take offense to someone who suggests he wasn't the best of dudes.
My viewpoint of ESPN has completely changed over the last 5 years. Airing on a station where the national personalities always pucker the collective athlete's ass, Madden was in the minority. And it was refreshing. But at least Madden talked hockey. He made fun of the NBA and the Suckos, which I also enjoyed. And providing you didn't take personal offense to his jabs, he was highly entertaining, hilarious at times, and unquestionably talented. At least that's my opinion. I didn't always agree with his opinions, like his insistent defense of his friend Ryan Whitney, but at least he was passionate about the Penguins and the game of hockey.
Madden will be missed, especially here. And judging from his ratings, which were consistently the best in the Burgh, apparently there were more people who "got it" than "didn't get it."
Click here to read Dork-on-a-Mission Bob Smizik's column a day following his remarks regarding Senator Kennedy, which ultimately led to his firing. It is people like Smizik that keep Pittsburgh the old-fashioned (stressing the "old") city that it is. In the words of Iggy...NO FUN...
He's also a huge Liverpool fan...so major props for that.
You'll never walk alone, Mr. Madden. You'll never walk alone.
Posted by gary at 9:20 AM