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madden retiring


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Following the surprise announcement that a large contingent of NFL players of Samoan and Tongan ancestry were forming their own team, the Pago Pago Punishers, legendary coach and TV color commentator John Madden announced his retirement.

"Man, I finally got this gig on Monday Night Football and then boom! . . bam! these guys get together and form their own team. I gotta quit . . . it's the names! I can't handle the names! I did okay with Junior Seau and I could even handle Jesse Sapolu, especially since them weren't on the same team, but I know I'd really screw the pooch if I tried announcing a Punishers' game. I can see it now . . .

`OK, folks, it's 3rd and 8 on the Punishers' twenty yard line. Tuiasosopo takes the snap from Fano Tagovailoa, drops back, fakes a draw to Fuamatu-Ma'afala, and hits Brandon Manumaleuna coming across the center.'

Yeah, right! Gimme a break! They'd be back in the huddle before I could spit everything out. I'm too old to make a fool of myself-I gotta retire. Maybe they can get that fast-talkin' guy who did the FedEx commercials."

Madden's co-announcer, Al Michaels, was nonplussed at the idea of dealing with the Polynesian players' complex names. "It's not a big deal to me. I'll just make up nicknames . . . once they catch on in Sports Illustrated, everybody will thank me for it. I just hope the players don't get pissed-you see how big those guys are?"

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