The announcement hit TV football viewers with the impact of one of John Madden's signature "booms!" The longtime NFL broadcaster and former football coach had decided to retire midway through a six-year contract with NBC. The network announced that he would be replaced by Chris Collinsworth. In a statement, NBC Sports chief Dick Ebersol said that he had tried to talk Madden out of leaving, even offering to allow him to cover just a portion of next season, but that Madden turned him down. Ebersol called him "the absolute best sports broadcaster who ever lived."