Well, you had to know this was coming, right? There’s always one miserable Madden to ruin the party.
Former NFL head coach and broadcasting legend John Madden apparently was not a big fan of Will Ferrell’s tour around the Cactus League yesterday, in which he played all nine positions for 10 different teams in five games throughout the day.
Here’s what Madden had to say about the stunt, as told to CBS San Fran:
“That’s a lack of respect. That’s a lack of respect for the game and a [lack of] respect for what players have to do to get where they are.”
Madden went on to reflect on a similar experience he had with Rick Barry while coaching the Oakland Raiders.
“I’m in training camp in Santa Rosa. Rick Barry comes walking by and he was playing for the Warriors at that time. He was a friend of Al Davis’ and he said he was going to go in and suit up and go out on the field and practice, to fool Al. I swear this is true,” Madden said. “Jack Tatum and George Atkinson walked by and I said, look, if this guy comes out on the field, he’s live bait and I want you to go after him the way you would go after any other player that plays on another team. I said, go ahead and dress, but we’re going to treat you like a football player and not like an NBA player.”
Listen, I’m all about “respecting the game” and all that jazz, but here’s the thing: Ferrell managed to provide a whole lot of excitement for both fans and players in what were pretty much meaningless games. He played a few innings for each team, so the playing field was even and he didn’t take away a lot of opportunities from guys trying to make a roster.
Oh, and he raised over a million dollars for cancer research. So…I don’t know…maybe sit down and shut up, John?