I don’t know if there’s a higher honor in the Sports World, but during his first interview since taking over for John Madden, Cris Collinsworth admitted that the legend actually asked him to be his successor. Via the Cincy Inquirer….

But Collinsworth wanted to talk about the man with 15 Emmys: Madden.
“John asked me to replace him. That’s as high of a tribute as you can get in this business,” Collinsworth says.

The two finally spoke Monday for the first time since Madden, 73, retired.
“It’s something that I’ll treasure for a lifetime. He was so gracious and wonderful … It was about as special a moment as I’ve ever had in my professional career,” says Collinsworth, who joined WLW-AM and cable’s “Inside the NFL” after leaving football. “I want to make him proud.”

NBC had planned for Collinsworth to succeed Madden for some time. Collinsworth’s contract named him successor for either Madden or announcer Al Michaels, he says. He just didn’t expect it to happen this soon.

It’s a shame that Madden is retiring now, because he’s so much fun to watch on Sunday nights, but if anyone can fill in right away it’s Collinsworth. Now we just have to wait to see and see who will replace him on the NFL Network.

Collinsworth praises Madden (Cincinnati Inquirer)

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