John Madden Hall of Fame Coach John Madden during opening cermonies as the Oakland Raiders defeated the Arizona Cardinals by a score of 22 to 9 at McAfee Coliseum, Oakland, California, October 22, 2006. (Photo by Robert B. Stanton/NFLPhotoLibrary)

Troy Aikman is launching EIGHT, an organic light beer brand to be sold only in Texas, which is the sort of news that sounds more like the A-plot of a solid King of the Hill episode. (Hank would obviously be incredibly torn about his hero doing this, but presumably would find a way to be okay with it; maybe it pairs well as a beer can BBQ chicken option or something.)

In a lengthy CNBC profile on Aikman and his new brand, though, there’s a great bit about Troy introducing John Madden to texting way back in 2006. That’s when both Aikman and Madden entered the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

At the event’s luncheon, Hall of Fame honorees were asked to wear the same colored golf shirt, and unsure of which color to wear, Aikman sent Madden his first text message ever. But Madden’s response was delayed for a good 15 minutes.

“All of a sudden, my phone lights up, and he texted me back and told me [the shirt color],” Aikman said. “I saw him 30 minutes later, he told me, ‘I didn’t know what the hell that was. My phone lit up, and I got these words on there. What do you call that?’ I said that’s texting.

“I’m dying laughing as he’s telling me this story,” added Aikman: “That was his greatness – he can take something that was pretty mundane for most people and turn into a really entertaining moment.”

I’m going to empathize with Madden here. I still remember the first time I received a text, and it surprised me too. It wasn’t that long before 2006, either, really. Aikman also shared his memory of Madden telling him he was leaving Fox for Monday Night Football, a move that saw Aikman bumped up to the lead analyst position he still holds at Fox (and will until he leaves or retires.)

“He said, ‘Hey, I just want to let you know I’m going to Monday Night Football,’” Aikman remembered. “I couldn’t believe it. And then the very next year, all of a sudden, I was working in the number one booth.

“I think one of the reasons why he left was at that time, I think he was interested in working a primetime game on Monday Night Football,” added Aikman. “That was unique, and the only time there was a prime time game.”

According to Aikman, though, Madden’s work in primetime didn’t sway him from viewing his old Fox national window as the quintessential NFL timeslot.

In the later years, though, after Madden retired from broadcasting in 2009, Aikman said, “in conversations that I’ve had with him, he always felt that the best time for NFL football viewing was Sunday afternoon at 4:20 Eastern Time. I think there’s a lot of truth to that – it feels good.

“Sunday afternoons, I think that’s when people are used to really gearing in and watching the big game,” Aikman added.

We’ve gotten plenty of great stories about Madden in recent days, and this is another one for the list. And for a relevant reminder of just how relaxed and entertaining Madden (and Pat Summerall) were together, here’s a clip of Madden analyzing Aikman’s efforts (or lack thereof) to grow a beard.

“If it’s that tough, just quit.”

“You can’t just quit!”

“Yes you can.”



About Jay Rigdon

Jay is a columnist at Awful Announcing. He is not a strong swimmer. He is probably talking to a dog in a silly voice at this very moment.