As a young man, me and my friends would hang out in bars – my two favorites The Monkey Farm in Deep River CT and the Beer Barrel in Portland ME – on Sunday afternoon and Monday evening in the fall. There we would drink much too much beer and watch NFL football. But what made it special was the presence and voice of John Madden, first as coach of the “lunch pail/outlaw” Oakland Raiders and then as football commentator. Madden, who could make the complex play or scheme simple, was larger than life. What other football analyst and “Merry Prankster” rode his own bus back and forth across the country to cover and call games. Madden died yesterday at the age of 85 and today much of the sports world grieves. He was the “genuine article.”