John Madden And His English Bulldog Boss

Editor/Collegiate Baseball

NFL Hall of Fame coach and broadcaster John Madden died on Dec. 28.

He was without a doubt the best NFL color man in the history of television years ago when he worked on CBS as he explained the game’s finer points along with his unique sense of humor. Prior to that, he had was a tremendous coach with the Oakland Raiders.

The All-Madden teams that he picked were hilarious as he chose players who exemplified the grit of football. In fact, my All-Pavlovich teams over the years have been molded in this template.

Madden was a superb lineman on the football team at Cal Poly in 1957 and 1958 and also played baseball in 1958.

The stories about John Madden are legendary.

I purchased his book One Size Doesn’t Fit All back in 1988.

There is a chapter that talks about how fond he was of English bulldogs that he owned.

There was one that stood out above the rest called Boss, a 60-pound giant.

At times he was hell on wheels as Boss would chew up whatever was in the backyard — hoses, a chunk of the diving board, a slab of fence.

The book pointed out that one time he even chewed through the fence and went into the neighbor’s backyard and chewed up a few items. The neighbors had Boss thrown in the dog pound as John Madden received a police citation.

“That wasn’t the only citation,” said Madden.

“Some people put pictures of their kids on the refrigerator. We put Boss’ citations up there.”

One time Boss attacked a power edger that trimmed the edge of the grass next to the sidewalk. He chewed the edger to a stop.

“His mouth was all blood, but he didn’t care. He had stopped that edger,” said Madden.

Another time when Madden’s wife Virginia took Boss for a walk in Central Park near their New York apartment, Boss noticed a street person on one of the benches and pulled Virginia that way.

She thought Boss wanted to be petted. Unfortunately, the dog walked over to him and lifted his leg.

May this great man rest in peace.