John Madden doesthings big. Big voice. Big bus. Big video game. Why should TV viewing bedifferent? The retired analyst now spends NFL Sundays camped in a7,000-square-foot studio two minutes from his Pleasanton, Calif., home and hewatches games on nine 63-inch HD TVs and a 16-by-9-foot projection screen."I make sure the big screen is never showing a commercial," hesays.
On Sunday, Maddenand DirecTV, which set up the system, invited six fathers of NFL QBs—ArchieManning (father of the Colts' Peyton and the Giants' Eli), Don Hasselbeck (theSeahawks' Matt), Bill Palmer (the Bengals' Carson and Jordan), Chip Brees (theSaints' Drew), John Stafford (the Lions' Matt) and Andy Edwards (the Bills'Trent)—to watch their sons play. It was a reunion for Manning and Hasselbeck,teammates on the 1984 Vikings. "We'd have our kids at the training facilityor over to our house," says Manning. "Back in those days we didn't takeas many pictures. It's a shame we don't have one of them together when theywere kids."
Each of thefathers found it comforting to know that the others fidget and pace—and aresuperstitious—while watching their sons. Archie's luck was good on Sunday. BothMannings won, as did Palmer and Brees. Edwards and Stafford were not sofortunate. Peyton's Colts beat the Seahawks, but the younger Hasselbeck sat outbecause of injury.
"I usuallywatch the games at home with no company when Matthew's playing," DonHasselbeck said. "I'm good with two games, O.K. with three, but when youget to eight or nine, it's like, wow. I've never seen anything likeit."
DEANNE FITZMAURICE (MADDEN, 2)
SCREEN WITH ENVY Edwards (in red) and Brees congratulated Palmer (right) after his son's Bengals won.