Madden to miss this weekend’s game

NEW YORK – John Madden will miss calling an NFL game this weekend after working 476 in a row.

The 72-year-old Sunday Night Football analyst, who travels by bus because of a fear of flying, will take a break to spend time with his family instead of making three straight cross country trips, NBC said Monday.

Madden went from Jacksonville, Fla., to San Diego last week; he would have had to return to Florida for this Sunday’s game at Tampa Bay. There’s no Sunday Night Football game the following weekend, so Madden would have then headed home to the Bay Area.

NBC Sports chairman Dick Ebersol first approached Madden in the spring with the suggestion of skipping the trip.

Cris Collinsworth, normally a part of NBC’s studio show, will fill in for Madden.