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John Madden only let three people go No. 2 in his Cruiser … and one was an NHL legend

Audacy
Audacy
 2021-12-31

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Wayne Gretzky has packed a lot into his 60 years on this Earth, setting no fewer than 61 NHL records at the time of his retirement. He also has the distinction of being one of only three people to go No. 2 in the iconic John Madden Cruiser.

The NFL is still mourning the loss of Madden, who passed away at 85 on Tuesday. A Hall-of-Fame coach and beloved color commentator whose popular video game franchise is worth an estimated $4 billion, Madden was famously averse to flying, preferring to travel in his custom “Madden Cruiser.” Madden was happy to let others board the Madden Mobile, under one important condition—pooping on the bus was strictly off limits. Except for Gretzky, who, unlike pal Matt Millen and Fox television producer Richie Zyontz, didn’t face any consequences for breaking Madden’s longstanding rule.

“Nobody takes a dump,” said Millen, who traveled often with Madden during his broadcast career. “Somehow Wayne Gretzky got a pass.”

Fame and celebrity will always have their perks, but who knew pooping guilt free in John Madden’s bus would be one of them? “Richie and I bore the brunt, but in particular, it was me because I broke the rule a block away from the hotel,” Millen told Mike Sando and Dan Pompei of The Athletic . “He always said he had to carry that turd around the rest of the country.”

A larger-than-life personality with an infectious love for the game, Madden’s impact on the sport will be felt for years to come.

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