Matt Millen’s football player mentality is evident in his work as an announcer, as a front-office executive, and while fighting a rare disease.
But for now, he has to take a timeout.
Millen, the former Detroit Lions general manager whose tenure was among the worst in American sports history, has been working as a TV analyst for the past few years with the Big Ten Network. But BTN announced today that Millen still step away from the booth to focus on his health.
“We will certainly miss seeing Matt this fall, but his health is the clear priority for everyone involved and we plan to support him in any way possible,” BTN senior vice president of production and executive producer Mark Hulsey said in a tweeted statement.
After years of experiencing symptoms, in 2017 Millen was diagnosed with amyloidosis, an incurable disease that has been treated with chemotherapy in the past and has left the 60-year-old in need of a heart transplant.
But that hadn’t slowed Millen’s TV schedule. The former Penn State linebacker has worked with BTN since 2015. Alongside Kevin Kugler, Millen called a game in each of the first five weeks of this season, including a game at Michigan.
Now, the sole focus for Millen will be continuing to treat this rare disorder.
The former NFL linebacker had a successful run as a TV announcer in the 1990s, first with CBS and then with Fox. He was hired by Lions in 2000 to fix the on-field product.
He did anything but, culminating in the NFL’s first 0-16 season in 2008. He was fired in the middle of that season.