Legendary sportscaster and Hall of Fame football coach John Madden died unexpectedly Tuesday morning. He was 85 years old.
The iconic football personality is a household name among American football fans for almost 50 years.
From Injured Rookie To Hall Of Fame Coach
John Madden turned his injury-riddled rookie season into a successful career that still has football at its core. He started as an assistant coach at Allan Hancock College in 1960 when his professional rookie season ended with an injury.
It took him only two years to get the head coaching job. Then, San Diego University called him up to serve as their defensive coordinator between 1964 to 1966. He then made a return to the NFL as a linebackers coach in 1967 for the Oakland Raiders.
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John Madden then took over head coaching duties for the Raiders in 1969. In his eight-year as head coach, he led the Raiders to the Super Bowl XI title in 1977.
However, Madden’s health suffered from the grind and he promptly announced his retirement in 1979. During his ten-year tenure, the Raiders never posted a losing season.
As a result, Madden held the record as the winningest coach in franchise history. The NFL recognized John Madden’s accomplishments despite his relatively short career. The league inducted him into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2006.
John Madden Becomes Synonymous With Broadcasting and Video Games
After his coaching retirement, Madden made the jump into the broadcast booth. He started as a color commentator for CBS in 1979 and will eventually make his way to three other networks.
Madden would also make appearances as a color commentator for both “Monday Night Football” and “Sunday Night Football”.
Fans loved his in-depth knowledge of the game complemented by his colorful personality and commanding voice. He retired from the booth after the 2008 season.
Prior to his retirement, John Madden also became the image for the “Madden NFL,” an NFL officially-licensed video game that ended up being one of the most popular video game franchises in football.
The game’s popularity helped boost Madden’s name among many generations of American football fans. Consequently, Madden also appeared as a pitchman for many products over the years.
Tributes Pour in For John Madden
Tributes began flooding at the moment the NFL confirmed the death of the football luminary.
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell extended condolences to Madden’s family. “We all know him as the Hall of Fame coach of the Oakland Raiders and broadcaster who worked for every major network, but more than anything, he was a devoted husband, father, and grandfather,” Goodell said in a statement Tuesday.
Goodell also reiterated Madden’s love for the game. “Nobody loved football more than Coach. He was football.
He was an incredible sounding board to me and so many others. “There will never be another John Madden, and we will forever be indebted to him for all he did to make football and the NFL what it is today.”
Meanwhile, Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones mourned the passing of one of the sport’s greats. Madden’s death is “a loss that is as big as the legacy John Madden created,” he said in a statement.
“I am not aware of anyone who has made a more meaningful impact on the National Football League than John Madden, and I know of no one who loved the game more,” Jones added.
NFL Players Also Pay Respects To Legend
In addition, former New England Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman tweeted his praise for Madden. “When you think NFL football, you think John Madden. RIP to a Legend,” he tweeted.
Also, Wide receiver Dez Bryant, who formerly played for the Cowboys, attributed his love of the game to Madden. “Rest In Peace John Madden… one of the main reasons why I love football so much… wow!” he wrote on Twitter.
Watch the CNBC video reporting that NFL legend John Madden dies at 85:
What do you think of NFL Hall of Fame coach and legendary color analyst John Madden? Did you enjoy his commentary during live games? Were you a fan of his video game series?
Let us know in the comments what you think.