Celebrated football coach and sportscaster John Madden died on December 28 at the age of 85. According to the NFL, Madden’s passing was unexpected. A cause of death was not revealed.
John Madden served as the head coach of the Oakland Raiders (now Las Vegas Raiders) for ten seasons from 1969 to 1978. He led the franchise to the Super Bowl XI championship in 1977.
“The Raiders Family is deeply saddened by the passing of the legendary John Madden. Few individuals meant as much to the growth and popularity of professional football as Coach Madden, whose impact on the game both on and off the field was immeasurable,” read a statement released by Las Vegas Raiders.
Besides his career as a Hall of Fame coach, John Madden also became the voice of the NFL when he took on the role of color commentator for live telecasts beginning in 1979. The Minnesota-born author of books such as All Madden: Hey, I’m Talking Pro Football! covered eleven Super Bowls and won 16 Emmy Awards.
“On behalf of the entire NFL family, we extend our condolences to Virginia, Mike, Joe, and their families. 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,” stated NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.
John Madden also became a pop culture icon for being the inspiration for EA Sports’ popular Madden NFL video game series. This past January, Hip Hop star Snoop Dogg and NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace were among the celebrities to compete in the Pro Bowl: The Madden NFL 21 Edition gaming event.
EA Sports released the following statement:
Today, we lost a hero. John Madden was synonymous with the sport of football for more than 50 years. His knowledge of the game was second only to his love for it, and his appreciation for everyone that ever stepped on the gridiron. A humble champion, a willing teacher, and forever a coach. Our hearts and sympathies go out to John’s family, friends, and millions of fans. He will be greatly missed, and always remembered, and never forgotten.@EASPORTS Twitter