NFL Legend, Iconic Broadcaster John Madden Dies Unexpectedly At 85

'There will never be another John Madden'

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December 28, 2021

Pro Football Hall of Fame coach and legendary broadcaster John Madden died unexpectedly Tuesday, the NFL announced.

Madden was 85 years old.

“On behalf of the entire NFL family, we extend our condolences to Virginia, Mike, Joe and their families,” NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said in a statement. “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.

“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.”

Madden became the head coach of the Oakland Raiders in 1969, amassing a 103-32-7 record with one Super Bowl title, seven division titles and eight playoff appearances before stepping aside to work as an announcer. Of course, younger fans now recognize him as the titular figure of the Madden NFL video game franchise.

He was a 21st-round selection by the Philadelphia Eagles in 1958, but an injury ended his professional playing career before it began. His first NFL coaching gig was as a linebackers coach with the Raiders in 1967 before he took over the club two seasons later.

Madden was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2006.

“I’m the luckiest guy in the world,” Madden once told The Los Angeles Times. “I look at it and I have to pinch myself sometimes, because I’ve never had to work. I went from a player to a coach to a broadcaster. I’ve been in the NFL forever. That’s my life. That’s what I do. I’m just lucky.”

Thumbnail photo via David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports Images
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