John Madden, the Hall of Fame coach who revolutionized football and broadcasting during a career that spanned six decades, has died. The American sportscaster passed away on Saturday at age 85 following complications from surgery.
John Madden, a former NFL Hall of Fame coach and broadcasting icon, died at the age of 85. He is best known for his work as an NFL color commentator on NBC’s “Football Night in America”.
The NFL announced Tuesday morning that Madden, John, the Hall of Fame coach turned commentator whose passionate yells mixed with straightforward explanations provided a weekly soundtrack to NFL games for three decades, died. He was 85 years old at the time.
He died abruptly, according to the league, although no explanation was given.
Madden rose to prominence as the coach of the renegade Oakland Raiders for a decade, leading them to seven AFC championship games and the Super Bowl after the 1976 season. He finished the regular season with a 103-32-7 record, and his.759 winning % is the greatest among NFL coaches who have coached more than 100 games.
The Raiders stated in a statement that “few persons meant as much to the development and popularity of professional football as Coach Madden, whose effect on the game both on and off the field was enormous.” “He Was A Raider!!!” said Madden club owner Mark Davis in a text to ESPN’s Paul Gutierrez.
Madden’s activities after resigning from coaching at the age of 42 cemented his reputation as a household figure. With his use of the telestrator on broadcasts, he educated a football nation; entertained millions with his “Boom!” and “Doink!” interjections throughout games; was an omnipresent pitchman selling restaurants, hardware stores, and beer; became the face of Madden NFL Football, one of the most successful sports video games of all time; and was a best-selling author.
Most importantly, from 1979 to 2009, he was the top television sports commentator, receiving an astonishing 16 Emmy Awards for best sports analyst/personality and covering 11 Super Bowls for four networks.
“When he was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, he was asked, “Are you a coach, a broadcaster, or a video game guy?” “”I’ve always been a coach,” she says.
In a statement released Tuesday night, Hall of Fame President Jim Porter reinforced this opinion.
Porter said, “He was first and foremost a coach.” “He was a coach on the field, off the field, in the booth, and in life.”
“Coach Madden’s legacy will be safeguarded in perpetuity by the Hall of Fame. In his honor, the Hall of Fame flag will be flown at half-staff.”
Madden began his announcing career at CBS after retiring from teaching due to a phobia of flying. He and Pat Summerall rose to the top of the network’s announcing staff. When Madden moved to Fox in 1994, he helped establish the network as a significant player, and he went on to announce prime-time games for ABC and NBC until retiring after Pittsburgh’s epic 27-23 Super Bowl victory over Arizona in 2009.
“I am not aware of anybody who has had a greater influence on the National Football League than John Madden, and I am not aware of anyone who loved the game more,” stated Jerry Jones, owner of the Dallas Cowboys.
With a charming, straightforward attitude that was refreshing in a sports world of skyrocketing wages and prima donna stars, Madden gained a place in America’s heart. Because he had quit flying due to claustrophobia, he traveled from game to game in his own bus. Madden used to award a “turducken,” which is a bird stuffed inside a duck stuffed inside a turkey, to the best player in the Thanksgiving game he was calling.
“Coach was a die-hard football fan. In a statement, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell remarked, “He was football.” “He was a fantastic sounding board for me and a lot of other people. There will never be another John Madden, and we will be eternally grateful to him for all he accomplished to shape football and the NFL into what they are today.”
Madden’s enthusiasm for the game, his preparation, and his ability to describe an often-complicated game in simple terms were highly commended by colleagues when he ultimately withdrew from the broadcast booth, leaving NBC’s “Sunday Night Football.”
At the time, play-by-play announcer Al Michaels remarked, “No one has made the sport more intriguing, more current, and more fun to watch and listen to than John.”
Anyone who heard Madden yell “Boom!” while breaking down a play could tell he loved the game.
In “Hey, Wait a Minute!,” Madden wrote, “TV is truly an extension of teaching for me.” (I’ve written a book!).”
“Coaching has taught me a lot about football.” And all I’m trying to do on TV is pass along some of that information to the audience.”
John Madden earned 16 Emmy Awards for best sports analyst/personality and covered 11 Super Bowls for four networks between 1979 and 2009, in addition to having the greatest victory % as a head coach in NFL history. Getty Images/Al Messerschmidt
Madden grew up in the California town of Daly City. In 1957-58, he was a member of the offensive and defensive lines for Cal Poly, where he also obtained his bachelor’s and master’s degrees.
Madden was named to the all-conference team and was picked by the Philadelphia Eagles, but a knee injury put a stop to his pro football dreams. Instead, Madden went into teaching, first at Hancock Junior College and later at San Diego State as the defensive coordinator.
In 1967, Al Davis hired him as a linebackers coach for the Raiders, and Oakland won the Super Bowl in his first season in the league. At the age of 32, he took over as head coach from John Rauch following the 1968 season, starting a historic 10-year reign.
Madden was the perfect coach for the collection of misfits and castoffs that made up those Raiders teams, with his flamboyant style on the sideline and untidy appearance.
“Guys may be strict in situations when it didn’t make a difference. I was a strict disciplinarian when it came to leaping offsides; I despised that,” Madden famously stated. “Things like being in awkward positions and missing tackles. ‘Your hair must be brushed,’ I wasn’t told.
The Raiders fought back.
“I’ve always believed his strong suit was his teaching approach,” said quarterback Ken Stabler. “On and off the field, John just had a knack for allowing us to be who we wanted to be. What can you do to make up for his behavior? For him, you win.”
And boy, did they ever deliver. For many years, the playoffs were the only issue.
Madden’s first season was a success, with a 12-1-1 record and a 17-7 loss to Kansas City in the AFL championship game. During his career, the Raiders won the division title in seven of his first eight seasons, but were 1-6 in conference championship games during that time.
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Nonetheless, Madden’s Raiders appeared in some of the most famous 1970s NFL games, contests that contributed to reform the game’s regulations. In 1978, there was the “Holy Roller,” when Stabler fumbled forward on purpose before being sacked on the last play. The ball rolled down the field and was swatted into the end zone before being retrieved by Dave Casper for the game-winning touchdown versus San Diego.
The most memorable of these games took place in the 1972 playoffs in Pittsburgh versus the Raiders. The Steelers faced a fourth-and-10 from their 40 yard line with 22 seconds remaining and the Raiders led 7-6. Terry Bradshaw’s desperate throw was deflected to Franco Harris by either Oakland’s Jack Tatum or Pittsburgh’s Frenchy Fuqua, who collected it at his toes and sprinted in for a touchdown.
A throw that rebounded off an offensive player straight to a teammate was prohibited back then, and the controversy about who it struck continues to this day. The catch was nicknamed the “Immaculate Reception,” of course.
In 1976, Oakland broke through with a loaded team that included Stabler at quarterback, Fred Biletnikoff and Cliff Branch at receiver, tight end Dave Casper, Hall of Fame offensive linemen Gene Upshaw and Art Shell, and a defense that included Willie Brown, Ted Hendricks, Tatum, John Matuszak, Otis Sistrunk, and George Atkinson.
The Raiders finished 13-1, with the exception of a blowout loss to the Patriots in Week 4. They repaid the Patriots with a 24-21 triumph in their first playoff game and a 24-7 win over the Steelers, who were devastated by injuries, in the AFC championship game.
With a 32-14 Super Bowl victory against Minnesota, Oakland clinched the title.
“Shell said, “Players liked playing for him.” “He made things enjoyable for us both in preseason and throughout the regular season. All he wanted was that we arrive on time and play as hard as we could when it came time to play.”
His wife, Virginia, and two sons, Joseph and Michael, are among the survivors. Two days before his death, John and Virginia Madden celebrated their 62nd wedding anniversary.
This article was written with the help of the Associated Press.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why did John Madden retire from broadcasting?
A: Unfortunately, John Madden retired from broadcasting because of a brain tumor. He was diagnosed with the brain tumor in 2011 and announced that he would be taking time off to fight it. In 2016 however, his condition deteriorated and became too difficult for him to continue working as an announcer while also dealing with other health issues related to the tumor such as side effects of radiation therapy.
Did John Madden just die?
A: John Madden died on January 25, 2008.
When did John Madden retire from commentating?
A: I dont know the answer to this question.
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