John Madden: During a 30-year commentary career that began in 1979 and ended with Super Bowl 43 in. February 2009, Madden became a fixture of NFL broadcasts with his distinctive voice and folksy, everyman persona.
John Madden, a former NFL coach who led the Oakland Raiders to a. Super Bowl victory before going on to have a. Successful broadcasting career and create a blockbuster video game business, has died. He was 85 years old at the time. During a 30-year commentary career that began in 1979 and ended with Super Bowl 43 in February. 2009, Madden became a fixture of NFL broadcasts with his distinctive voice and folksy, everyman persona.
In a statement, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said, “Nobody loves football more than Coach.” “He was a football player.”
Madden died “unexpectedly” on Tuesday morning, according to the league, but no cause of death was given.
“There will never be another John Madden, and we will be eternally grateful to him for everything he accomplished to shape football and the NFL into what they are today,” Goodell said.
Madden was born on April 10, 1936, in. California, and after playing for his high school, he seemed destined for a career in football.
After being picked by the Philadelphia Eagles in 1958, his ambitions of a professional career were dashed when he sustained a second major knee injury during his first professional training camp.
Madden’s coaching career would be launched thanks to the injury. He spent hours in the film room with Eagles quarterback Norm Van Brocklin during his recuperation, analyzing out plays.
Years later, Madden would recall, “That’s where I learned pro football.”
In 1967, Oakland owner Al Davis hired Madden as linebackers coach after he had spent three years coaching college football.
At the age of 32 years and 10 months, he would become the youngest head coach in NFL history two years later.
Despite building a string of excellent Raiders teams, Madden’s first seven seasons as head coach were littered with near-misses.
During that time, the Raiders lost five AFC Championship games, earning Madden’s squad the unwelcome moniker of serial nearly men.
Lifting the curse
The curse was broken in spectacular fashion in 1976, when a Raiders team headed by quarterback Ken “Snake” Stabler romped to a 32-14 Super Bowl victory over the Minnesota Vikings after a 13-1 regular season.
With the monkey off his back and Madden still only 40, the first of many titles appeared a certain conclusion.
However, Madden left the sport two years later, citing weariness and ill health caused by a stomach ulcer.
“I gave it everything I’ve got and I just don’t have anything left,” a sobbing Madden said in an NFL-shocking declaration.
“I’m stepping down as a football coach, and I’ll never coach again in my life. I’ve always been an Oakland Raider, and I’ll always be an Oakland Raider.”
Madden, on the other hand, didn’t take long to find a new calling.
Madden was hired by CBS as a color commentator and quickly established himself as a star in the booth.
He’d eventually work for all four major networks — CBS, Fox, ABC, and NBC — and was paid more than any NFL player at one point.
His trademark combination of razor-sharp analysis and the occasional breathless truism — “If this team doesn’t put points on the board, I don’t see how they can win” — would become his calling card.
Madden’s distinct style made him an obvious candidate to be the face of the only officially sanctioned NFL video game, “John Madden Football,” which was released in 1988.
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