John Madden, Hall of Fame coach and legendary broadcaster, dies at the age of 85

John Madden, Hall of Fame coach of the Oakland Raiders and legendary broadcaster, unexpectedly passed away on Tuesday morning (December 28) at the age of 85. 

John Madden, Hall of Fame coach of the Oakland Raiders and legendary broadcaster, unexpectedly passed away on Tuesday morning (December 28) at the age of 85.

“On behalf of the entire NFL family, we extend our condolences to Virginia, Mike, Joe and their families,” said NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell in a press release issued by the NFL. “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.”

Statement from the Las Vegas Raiders

“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.

“Hired as Head Coach of the Raiders by Al Davis at the age of just 32, Madden coached the Silver and Black for 10 seasons and compiled a remarkable 103-32-7 regular season record. From 1969-78, the Raiders posted winning records in each season, won seven division titles and qualified for the playoffs eight times. In 1976, Madden coached the Raiders to a 13-1 record and a 32-14 triumph over the Minnesota Vikings in Super Bowl XI, marking the franchise’s first World Championship of Professional Football.

“As professional football grew in popularity and influence, Madden and his Silver and Black teams played a significant role in some of the AFL and NFL’s seminal moments, including the “Sea of Hands,” “Immaculate Reception,” “Holy Roller” and “Ghost to the Post,” among others. Madden cemented his role as a football icon in the broadcast booth, serving as a leading color analyst for all four major television networks—CBS, FOX, ABC and NBC. His work on Monday Night Football, the inception of the annual All-Madden Team and his role in the Madden NFL series of video games made the Madden name synonymous with pro football.

“In 2006, Madden was presented for enshrinement to the Pro Football Hall of Fame by Al Davis, who opened his speech by calling Madden, “A brilliant coach. A loyal and trusted friend. A Raider.” The thoughts and prayers of the Raider Nation are with Virginia, Joseph, Michael and the entire Madden family at this time.”

Dallas Cowboys’ Statement on Madden’s passing

“This is a loss that is as big as the legacy that John Madden created. A legacy of love. Love for family, for football and for life.

“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.

“When I think of a person of sports who is worthy of the term, “larger than life,” I have always thought of John. And I always will.

“If you knew John, he made your life better. For me he was a trusted confidant, advisor, a teacher and above all, a very dear friend. When he walked into the room, it was a better day. When he talked, you listened, and you learned. When he laughed, everyone in the room laughed. And when he got back on the bus to leave, you always wanted more. You were always looking forward to his next visit.

“Our hearts go out to Virginia and Joe and Mike and the grandchildren. He is survived by a wonderful family and literally millions of loved ones.

“A life in football is a gift and a blessing. John lived all of his days with dignity, kindness and a sense of personal caring for everything and everyone.

“There is no one who lived a more beautiful football life than John Madden.”

More reaction from around the NFL

The Arizona Cardinals, through their official Twitter feed, stated, “We mourn the loss of a true giant of our game. Whether you knew him as a Hall of Fame coach, legendary broadcaster or namesake of the video game generations have grown up playing, he was the face & voice of football for millions. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Madden family and his countless friends during this difficult time. Rest In Peace, John.”

The Buffalo Bills stated, “The Bills family is deeply saddened by the passing of NFL legend John Madden. Our thoughts and condolences are with the Madden family during this time.”

The Philadelphia Eagles statement read, “John Madden is a sports icon whose contributions to the game of football are countless. His words brought Philadelphia Eagles football vividly into the homes and hearts of our fans everywhere. We extend our condolences to his family and many friends.”

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