Now this one really hurts. Iconic NFL coach and broadcaster John Madden has passed away. Some knew him as the coach of the then legendary Raiders. Others knew him as a broadcaster on Sunday for his verbose voice and bombastic commentary. Younger generations best know his name by the most profitable NFL video game franchise.
The NFL announced Madden’s passing today. He was 85 years old.
Per NBC Sports:
Madden’s influence on the sport of football is impossible to overstate. He was the youngest head coach in pro football when Al Davis hired him to coach the Oakland Raiders, and he led them to a Super Bowl title while having so much success that he still has the all-time highest winning percentage among all coaches who won at least 100 games.
But as great a coach as he was, he did more for the sport after he retired for coaching. In the broadcasting booth, Madden became a sensation, not just the best broadcaster in football but one of the most popular figures in America, as famous as any movie star but as down-to-earth as any guy you’d talk about sports with at the barbershop. Everyone loved him.
And then Madden had his video game, which he didn’t just lend his name to but took an active role in developing, always insisting that it needed to be as realistic as possible. The youngest generation of football fans that can’t even remember him as a broadcaster, let alone as a coach, is still influenced by Madden’s giant presence in the sport.
John Madden may have been the single most influential person in the history of the sport of football.