John Madden, Football Icon, Has Died

By Apeksha Bagchi | 4 weeks ago

john madden

John Madden, the popular former NFL broadcaster, Super Bowl-winning coach, and the voice behind the popular football video games, Madden NFL, has died at the age of 85. Even though it has been decades since Madden was a coach of the Oakland Raiders and 13 years since he retired from being a sportscaster, Madden is still a name synonymous with football. 

John Madden passed away on December 28, 2021, at his home in Pleasanton, though the reason behind his unexpected demise hasn’t been revealed. The news of his death was shared by the National Football League (NFL) in its official statement mourning the legend’s passing. In the statement, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell extended his condolences to Madden’s wife, Virginia, his two sons, Michael and Joseph, and his other family members. 

Roger Goodell remembered John Madden as someone who left his mark in the world of football. He said that Madden was more than just a, “Hall of Fame coach of the Oakland Raiders and broadcaster who worked for every major network.” He further highlighted how Madden truly embodied the spirit of football and 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,” he added. Madden was honored for his celebrated coaching career and inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2006. In 1967, John Madden was hired by Al Davis as linebackers coach for the AFL’s Oakland Raiders and by 1969, he was made the Raiders’ head coach thus becoming the youngest head coach in professional football at the time. In the ten seasons, Madden spent as head coach for the team, he never faced a losing season. In fact, he brought the Oakland Raiders their first Super Bowl trophy in 1977, with a 32–14 win over the Minnesota Vikings. Madden had a 103-32-7 regular-season record from 1969 to 1978. 

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During his ten-season journey with the Raiders, he became the youngest coach to reach the 100-win mark at the age of 42. John Madden continues to hold many records in NFL history. For instance, he is still the only coach with the most wins in Raiders’ history as he holds the best winning percentage at .759. 

After he retired as the Raiders’ head coach, John Madden began his journey as an NFL sportscaster for different networks, starting with CBS, Fox, ABC, and NBC. His iconic way of analyzing the games and the unique aspects he added to the commentary (who doesn’t remember his “Boom!” and “Doink!”) won him fourteen Sports Emmy Awards for Outstanding Sports Event Analyst. He retired from the broadcasting booth in April 2009 and since then, there hasn’t been anyone who has been able to replace the legendary Madden.

The Raiders family has also issued an official statement expressing how “deeply saddened” they are to hear the news of John Madden’s death. In their statement, they praised the impact “Coach Madden” has had on professional football and how his influence on the game, even when he was off the field, has been “immeasurable.” They also highlighted his journey as the Oakland Raiders Head Coach for ten seasons and how the team attained many wins under his mentorship- they won seven division titles, also qualified eight times for the playoffs eight times, as well as won the Super Bowl in 1976, which was the franchise’s first World Championship of Professional Football.