John Madden, who made his mark as an NFL coach and later a notable broadcaster, has died. The Hall of Fame figure led the Oakland Raiders to a Super Bowl championship and is perhaps best known for the award-winning video game series that carries his name.
According to a report from the NFL, Madden was not battling any known illnesses and died unexpectedly. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell issued a statement honoring the coach and broadcaster.
“On behalf of the entire NFL family, we extend our condolences to Virginia, Mike, Joe and their families,” NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said in a statement. “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.”
Madden coached the Raiders, now based in Las Vegas, for 10 years and took the team to the AFC championship game seven times and won Super Bowl XI, beating the Minnesota Vikings 32-14.
While his coaching career paid great dividends, it was Madden retiring from the NFL at 42 and moving to the broadcast booth that gained him even greater fame. Using exaggerated sound effects and simply explaining the complexity of the game, Madden became a superstar who crossed over into commercials and eventually became the face of Madden NFL Football, a franchise that has been ongoing since 1988.
Madden’s name also made its way into the world of Hip-Hop with Chicago rapper Chief Keef naming a song after him, and Onyx’s 1992 classic track “Throw Ya Gunz” also featured a Madden shoutout, along with countless other rappers over the decades.
John Madden was 85.
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