John Madden, the lively and legendary Pro Football Hall of Fame coach, broadcaster, and namesake for the Madden NFL video game franchise, passed away today, December 28, 2021. He was 85 years of age.
Despite this unfortunate news, John Madden lived a life unlike any other and played a major role in the National Football League for decades. This began when Madden was drafted as a player by the Philadelphia Eagles. However, an injury during his rookie season led him to coach instead. Madden later served as the head coach for the Oakland Raiders for 10 seasons from 1969 to 1978. His leadership was a key factor in leading the team to a championship victory in Super Bowl XI. However, he retired from coaching soon after, citing health concerns as well as burnout.
Despite this, Madden’s career with the NFL was far from over. After a brief period of teaching at the University of California, Berkeley, Madden moved into the broadcast booth for the NFL, which is perhaps where he made his greatest impact on the sport. He originally started at CBS sports in 1979 and ended his commentating career for NBC in 2009. During those thirty years, Madden worked for each of the “Big Four” TV networks and called nine Super Bowl games, including 2009’s Super Bowl XLIII, which was his final assignment.
However, this was not all John Madden accomplished in his life. Madden also provided his name to one of the most popular video games series ever created, Madden NFL. The first game, John Madden Football, was released by Electronic Arts back in 1988. However, the name was eventually shortened to Madden NFL with a new version of the game releasing every year since 1990. To date, the series has sold over 250 million copies.
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