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John Madden, former NFL coach and broadcaster, dies at 85

Sports

(NEXSTAR) – The legendary John Madden, known for his time as an NFL coach and broadcaster, has passed away.

The NFL announced Madden’s passing, saying the 85-year-old died unexpectedly Tuesday morning.

“On behalf of the entire NFL family, we extend our condolences to Virginia, Mike, Joe and their
families,” said NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. “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 retired in 1979 after coaching the Oakland Raiders for 10 years, making it to seven AFC title games and winning one Super Bowl title. His 0.739 winning percentage is second to Vince Lombardi among those who have coached in at least 140 regular season and playoff games.

He educated a football nation with his use of the telestrator on broadcasts; entertained millions with his interjections of “Boom!” and “Doink!” throughout games; was an omnipresent pitchman selling restaurants, hardware stores and beer; became the face of “Madden NFL Football,” one of the most successful sports video games of all-time; and was a best-selling author.

Most of all, he was the preeminent television sports analyst for most of his three decades calling games, winning an unprecedented 16 Emmy Awards for outstanding sports analyst/personality, and covering 11 Super Bowls for four networks from 1979-2009.

“People always ask, are you a coach or a broadcaster or a video game guy?” he said when was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. “I’m a coach, always been a coach.”

Players from across the NFL took to Twitter after learning of Madden’s death.

“Absolute legend amongst legends. Rest In Peace Mr. Madden,” J.J. Watt, defensive end for the Arizona Cardinals, posted. Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes echoed Watt, sharing his condolences.

The Hall of Famer’s death comes just days after a 90-minute documentary exploring his career and impact on the sport, “All Madden,” premiered Saturday on Fox.

Madden says he did not want to become a television analyst at first, but developed a passion for it the more he learned about it. He remains the only football commentator who has worked for all four broadcast networks.

The “All Madden” documentary features an extensive interview with the 85-year-old Madden and includes his wife, Virginia, and sons Joe and Mike. It also includes Lawrence Taylor, Brett Favre, Troy Aikman, Bill Parcells, Bill Belichick and Goodell among the 38 people interviewed.

Besides the interviews, the documentary features videos of Madden going to games on his bus and outtakes during production meetings. It also includes Madden hosting “Saturday Night Live” in 1982 and his various commercials over the years.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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