John Madden, Former Raiders Coach and Broadcaster, Passes Away at Age 85

Former Raiders Coach John Madden leaves behind a colorful legacy

One of the NFL’s most prominent coaches, broadcast analysts and video game creators has died.

John Madden passed away on Tuesday, December 28, 2021. He was a great coach, iconic TV personality, husband, father and a grandfather. He made the Las Vegas Raiders who they are today.

Head Coach

Madden was hired under Al Davis at the age of just 32. Davis’ motto was, “Just Win Baby,” and the Raiders certainly did just that. Under Madden’s 10-years of coaching, “The Silver and Black”, they went 103-32-7 in the regular season. From 1969-’78, the team never had a losing season.

The Raiders won seven division titles and qualified for the playoffs eight times. The Raiders won their first Super Bowl under Madden on Sunday, January 9, 1977. They defeated the Minnesota Vikings 32-14.

Broadcasting

After being a successful coach with the Raiders, the tension of coaching made him retire early. He was in his early forties which was quite early for a coach to leave the game.

CBS Sports hired Madden in 1979. He broadcasted for smaller, regional telecasts. Two years later, he raised himself up to the top of the network’s time slot. The management team at CBS wanted a drastic change with its NFL coverage. Madden had surely given them plenty of on-the-air coverage to give them the show they wanted.

Soon they teamed Madden up with play-by-play man Pat Summerall. He was originally paired with his partner Tom Brookshier. The burning question was; whether the new pair would work?

Madden quickly became a likable analyst in the announcer’s booth. He served as a iconic color analyst for all four major television networks; CBS, FOX, ABC, and NBC.

Video Game Empire

For over 30-years, Madden has been the face of Madden NFL. The game is still a must-have for football video gamers. The question is, how did the game start?

In 1988, Electronic Arts, (EA) founder Trip Hawkins was looking for his own football video game. Originally, he wanted Joe Montana to be the figurehead. The San Francisco 49ers quarterback already had a title endorsement with Atari according to ESPN.

The game played on the original Apple II faltered and encountered many problems. The operating system was atrocious and the number of players on the screen was restricted. But then, things changed when Madden signed his name.

“John Madden Football” was the first title for the first five-years of the game. In 1993, the game became, “Madden NFL”. This let EA legally use team names and logos. This game started the popular slogan, “EA Sports – It’s in the game.

In 2000, the video game did away with hosting Madden’s face on the cover. It went with popular NFL players instead. It did however, feature Madden’s voice to cover the action of the games.

Beside the video games, Madden became even bigger than his personality. Corporate sponsors like beer company Miller Lite and Ace Hardware began endorsing him and “boom,” Madden became the endorser of their products.

Madden’s Thought of Raiders’ Move

Madden always adored the Raiders when they were playing in Oakland. The bay area is where Madden made his memories as a head coach and broadcaster. He always had nice things to say about the Raiders. Then a single moment changed his course.

Back in 2017, the NFL and the Oakland Raiders both agreed to move the franchise out of the bay area. They chose to relocate to Las Vegas, Nevada and Madden has some strong things to say.

Madden told SiriusXM NFL Radio that he was “jolted” and “shocked” by the team’s league-approved agreement to move to Nevada, per ESPN’s Paul Gutierrez. “Maybe this is me being oversensitive, but doggone it, if you’re going to go, that’s really tough, but leave us something. Leave us something here in Oakland. Please,” said Madden. “There will be no more history of the Oakland Raiders, and that really bothers me.”

Thoughts from around the nFL

“The Raiders family is deeply saddened by the passing of the legendary John Madden,” the Raiders told NFL.com. “Few individuals meant as much to the growth and popularity of professional football as Coach Madden, whose impact on the game both on and off the field was immeasurable.”

“On behalf of the entire NFL family, we extend our condolences to Virginia, Mike, Joe, and families,” NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said to yahoo.news.com. “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.”

John Madden is everything Raider Nation. He is Raider Football. He was Raider Football. Without John Madden, the Raiders would not have been successful.

He would be proud of what the Raiders have become. A football team in Las Vegas on the rise. He would have love to have seen Allegiant Stadium, too!


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