John Madden, a Super Bowl-winning NFL head coach who went on to become a longtime sportscaster and launch a hit video game franchise, has died at the age of 85.
The NFL confirmed the sad news on Tuesday, with commissioner Roger Goodell released a tribute to Madden: “On behalf of the entire NFL family, we extend our condolences to Virginia, Mike, Joe and their families. 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.”
Goodell added that “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.”
A college football player who had his NFL playing career derailed by a knee injury, Madden worked his way up the coaching ranks to become the head coach of the Oakland Raiders in 1969, winning the Super Bowl with the team in 1977. He retired two years later and went straight to the broadcast booth, working at CBS alongside Pat Summerall until 1993. He moved to Fox for the 1994 season and later called games for ABC and NBC. Madden was a popular and trailblazing TV analyst, bringing fans inside the game with his enthusiastic “Boom!” commentary.
Madden was also an innovator in the world of video games, putting his name on Electronic Arts’ John Madden Football in 1988, which quickly became a bestseller. Over the years, Madden (as it came to be known) became the dominant football video game, selling tens of millions of copies.