NFL coach and broadcaster John Madden has passed away at the age of 85. He not only had a huge impact on American football but also the video game industry as the voice, name and face of Electronic Arts' Madden NFL series.
The sports series originally began life in 1988 as "John Madden Football" and over the years was released across a range of platforms including Nintendo ones. On behalf of the community here at Nintendo Life, our thoughts go out to John's friends and family during this difficult period.
Here's the full statement from the NFL website:
The game of football has lost a legendary figure. Pro Football Hall of Fame coach and legendary broadcaster John Madden died unexpectedly on Tuesday morning, the league announced. He was 85 years old.
"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 spent 10 seasons as head coach of the Oakland Raiders and brought the franchise its first championship with a win over the Minnesota Vikings in Super Bowl XI. From 1969 to 1978, Madden never had a losing season in his head coaching career and compiled a 103-32-7 regular-season record. He was the youngest coach in NFL history to eclipse the 100-win mark when he achieved the feat at the age of 42, and Madden remains the winningest coach in Raiders history. He also holds the best winning percentage by an NFL head coach (minimum of 10 seasons) at .759.
"The Raiders Family is deeply saddened by the passing of the legendary John Madden," the Raiders said in a statement. "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."
Madden was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame as a coach in 2006.
"The entire Pro Football Hall of Fame family mourns the passing of Coach Madden," Pro Football Hall of Fame president Jim Porter said in a statement. "Few, if any, have had as great an impact on the sport of professional football on so many different levels as Coach Madden. He was first and foremost a coach. He was a coach on the field, a coach in the broadcast booth and a coach in life.
"He was dearly loved by millions of football fans worldwide."
Madden retired from coaching after the 1979 season, but it was his broadcasting career that prompted the unparalleled impact he had on the game.
Becoming a well-known color commentator on NFL broadcasts from 1979 to 2008, Madden's voice has been synonymous with football for many generations. His voice, personality and knowledge of the game were actualized with the 'Madden NFL' video game series which still runs strong some 30 years after it's initial release and will continue to bear the name of a man who's impact on the game is simply incomparable.
Memorial service information will be announced when available.
Even as a non american who has never played a full game, either real or electronic, this was a blow...the man was such an icon.
Rest in peace old coach.
Saying he is a big deal for the NFL is an understatement. Even the NFL games are named after him rather then the organization being the title like a lot of the other sport games
Madden was such a big part of my childhood, his impact was felt by many different generations. RIP.
I don't think I've ever played one of his games, but RIP the Genesis man.
"Hi everyone. Welcome to jOhN mAdDeN Football"
Rest in peace, my man. Your legacy will live on. I didn't play any of his games, but his impact is a meaningful one.
Rest in peace coach. A true icon for football.
Sad to see him go. I never played a Madden game, and while I see the Madden games with disgust of EA's greed, I don't blame any of it on John Madden, who always seemed like a great person.
Keep coaching in heaven and rest in peace, John Madden.
AVGN "Madden Madden Madden, Madden 91 Madden 92 Madden 93 Madden 94 Madden 95 Madden 96 Madden 97 Madden 98 Madden 99 Madden 2000 Madden 2001 Madden 2002 Madden 2003 WHO THE ***** IS JOHN MADDEN ANYWAY!"
The man just WAS football. I still hear his voice on the back of my head when I watch a game. RIP, good sir.
You picked the right image for the headline. I'm not big into football but I always loved his energy & passion, and what he brought to the table for the fans. It was never more perfectly illustrated than with that classic cover.
As a Raiders and general NFL fan, I'm gutted about this. Up there with Al Davis for his impact on the NFL. An icon to 3 generations who know him as coach/broadcaster/video game guy.
Please EA….make a Switch version in his honor!
He was an icon through and through. A big blow for American football.
Such a legend, you didn't even have to know what football is but everyone knew who John Madden was.
Wonder what they will call the series now.
@noobish_hat He never played professionally due to injuries.
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RIP, he was a pretty cool guy
Will always remember him first from playing the games starting on Genesis, then on TV when I started watching football. Sad day. RIP.
@noobish_hat I just read that he originally wanted to be one but he injured his knee during a training session and he became a coach instead.
Wow. A big documentary about him just debuted last week. He was a true legend in so many regards. He will be missed.
A Legend, May Rest In Peace.
I haven't cared about sports for over 20 years, but I can still hear his voice in my head. That and him eating entire turkeys during games on Thanksgiving. RIP.
Was there a Mandela effect around his passing? Maybe just me..
What an icon, and such sad news. The most colorful guy in the most colorful misfit team in the history of the NFL, and probably the best sports commentator ever.
RIP and enjoy the tailgating and turducken up there, Coach Madden.
@BOctober25 This isn't the place to spew hatred, please let's just stick to gaming, football, and Madden discussion in these comments. That said Madden was the face and voice of American football more so than any other person in the sport's history. May he rest in peace! 😇
@NinChocolate Personally, this felt more like a "Schrodinger's Cat" situation. The name "Madden" has been associated with the games for so long, that it never crossed my mind whether the person who the games were named after was still with us or not.
Personal thoughts aside, RIP to the guy. Even just seeing some of the comments around here, he seems like he meant a lot to many American football fans.
@DTFaux something like that ya. Sometimes a death is more news that a well known person of the past was still living until recently, rather than no longer being with us
I don't even watch a lot of football, and even I know who he is, proof on what an icon he was. May he rest in peace.
RIP. People forget but Madden was involved in video games long before the EA series came out. He was a spokesperson for CBS Electronics games that were on Atari 2600 (like Solar Fox & Blue Print) and was supposed to have a game in 1983 called Maddeness named after him by CBS but it was never released.
Considering the amount of revenue the Madden games generate, year after year after year, I can't imagine that EA, the Madden family, the NFL or the NFLPA would have any real interest in discontinuing the "Madden" branding.
RIP John Madden. I did enjoy those early Madden NFL games on the Sega Genesis especially 94 & 95.
Scott The Woz will be mortified.
While I may hate football (baseball is more my ball sport of choice), even I recognize the impact John Madden had on the industry. The football world lost a legend yesterday.
May he not only rest in peace, may he forever be immortalized in the Madden NFL video game series, and the text-to-chat feature in Moonbase Alpha.
@HamatoYoshi The Related Games section lists Madden 06, 07, 09, but not 08.
@Eighties Yeah, when I got my Genesis, the pack-in game was "Madden NFL '95." It took me a number of years to fully learn how to play it, but without it I may have never bought "Madden NFL 2002" for GameCube nor "Madden NFL '08" for Wii.
John Madden Football introduced so many in the UK to American Football. The first 2 games were incredible. RIP.
Honestly I never had any idea who the Madden in "Madden Football" actually was. Also no interest. I mean, I can name exactly three football players, and in every case I know them because of non-football-related things. (Kaepernick, Simpson and Brady, for those who care).
But I mean no disrespect with this. He was clearly an important figure to anyone who had any interest in football. RIP, Coach Madden.
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@BOctober25 Or he was just a good man and football icon, for the sport and video games, that pasted away. Why does everything now a days HAVE to turn into a political discussion?
AEIOU, John Madden. AEIOU.
@thedudeabides05 Because it's obviously a troll hiding behind a monitor and keyboard.
First championship win was against the Vikings... I don't know if it that's such a lofty accomplishment...
Seriously though, I'm sure even many people in the US who aren't football fans still have fond memories of him. He will be missed.
I remember the parodies more than the person, by the time I cared he was getting pretty bad at the color commentary job.
Still the games baring his name have certainly had an impact on the industry, both for good and bad reasons.
I read an interview a few years ago about the creation of the Madden video game series. When Madden came to EA to discuss the game, the studio thought he was just going to sign his name and pretty much be done with his involvement with the series. When he showed up, he had notebooks and files with him. EA asked "what is all of this?" and Madden responded, "oh, just some ideas and suggestions I had for the game." The designers and programmers were shocked at all the work and thought he put into the game, and for the original game and a few of the sequels afterwards, he was VERY involved with the game.
RIP to a legend in coaching, broadcasting, TV commercials and video games. Truly a renaissance man.
@KingMike Beating the Vikes for a title is always a shoo-in! 😂
I appreciate his coaching style of focusing on what was important on the field and not being distracted by little things like coaches often are. He really is a legend and for all the players out there who aren’t familiar with his pre-EA days, go watch the All Madden documentary that literally came out just recently, you’ll enjoy seeing the man behind the name. ❤️
I thought he died in the 90's but still... R.I.P.
Actually, when I heard of John’s passing, the first thing I thought of was his cameo in “Little Giants” (1994). I always wanted John Madden to suddenly step off a bus and ask me for directions. I played many a Madden game in the 90s, and he also reminds me of happier times in college.
Rest well, Coach!
Something Something bus
RIP grew up with the genesis Madden. Loved this song https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=0zzVBPFdzMo
Madden is the best color announcer MNF has had in the last 20+ years. RIP.
He is only one of the greatest coaches of all time.
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