The sports world lost a giant earlier today (Tues., Dec. 28, 2021) as one of the biggest names in National Football League (NFL) history, John Madden, suddenly passed away at the age of 85.
The Hall of Fame coach and broadcaster was synonymous with the NFL, winning Super Bowl XI in 1977 with the the Oakland Raiders, a team he coached for a decade. He then went on to become one of the most recognizable voices the sport has ever had as a broadcaster for 20 years.
During that time, he partnered up with EA Sports to launch “Madden NFL,” one of the most popular video game series ever, which has sold more than a whopping 250 million copies and is still going strong today.
“On behalf of the entire NFL family, we extend our condolences to Virginia, Mike, Joe and their families,” said NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell (via CNN). “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,” Goodell continued. “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.”
Following his passing, the mixed martial arts (MMA) community — including UFC President, Dana White, and former “champ-champ,” Daniel Cormier — paid respects to the sports legend on social media, proving that Madden’s reach went well beyond the gridiron.
There has never been a person more a part of your life and never physically in your life. John Madden was the man! RIP coach, commentator, legend pic.twitter.com/h7axywempA— Daniel Cormier (@dc_mma) December 29, 2021
RIP John Madden. What an incredible life pic.twitter.com/z9h2YKEHts— danawhite (@danawhite) December 29, 2021
RIP John Madden— Michael Chiesa (@MikeMav22) December 29, 2021
RIP John Madden I think we’ve all spent countless hours listenin to him playin the latest game growin up— Terrance McKinney (@twrecks155) December 29, 2021
John Madden’s days of life are over… but people like that don’t die the same way.— Brendan Fitzgerald (@BrendanFitzTV) December 29, 2021
Prince, Robin Williams, Chris Farley… they are giants whose massive effect on their industry never fades. #RIP
Madden was drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles in 1958, but never got the opportunity to play after suffering a career-ending injury during his first training camp. Still, he went on to have a profound impact on the sport and was inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame in 2006 for his coaching conquests.