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- American football player and coach
Tributes have been paid to legendary NFL coach and broadcaster John Madden after his death aged 85.
The NFL said the Hall of Fame coach died unexpectedly and did not reveal a cause.
Madden gained fame in a decade-long stint as the coach of the renegade Oakland Raiders, making it to seven AFC title games and winning the Super Bowl following the 1976 season.
But Madden became a household name after prematurely retiring as coach at age 45, as he went on to educate and entertain the world with his pioneering use of the telestrator on broadcasts - sometimes used to humorous effect like pointing out the lack of stubble on players during breaks in play.
His interjections of “Boom!” and “Doink!” throughout games became iconic. He also fronted many commercials before becoming the face of “Madden NFL Football” - one of the most successful sports video games of all-time.
“People always ask, are you a coach or a broadcaster or a video game guy?” he said when he was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. “I’m a coach, always been a coach.”
— NFL (@NFL) December 29, 2021
As a coach, he rode from game to game in his own bus because he suffered from claustrophobia and had stopped flying.
As an analyst, Madden gave out a “turducken” — a chicken stuffed inside a duck stuffed inside a turkey — to the outstanding player in the Thanksgiving game that he called.
“Nobody loved football more than Coach. He was football,” NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said in a statement. “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.”
I will always remember this moment with Coach Madden as we celebrated our 1st Raider SB Victory. He will remain an icon for our sport & much more to those of us who knew him as coach, friend, mentor. An honor knowing this humble man for 45 + yrs. RIP pic.twitter.com/iDJcNc42YV
— Ted Hendricks (@HOFTed83) December 29, 2021
Another American football legend, Tom Brady, shared a memorial to Madden on his Instagram Story on Tuesday evening.
“John called our first Super Bowl,” he wrote alongside the photo. “He was always so good to me. RIP to a legend of our game. My condolences and love to the Madden family.”
Dan Rather, who worked with Madden at CBS, also wrote a tribute to the icon on social media.
“Few approached life with the joy of legendary football coach & broadcaster John Madden,” his tweet read. “A colleague at CBS, he was a gentleman with a boisterous sense of humour. On the sidelines & in the booth, this voluble mountain of energy was a trailblazer. A golden era ends with his passing.”
Madden was a longtime resident of Pleasanton, California and celebrated his 62nd wedding anniversary with wife Virginia Madden two days before his death.