Hall of Fame coach turned host John Madden, whose colorful style became the soundtrack of NFL games on television for three decades, died Tuesday morning at the age of 85.
Its impact has been, as it is, everywhere, as Washington football team coach Ron Rivera noted on Wednesday.
“Coach John Madden was an NFL icon, who played, coached and named a video game,” Rivera wrote on social media. “But for me, he offered me his time, his wisdom and his coaching knowledge. I was really lucky to have him as a mentor! RIP trainer.
Rivera tells SI that Madden encouraged him to take on his now famous “Riverboat Ron” character.
“On behalf of the entire NFL family, we offer our condolences to Virginia, Mike, Joe and their families,” NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said in a statement. “We all know him as the Oakland Raiders Hall of Fame coach and broadcaster who worked for all the major networks, but most of all he was a dedicated husband, father and grandfather.
“No one loved football more than Coach. He was football. He was an incredible sounding board to me and to so many others. There will never be another John Madden, and we will be forever indebted to him. for everything he did to make football and the NFL what it is today. “
While he was known to coach the Oakland Raiders (with a formidable 103-32-7 record and a win with his 1976 Super Bowl team), his work on CBS and then FOX put him in position to often comment on the biggest games. … and impacts some of the greatest figures in the game.
Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said Tuesday: “It is a loss as important as the legacy John Madden created. A legacy of love. Love for family, for football and for life .… Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said Madden has lived a great footballing life and called his passing “a loss as significant as the legacy John Madden created.”
“I don’t know of anyone who has had a more significant impact on the National Football League than John Madden, and I don’t know of anyone who loved the game so much,” read part of Jones’ statement. : When I think of a sports person worthy of the term “larger than life”, I always thought of John. And I always will. ”
Madden’s unusual personality – his fear of flying (which contributed to his early retirement from training at age 42 and to boarding the bus “The MaddenCruiser” as he traveled from town to town. for matches) to his loud on-air speech style to his willingness to parody himself (in many commercials) has made him a celebrity for generations.
And then came the “Madden” video game series.
He was the name and face of the hugely popular sports video game, “Madden NFL Football,” which to this day, with its annual editions and player rankings, is constantly referenced in the NFL locker room.
Said Jones: A life in football is a gift and a blessing. John lived all of his days with dignity, kindness and a sense of personal care for everything and everyone.
“There is no one who has lived a better life as a footballer than John Madden.”