Remembering Legendary Head Coach John Madden

John Madden was a a great man and coach

By: Menachem Ickovitz

John Madden’s impact on the NFL is still felt today. He was a head coach, announcer and what he may be best known for is the Madden video games. He coached some of the best while working for the Oakland Raiders and had a very good relationship with Raiders’ owner Al Davis.

Madden was an assistant with the Raiders in 1967 and 1978 and then went on to be head coach for the Raiders from 1969 – 1978. In that time he won an AFL Championship as an assistant as well as a Super Bowl as the head coach. He never had a losing season and had a career regular-season record of 103 – 32 – 7. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2006.

As an announcer he worked for the four major networks. His primary partner for many of those years was Pat Summerall. The Madden-Summerall duo had the best NFC games of the week which would often feature the Dallas Cowboys, San Francisco 49ers or the Green Bay Packers. At this point is where the “infatuation” with Brett Favre started and was greatly lampooned by Frank Caliendo.

In 2002, Madden joined the Monday Night Football booth where he worked alongside Al Michaels. The Madden-Michaels booth was a great one and in 2006 they moved from Monday nights on ABC to Sunday Night Football on NBC. Madden was made for primetime and primetime was made for Madden.

His larger than life personality made him a great pitch-man for any number of products or an excellent guest star in movies like The Replacements or Little Giants.

One of the yearly highlights with Madden was the All-Madden Team. Being named to the All-Madden Team did not just mean you were the best player; it was given to gritty, hard-working guys who would continue to play through the pain. Some of the notable multi-time All-Madden players include Jack Youngblood, Lawrence Taylor, Reggie White, Mark Bavaro, Ronnie Lott and Jackie Slater. Of course Madden would reveal the team in an interesting way year after year.

Of course, to people too young to remember the man, he continues to be immortalized by the popular video game that bears his name. As time goes on, Madden will continue to be part of the NFL lexicon due to the popularity of the game and that helps connect young fans to the history of the NFL.

John Madden passed away at the age of 85. May all those who cared for him find solace in an appropriate time.

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