Remembering The Great John Madden
It was very sad to hear about the passing of legendary Hall of Fame coach and broadcaster John Madden (seen above), which happened on Tuesday morning at the age of 85.
If you're under the age of 30, you know Madden as the name of the immensely popular video game Madden22 (or insert whatever recent year you want). If you're a baby boomer, you remember him as the Hall of Fame coach of the Oakland Raiders in the 1970's (where he won Super Bowl XI in January of 1977). And then you remember him as the star of the old Miller Lite commercials and his excellent TV work with four different networks over 30 years.
But if you're a Gen-X'er (like me) you're lucky. Because you remember him for ALL of the things I just mentioned. You were aware that he was the coach of the Raiders in the 1970's (even if you didn't see him coach). You were aware of the hilariously funny Miller Lite commercials he was in. And then you grew up watching him and Pat Summerall call the marquee game in the NFC every Sunday in the fall for years on CBS and then Fox. And when you were in your 20's, you were one of the first people to have the Madden94 video game which became a huge media franchise in itself.
His broadcasting style was all his own. He had a way of describing a complicated play and make it very simple for the average fan to understand. He use of the TV chalkboard (or Telestrator) is the stuff of legend. Pairing him with Summerall (which CBS did in 1981) is one of the great broadcasting decisions of all-time. And Madden's personality just burst through the TV screen with Pat, and later with Al Michaels with CBS, Fox, ABC and NBC for 30 years. The Madden Cruiser bus (because of Madden's claustrophobia and fear of airplanes) became legendary in itself.
As a coach, his winning percentage of .759 is still the best in NFL history with at least 100 games coached. And he last coached in 1978! He led the Raiders to seven AFL/AFC title games in the 10 years he coached in the pros. And of course, he led the Raiders to a 32-14 victory in Super Bowl XI over the Minnesota Vikings after the 1976 season.
Combine all of that, and you have a Hall of Famer. And he was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2006.
Another voice of our youth, John Madden, passing away at the age of 85. You'll be missed, Coach!!!