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Why it matters: Football legend John Madden died unexpectedly on Tuesday at the age of 85. For readers of a certain age, John Madden was best known as the namesake of EA’s iconic football video game series. Others may remember him for leading the Raiders to a Super Bowl championship, or his memorable commentary as a broadcaster for every major television network.
John Madden Football debuted in 1988 with his likeness featured prominently on the front of the box. This trend would continue for more than a decade before EA started putting active NFL players on the cover. Still, the Madden name persisted and carries on to this day with the latest release in the series, Madden NFL 22.
Madden played football in college but his professional career was cut short before it even started due to a knee injury he suffered during training camp.
Enamored by the game, Madden shifted gears and embarked on a successful coaching career that would eventually see him lead the Oakland Raiders to a championship at Super Bowl XI in 1976.
After retiring as a coach, Madden launched an encore career as a sportscaster. From 1979 through 2008, he worked as a broadcaster and called Super Bowls for every major broadcaster. His aversion to flying meant he traveled to each venue via bus, which he dubbed the Madden Cruiser.
“Nobody loved football more than Coach. 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.” – NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.
Madden died at his home on December 28, 2021.