After becoming a huge Oakland Raiders fan during the late 1960’s and all through the decade of the 1970’s….as I loved all “Da Bad Boys In Silver and Black”…..especially “The Snake” QB Ken Stabler, Cliff Branch, Jim Otto, Dave Casper, Fred Biletnikoff, Art Shell and Gene Upshaw on offense….and Otis Sistrunk, “The Stork” Ted Hendricks, Lester Hayes, John Matuszak, Phil Villapiano, Willie Brown, Jack Tatum and George Atkinson on defense…. plus the best punter to ever punt a football, Ray Guy…..but # 1 on my list of beloved Raiders was none other than Head Coach John Madden….as his team of “rowdy unruly hard-nosed football players” were simply an expression of their coach….who had very few rules for his team….cuz that meant that he had very few rules for his players to break….as he simply embodied the “Win Baby Win” attitude of his owner Al Davis. I can honestly say that regardless of how much of a fan that I was of Coach Madden and his Oakland Raiders …..the truth be known is that I became an even bigger fan of the broadcasting superstar that John Madden became once he got behind the mike for NFL broadcasts….and in my opinion, the greatest broadcasting team in any sport of all time was John Madden and Pat Summerall…..for you talk about “salt and pepper”….as these two simple ingredients could combine to make any dish of NFL football better than what was being served up on whatever game played…..for together behind the mics, they were simply the best. Since we lost John Madden last December, it is more than fitting that I post this story of his life and legacy for NFL football fans everywhere….as it is truly an honor to provide this story and video history of a truly wonderful human being….and phenomenal coach and broadcaster.
NFL – 1967 To 2006 – Fox Sports Documentary – “All Madden”
John Earl Madden (April 10, 1936 – December 28, 2021) was an American football coach and sports commentator in the National Football League (NFL)…..who served as the head coach of the Oakland Raiders from 1969 to 1978…..with whom he led to eight playoff appearances…..seven division titles……seven AFL / AFC Championship Game appearances…..and the franchise’s first Super Bowl title in Super Bowl XI…..while never having a losing season…..as Madden holds the highest winning percentage among NFL head coaches who coached 100 games.
NFL – 1967 To 2006 – Special Tribute – Hall Of Fame: John Madden’s Story
After retiring from coaching, Madden was a color commentator for NFL telecasts from 1979 to 2008…..which earned him 16 Sports Emmy Awards…. as he appeared on all four major American television networks…..while providing commentary for games broadcast by CBS, Fox, ABC and NBC. He also lent his name, expertise, and commentary to the Madden NFL video game series from 1988 to 2022…..which became the best-selling American football video game franchise of all time. John Madden was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2006.
NFL & Talk Shows – 2021 – UNDISPUTED: With Shannon Sharpe & Skip Bayless – Remembering Hall Of Fame John Madden, Who Died At 85
John Earl Madden was born in Austin, Minnesota on April 10, 1936…..as the son of Earl Russell Madden (1905-1961) and Mary Flaherty Madden (1917-2011). His father, an auto mechanic, moved the Madden family to Daly City, California, located south of San Francisco, when John was young…..where John attended Catholic parochial school with John Robinson at Our Lady of Perpetual Help…..while graduating in 1950…..and then he attended Jefferson High School, graduating in 1954.
NFL & MLB – 1970 To 1979 – HBO Documentary Special – “Rebels Of Oakland” – Story Of The Oakland A’s and The Oakland Raiders
A football star in high school, Madden played one season at the College of San Mateo, in 1954, before he was given a football scholarship to the University of Oregon…..where he studied pre-law…..while playing football with boyhood friend John Robinson…..as he was redshirted because of a knee injury and had a knee operation…..so, then he attended the College of San Mateo in 1955…..which was followed by Grays Harbor College…..while playing in the fall of 1956 before transferring to Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo …..where he played both offense and defense for the Mustangs in 1957….. while earning a Bachelor of Science in education in 1959….and a Master of Arts in education in 1961. He won all-conference honors at offensive tackle, and was a catcher on Cal Poly’s baseball team. Madden was drafted in the 21st round (244th overall) by the NFL’s Philadelphia Eagles in 1958…..but suffered an injury on his other knee in his first training camp….which ended his playing career without having had an opportunity to play professionally.
NFL – 2004 – MNF Dallas Cowboys Vs Washington Redskins – Redskins S Sean Taylor Hit With John Madden Commentary
Madden recounted how he became involved with coaching saying “I got hurt in my rookie year with the Philadelphia Eagles with a knee injury and I could not play. While I was rehabbing, Norm Van Brocklin would be watching films and would explain what was happening. I ended up with a degree in teaching and my love for football meshed with teaching.”
NFL – 1986 – NFC Championship Game Highlight – L A Rams Vs Chicago Bears – With Pat Summerall + John Madden – “Funny Comments By Madden”
In 1960, he became an assistant coach at Allan Hancock College in Santa Maria, California…..where he was promoted to head coach in 1962…..as his team went 12-6 in two seasons…..which included an 8-1 mark in 1963. Following the 1963 season, he was hired as a defensive assistant coach at San Diego State…..where he served through 1966. During that final campaign, the 1966 Aztecs were ranked among the top small colleges in the country…. and while at San Diego State, Madden coached under Don Coryell…..whom Madden credited as being an influence on his coaching.
NFL & NCAAF – 2010 – San Diego State University Tribute To Coach Don Coryell at Viejas Arena – With Keynote Speaker John Madden On “Football Genius” Don Coryell – An Incredible Eulogy
Building on that success, Madden was hired by Al Davis as linebackers coach for the AFL’s Oakland Raiders in 1967…..which put him in the Sid Gillman coaching tree…..as he helped the Raiders reach Super Bowl II that season. A year later, after Raiders head coach John Rauch resigned to take the same position with the Buffalo Bills, Madden was named the Raiders’ head coach on February 4, 1969, becoming, at the age of 32, professional football’s youngest head coach to that time. Madden’s 1st Raiders squad went 12–1–1 in 1969….but lost 17–7 to the Kansas City Chiefs in the last-ever American Football League Championship Game…..which would become a frustrating trend during Madden’s coaching career……as Oakland won seven AFC West division championships…..and always played to a winning record during his ten seasons as head coach…..but they also lost in seven AFL/AFC Title Games …..as one of the most frustrating of these defeats came in 1972…..when what appeared to be a last-minute AFC championship victory over the Steelers instead became a part of football lore when Franco Harris’ “Immaculate Reception” gave Pittsburgh a 13–7 win. In 1974, after knocking the two-time defending Super Bowl champion Miami Dolphins out of the playoffs in dramatic fashion, the Raiders again lost to the Steelers in the AFC Championship game. The Steelers would once more end the Raiders’ season one game short of the Super Bowl in the 1975 AFC Championship game.
NFL – 1969 – NFL Films – “Pride and Poise” – The Story of the Oakland Raiders – In Coach John Madden’s 1st Year
NFL – 1972 – AFC Championship Game Highlights – Oakland Raiders Vs Pittsburgh Steelers – With Pat Summerall
NFL – 1972 – Special Highlight – AFC Championship – Raiders Vs Steelers – “The Immaculate Reception”
NFL – 1973 – AFC Championship Game – Oakland Raiders Vs Miami Dolphins – With Curt Gowdy
NFL – 1974 – NFL Films – Greatest Games – AFC Divisional Playoffs – Oakland Raiders Vs Miami Dolphins – With John Facenda
NFL – 1974 – NFL Greatest Plays – “Sea of Hands” – Featuring Raiders Victory Over Dolphins With 35 Seconds Remaining
In 1976, the Raiders went 13–1 in the regular season…..and escaped the 1st round of the playoffs with a dramatic and controversial 24–21 victory over the New England Patriots…..then, in their 3rd straight battle with the Steelers in the AFC Championship game…..that’s when Madden’s Raiders finally defeated their nemesis 24–7 to reach Super Bowl XI. On January 9, 1977, Madden won his 1st and only NFL title with a 32–14 win over the Minnesota Vikings.
NFL – 1976 – AFC Championship Game Highlights – Pittsburgh Steelers Vs Oakland Raiders – With Pat Summerall
NFL – 1976 – NFL Films – “Super Memories of The Super Bowl” – With Pat Summerall – Featuring Super Bowl XI – Minnesota Vikings Vs. Oakland Raiders – Led By Coach Madden – Part 1 (NOTE: NFL Blocked Seeing Part 2)
NFL – 1977 – Super Bowl XI Highlights Special – Minnesota Vikings Vs Oakland Raiders – Oakland Raiders: “The Team of the Decades”
The Raiders again won the AFC West in 1977 but again lost the AFC Championship Game…..but this time to the Denver Broncos. The Raiders enjoyed their 10th straight winning campaign under Madden in 1978…..but failed to qualify for the playoffs for just the 2nd time in his tenure. Soon after their season ended, Madden announced his retirement on January 4, 1979 due to a troublesome ulcer and occupational burnout…..while stating that he was permanently ending his coaching career.
NFL – 1969 To 1978 – NFL Films – “NFL Owner Al Davis’s Oakland Raiders With Coach John Madden & His Bad Boys”
NFL – 1977 – AFC Championship Game Highlights – Oakland Raiders Vs Denver Broncos
Among Madden’s accomplishments as a head coach were winning a Super Bowl…..while becoming the youngest coach to reach 100 career regular-season victories….which is a record he compiled in only ten full seasons of coaching at the age of 42….and John Madden is still the coach with the most wins in Raiders history. Madden never had a losing season as a head coach. His overall winning percentage, including playoff games, ranks 2nd in league history behind Guy Chamberlin…..and is the highest among those who coached 100 games…..plus Coach Madden achieved his record during a period that included head coaches Tom Landry, Don Shula, Chuck Noll, and Bud Grant…..who are generally regarded as the top coaches of that era.
NFL & Talk Shows – 1983 – Late Night With David Letterman – With Special Guest – John Madden
NFL & Talk Shows – Late Night With David Letterman – Featuring Frank Caliendo as John Madden
Madden joined CBS as a color commentator in 1979…..when after working lower-profile contests during his 1st years…..then he was elevated to the network’s top football broadcasting duo with Pat Summerall in 1981…..while replacing Tom Brookshier. Prior to teaming with Summerall on CBS, Madden was paired with a variety of announcers, such as Vin Scully, Dick Stockton, Frank Glieber, and Gary Bender…..while the team of Madden and Summerall would go on to call eight Super Bowls together…..whereas, on occasions in which Summerall was unavailable where during the CBS years, Summerall was normally scheduled to commentate on the U.S. Open tennis tournament during the early weeks of the NFL season…..so, Madden would team with the likes of Vin Scully and Verne Lundquist. On Madden and Summerall’s final CBS telecast together…..which was the 1993 NFC Championship Game on January 23, 1994)…..as Madden told Summerall that while CBS may no longer have the NFL, at least they have the memories. On ABC’s final Monday Night Football telecast in 2005, Madden used a similar choice of words.
NFL & Awards Ceremony – 1998 – C S Charity Awards Banquet – Pat Summerall Introduces Award Winner John Madden
NFL – 2002 – Super Bowl XXXVI Telecast – John Madden & Pat Summerall Special – As They Call Their Last NFL Game As A Broadcast Team After 21 Years In The Booth Together
NFL – 2013 – Funeral Ceremony Of Pat Summerall Special – John Madden’s Beautiful Eulogy of His Broadcast Partner for 21 Years
When the Fox Network gained the rights to NFC games in 1994, CBS employees became free agents….while Madden was the biggest star in football broadcasting…..and Fox, ABC and NBC made offers higher than $2 million a year maximum for sportscaster salaries….when NBC’s owner General Electric offered to make Madden its “worldwide spokesman”….and GE Rail would build for him a luxury train to accommodate his travel needs…..but after he almost joined ABC, Madden and Summerall joined Fox’s NFL coverage…..thus giving the network credibility to broadcast what Rupert Murdock called “the crown jewel of all sports programming in the world”….as Madden’s contract paid him more annually than any NFL player at the time. However, Fox was reportedly losing an estimated $4.4 billion on its NFL contract for the eight year deal it signed in 1998….and it had been trying to cut programming costs as a result….as Madden’s Fox contract would have been worth $8 million for 2003…..so, in 2002, Madden became a commentator on ABC’s Monday Night Football….while working with longtime play-by-play announcer Al Michaels….as Madden reportedly made $5 million per year.
NFL – 2021 – Green Light Tube Presents – Howie Long and Chris Long Remembering the Legacy of John Madden
In 2005, Dick Ebersol, President of NBC Sports, announced that John Madden would provide color commentary for NBC’s Sunday night NFL games beginning with the 2006 season….thus making him the 1st sportscaster to have worked for all of the “Big Four” US broadcast television networks. On October 13, 2008, NBC announced that Madden would not be traveling to the October 19 Sunday Night Football game between the Seattle Seahawks Vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Tampa, Florida…..which marked the end of Madden’s 476-weekend streak of consecutive broadcast appearances. Madden, who traveled by bus, decided to take the week off because he had traveled from Jacksonville to San Diego…..and would have had to go back to Florida before returning to his Northern California home…..so, he was replaced by Football Night in America studio analyst Chris Collinsworth for the game…..and then he returned for the following telecast on November 2, 2008 in Indianapolis….for until 2010, the NFL did not schedule Sunday night games for one week in October…..so as not to overlap with the World Series taking place roughly around the same time. Madden called his final game on February 1, 2009 for Super Bowl XLIII between the Arizona Cardinals versas the Pittsburgh Steelers…..then Madden announced his official retirement from the broadcasting booth on April 16, 2009…..and was succeeded by Collinsworth.
NFL – 2006 To 2009 – Special – NBC Sunday Night Football – “Theme Montage”
NFL – 2008 – Sunday Night Football – NBC NFL Opener – NY Giants Vs Dallas Cowboys – Featuring Al Michaels & John Madden
NFL – 2009 – NBC Sports Super Bowl XLIII Special – Steelers Vs Cardinals – “Broadcaster John Madden Calls It Quits”
NFL – 2009 – NFL Network Special – Rich Eisen Interviews Pat Summerall On Super Bowl XLIII Sunday – Featuring “Thoughts of John Madden Announcing He Was Retiring From Broadcasting”
Madden got his start in broadcasting calling in to longtime San Francisco radio personality “The Emperor” Gene Nelson’s show on station KYA in the 1970’s…..while he was coaching the Raiders…..then he followed Nelson when he moved to station KSFO…..as the call-ins continued even after Madden’s coaching retirement. Madden later made appearances on KNBR…..and in 1997, he began calling in to radio station KCBS five days a week at 8:15 a.m. Pacific Time…..as this continued through Thanksgiving 2015…..when he ceased calling after heart surgery and other health concerns. He began making twice-weekly appearances on KCBS radio again in 2017…..while appearing Mondays and Fridays at 9:15 a.m…..when he stopped making regular radio call-ins in August 2018…..while citing a desire to remove any obligations from his schedule. KCBS named him “Senior Investigative At-Large Correspondent”, indicating that he may occasionally call in again. Madden also aired sports commentaries in syndication on the Westwood One radio network in the United States.
NFL & Talk Shows – 2021 – The Herd With Colin Herd – Remembering John Madden – “Completely Authentic, Often Imitated, Never Duplicated”
Madden’s lively and flamboyant delivery won him critical acclaim…..along with fourteen Sports Emmy Awards for Outstanding Sports Event Analyst. His announcing style was punctuated with interjections such as “Boom!”, “Whap!”, “Bang!” and “Doink!”…..and with his use of the telestrator….which was a device that allowed him to superimpose his light-penned diagrams of football plays over video footage…..which helped helped to popularize the technology of the telestrator…..as it has become a staple of television coverage of all sports.
NFL – 1986 – Special – “John Madden Goes to Chalkboard to Explain Chicago Bears Defense”
NFL & News – 2009 – Bloomberg Financial News Network Special – Interview With John Madden
Madden was also known for working the annual Thanksgiving Day games for CBS and later Fox…..when he would award a turkey or “turducken” to the winning team. He would also award a turkey drumstick to players of the winning team following the Thanksgiving Day game…..while often bringing out a “nuclear turkey” with as many as eight drumsticks on it for the occasion…..as the drumsticks served as an odd take on the “player of the game” award. Madden stopped announcing the Thanksgiving Day games after he moved to ABC in 2002…..but the tradition continued…..when Fox, CBS, and the NFL Network would present the “Galloping Gobbler” to the game’s “Most Valuable” player.
NFL – 1980 To 2001 – CBS Thanksgiving Day NFL Game Special – “John Madden’s Thanksgiving Turducken Tradition”
NFL – 1995 – Fox Sports Thanksgiving Day Game Special – “John Madden & Pat Summerall Thanksgiving With 6-Legged Turkey and A Turducken”
NFL – 2002 – Monday Night Football Special – Eagles Vs 49’ers – “John Madden Explains Turducken To Al Michaels”
In 1984, Madden took the advice of NFL coach John Robinson….who was a friend of Madden since elementary school….and created the “All-Madden” team…..which was a group of players who Madden thought represented football and played the game the way he thought it should be played. Madden continued to pick the All-Madden team through the 2001 season…. when he left to move to ABC and Monday Night Football. Madden added his “Haul of Fame” for his favorite players…..and then he created a special 10th Anniversary All-Madden Team in 1994…..an All-Madden Super Bowl Team in 1997…..and an All-Time All-Madden Team in 2000. All Madden was also the title of Madden’s third best-selling book (after Hey, Wait A Minute? I Wrote a Book and One Knee Equals Two Feet).
NFL – 1985 – BFK Special – The 1985 All Madden Team – Featuring Pat Summerall and John Madden
NFL – 1986 – The Classic Sports Presents – Preview of the 1985 All Madden Team – Featuring Pat Summerall and John Madden
NFL – 1987 – CBS Sports NFL Special – All Madden Team – Defensive Backs – With Pat Summerall + John Madden
NFL – 1987 – CBS Sports NFL Special – All Madden Team – Linebackers – With Pat Summerall + John Madden
NFL – 1987 – CBS Sports NFL Special – All Madden Team – Coach + Future Nose Tackle – With Pat Summerall + John Madden
NFL – 1996 – BFK Special – The 1996 All Madden Team – Featuring Pat Summerall and John Madden
NFL – 1997 – BFK Special – The 1997 All Madden Team – Featuring Pat Summerall and John Madden
NFL – 2001 – BFK Special – The 2001 All Madden Team – Featuring Pat Summerall and John Madden
NFL – 1997 – Fox Sports Official Super Bowl XXXI Intro – The All-Time All Madden Super Bowl Team – Featuring Pat Summerall and John Madden
In All Madden, Madden explained: “What does it mean to be ‘All-Madden’? It’s a whole range of things…..for defensive linemen and linebackers, it’s about Jack Youngblood playing with a busted leg…..and Lawrence Taylor wreaking havoc on the offense…..or Reggie White making the other guy wish he had put a little more in the collection plate at church. It’s about a guy who’s got a dirty uniform, mud on his face and grass int the ear hole of his helmet.
NFL – 1988 – CBS Sports Special – “John Madden Selects WWF Bobby Heenan To Manage The All Madden Team”
Madden was featured in the movie Little Giants. He also played himself as the broadcaster of the fictional games in the film The Replacements alongside his broadcast partner at the time Pat Summerall.
NFL & Movie Clips – 1994 – Scenes from Movie “Little Giants” – Starring John Madden + Rick Moranis + Ed O’Neill + Shawna Waldron
NFL & Movie Clips – 2000 – Scene from Movie “The Replacements” – Featuring John Madden + Pat Summerall – “Fat Man Scores”
On December 25, 2021, the Fox network presented All Madden, a documentary highlighting Madden’s rise to stardom as an NFL coach and broadcaster…..as former and current NFL players appear in the film….which premiered prior to a Christmas Day game on Fox between the Cleveland Browns and Green Bay Packers in Green Bay.
NFL – 2021 – Jon Foss Interviews Executive Producer/Co-Director Tom Rinaldi of Fox Sports Documentary Film “All Madden” – As He Talks About The Film And What He Learned About John Madden During Production
NFL – 2021 – The Herd With Collin Herd Interview of Tom Rinaldi – With Discussion About The Fox Sports Documentary “All Madden”
Madden appeared in a variety of radio and television commercials including Ace Hardware, Outback Steakhouse (the corporate sponsor of the Madden Cruiser), Verizon Wireless, Rent-A-Center, Miller Lite, Toyota, Sirius Satellite Radio, and “Tough Actin” Tinactin. In particular, the Miller beer advertisements cemented Madden’s image in the public eye as a bumbling but lovable personality.
NFL & Comedy – 2006 – Mad TV Commercial – John Madden’s Quick Pop Popcorn Popper
NFL & TV Ads – 1980 – John Madden For Lite Beer from Miller
NFL & TV Ads – 1998 – John Madden, Billy Martin, Rodney Dangerfield, Dick Butkus, Mickey Spillane et al for Lite Beer from Miller – In “The First Lite Beer Open”
NFL & TV Ads – 1986 – John Madden for McDonalds Hamburgers and Fries With A Coca Cola
NFL & TV Ads – 1998 – John Madden for Ace Hardware – Featuring Ace Dollar Days
Madden appeared in a 1999 episode of The Simpsons, “Sunday, Cruddy Sunday”…..and also hosted an episode of NBC’s Saturday Night Live in 1982 with musical guest Jennifer Holliday…..plus, Madden was featured in the Irish band U2‘s music video for the song “Stuck in a Moment You Can’t Get Out Of”. He made a similar appearance in the video for Paul Simon’s 1972 single “Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard”…..in which he attempts to teach football fundamentals to a group of kids playing a pickup game…..when in order to minimize travel to studios, Madden built Goal Line Productions in Pleasanton, California.
NFL & Comedy – 1982 – Saturday Night Live Skit – “The Loser’s Locker Room” – With John Madden and the Cincinnatti Bengals After Their Super Bowl Loss
NFL & Comedy – 1982 – Saturday Night Live Special – Train Travel With John Madden – “As He Tells The Story of Losing 4 Players To Anyone Who Will Listen
Music – 1988 – Official Paul Simon Video – “Me and Julio Down By The Schoolyard” – Featuring Spud Webb + Mickey Mantle + John Madden
From 1988 on, Madden lent his name, voice and creative input to the John Madden Football series of football video games…..which was later called Madden NFL, published by EA Sports/Electronic Arts…..whereby, entries in the series have consistently been best-sellers, to the extent that they have even spawned TV shows featuring competition between players of the games. Despite Madden’s retirement as a broadcaster in 2009, he still continued to lend his name and provide creative input to the series….which were so popular that he became better known as the face of Madden to contemporary football fans than as a Super Bowl-winning coach and broadcaster, up until his death in 2021.
NFL + Video Games – 1988 To 2022 – Video Game Special – “The Story Behind John Madden NFL Football”
Madden viewed the game as an educational tool….when during initial planning conversations with Electronic Arts founder Trip Hawkins in 1984, Madden envisioned the program as a tool for teaching and testing plays. He stated in 2012 that Madden NFL was “a way for people to learn the game [of football] and participate in the game at a pretty sophisticated level”…..as the EA Sports series continued to use his name, iconography and license following his death…..and announced on Madden Day (June 1, 2022) that all editions of Madden NFL 23 would feature Madden on the cover in tribute of his legacy…..with the next gen version cover being a picture of Madden celebrating his victory as the head coach of the Oakland Raiders in Super Bowl XI…..and the All Madden Edition cover is based on the cover of the series’ 1st installment, John Madden Football.
NFL – 2015 – Special Interview With HOF Packers QB Brett Favre – With Hilarious Story About How He Almost Killed John Madden
His awards and honors include:
Super Bowl XI winner (as head coach of the Oakland Raiders)
12-time Emmy Award winner
1984 NSMA National Sportscaster of the Year
Yahoo! Sports Top 50 All Time Network Television Sports Announcers (#2).
2002 Pete Rozelle Radio-Television Award winner
Halls of Fame
Bay Area Sports Hall of Fame (class of 1991).
Pro Football Hall of Fame (class of 2006)
California Hall of Fame (class of 2009)
2010 NSMA Hall of Fame inductee
NFL – 2006 – NFL Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony – Featuring Raiders Owner Al Davis Introducing HOF Inductee Coach John Madden
Madden met his wife, Virginia Fields, in a bar in Pismo Beach, California….when they married on December 26, 1959. They lived in Pleasanton, California….and had two sons, Joseph and Michael. Joe played football at Brown University and Mike attended Harvard University….where he started as receiver on the football team. Madden and Virginia celebrated their 62nd wedding anniversary two days before his death.
NFL – 1969 To 2009 – Special Collection – “John Madden’s Famous Sayings”
Madden’s aversion to flying was well known…..albeit his fear was not realized until many years into his adult life…..when he had lost people close to him on the October 29, 1960 during a California Polytechnic State University football team plane crash that claimed the lives of 16 players, the team’s student manager and a football booster….however, it was not until 1979 that he had his 1st panic attack on a flight originating in Tampa, Florida…..and he never flew on a plane again. Madden, however, stated once in an interview that his fears were not about turbulence, flying or heights…..but primarily because of claustrophobia.
NFL – 2022 – Special – US Congress Pays Tribute To John Madden – “In The Only Way Politicians Know How…Verbally When Read”
During his Saturday Night Live hosting appearance in the early 1980’s, a short film aired depicting Madden making the journey to New York City to host SNL by train…..for during this time period, he was a frequent rider on Amtrak’s Lake Shore Limited…..when Amtrak let the famous customer use the dining car at any time. However, beginning in 1987, Greyhound Lines supplied Madden with a custom bus and drivers in exchange for advertising and speaking events…..which was dubbed the Madden Cruiser. The Madden Cruiser shells are manufactured by Motor Coach Industries…..as the coach-bus sponsors over the years have included Walker Advantage Muffler and Outback Steakhouse. As a result of his aversion to flying, Madden never did commentary for the Pro Bowl…..which was held in Honolulu during every year of his broadcasting career…..and likewise, Madden never called any preseason game held outside of North America, even when his play-by-play partner was on the telecast. Madden found an unexpected use for his bus in New York City after the September 11, 2001 attacks…..when he provided transportation for former ice-skating champion Peggy Fleming….whose flight home to Los Gatos, California, had been grounded. In contrast to Madden’s aversion to flying, his widow Virginia took flying lessons.
NFL – 2021 – ESPN Sportscener Special – Chris Berman Reflects On John Madden’s Impact On Football
NFL – 1995 – STWeekly Interview With John Madden in St Louis – With Tour of John Madden’s Cruiser Bus
NFL – 1991 – Tim H TV Special – “John Madden Gives a Cook’s Tour of the Madden Cruiser”
NFL – 2017 – KYNV Channel 13 Las Vegas Special – “A Look Inside The Famed Madden Cruiser”
John Madden died of undisclosed causes at his home in Pleasanton, California, on December 28, 2021, at the age of 85. In a press release announcing Madden’s death, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said that Madden “was football”…..while adding, “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 & News – December 29, 2021 – PBS News Hour With Jeffery Brown – “Remembering NFL Legend John Madden and His Contributions To The Game”
NFL & News – KRON Channel 4 Oakland Special – “Memorial Service in Oakland to Honor NFL Legend John Madden”
NFL – 2021 – TPS Presents – “NFL World Reacts to the Passing of John Madden”
NFL – 2022 – NBC’s Sunday Night Football Special – “John Madden Intro: Tribute to John Madden”
There’s people in life who you personally don’t know…..and may have never met….but you can just tell from hearing them talk….along with how they carry themselves…..that they are just good people…..and John Madden was one of these people….for he just seemed like a good honest warm hearted person. John Madden was many things to many many people…..and a hall of famer in every regard…..but for me, he will always be remembered as Coach …..as I’ll always credit Madden and the Raiders for teaching me that you can never give up on a dream you have…..while they fought for 7 years to get past the best teams in the AFC….but finally the Raiders gave him a win in Super Bowl XI against the Minnesota Vikings. When I consider all of the awesome quotes from John Madden (I mean, I even posted a video full of them in this tribute)…..albeit, my favorite when interview on about his players and what he expected of them….when he said, “There is nothing that is worse than a phony… you won’t have any longevity. If you’re going to have longevity, you’d better be yourself. And you’d better be yourself every doggone day.”…..as Coach Madden had just three rules for his players….1. Don’t be late…..2. Pay attention…..3. Work hard when it’s time to work….for in his opinion, if you’ve got your players adhering to those three rules….that is all you needed in order to coach them at the highest level of proficiency …..cuz Madden’s passion and excitement for the game was infectious…..and that is why his legacy will live forever. A humble spirit, a man who didn’t care about looks…..and a man who didn’t judge a book by its cover…..for as a coach, he allowed his players the freedom to be themselves…..to sit on their helmets…..or grow out their hair if they wanted. He made his players realize their inner potential when he coached for the Raiders…..while he didn’t care about wearing ties. John Madden was a man’s man…..plus, he was the type of guy you could sit down and have a beer with. Since I read all the comments to the videos that I posted about John Madden, my favorite was the following: “What I will always remember about Mr. Madden is his humanity. In 1978 in a pre-season game against New England-Patriots WR Darryl Stingley was hit and paralyzed by Raider Jack Tatum. Mr. Madden rushed to the hospital after the game to see Mr. Stingley and was appalled by the fact that no one from the NE organization came to see Mr. Stingley or his family. He called the airport and demanded that the Patriot charter plane be held and then Patriots coach Chuck Fairbanks come to be with Mr. Stingley. Mr. Madden offered his home/car to Darryl Stingley’s family and purchased clothes for Mr. Stingley’s girlfriend who had no change of clothes. He visited Mr. Stingley in the hospital on a regular basis and helped to pay his medical bills when there was a problem with the insurance company and the Patriots organization to pay for it. Mr. Madden remained friends with Darryl Stingley right up until his passing. RIP Mr. Madden”…..cuz this comment tells you all that you ever need to know about the man that John Madden was. He helped teach generations about the game of football through all of the media he was involved in…..while his most overlooked virtue was that he made football FUN. He knew it was all about FUN…..and far too many analysts want to be taken seriously by analyzing the sport as if it were nuclear physics…..but Madden knew his credentials were so solid he didn’t need to show off…..so, he just had fun with it…..and that made him the greatest of all time….the GOAT. The truth be known, I am not sure what I enjoyed more…..listening to him teach the game…..or watching the game. est in peace John Madden…..you helped generations learn about football….. and may your legacy live forever in the EA Madden series…..for Ice Cubes quote hit like a freight train…..“People don’t say ‘I’m going to play video game football’ They say ‘I’m going to play Madden.’ And it blows my mind every year.”