He was full of love, larger than life. And his absence will be felt everywhere: after decades dominating both on and off the field, legendary NFL coach John Madden has passed away. Here's what we know so far about the football icon's sudden passing. Keep scrolling.
On Tuesday, December 28, the NFL's official Twitter account first broke the unexpected news: "Today we lost a legend," they revealed of the 85-year-old star. "On behalf of the entire NFL family, we extend our condolences to [wife] Virginia, [sons] Mike and Joe, and their families," NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell added.
Sure enough, 10 seasons and endless wins later, Madden's mark is bound to live on forever. "We all know him as the Hall of Fame coach of the Oakland Raiders and broadcaster who worked for every major network, but more than anything, he was a devoted husband, father, and grandfather," Goodell continued.
A coaching legend. A broadcasting icon. Beloved by football fans everywhere.— NFL (@NFL) December 29, 2021
Remembering John Madden. pic.twitter.com/6jbIl1kdZq
Whether he was leading the Raiders to victory or making Super Bowl history, the beloved coach's impact was simply immeasurable. "John Madden was an iconic figure, transitioning from a successful coach to one of the most impactful and distinctive broadcasters in history, across all genres," ESPN chairman, James Pitaro, noted. "His love of football was only matched by the fans' admiration for him. He will forever be synonymous with the game."
No doubt, the football world will never be the same. After coaching the Raiders from '69 to '78, the NFL wiz made maneuvering to the gaming world look easy. Whether you know him from his time on the field or lending his name to EA Sports, the one-of-a-kind sportscaster will be missed by all. As Goodell perfectly put it: "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."
Stay tuned. And, of course, our condolences to the Madden (and football) family.