The iconic National Football League coach, announcer and video game name was 85….
John Madden, the Hall of Fame coach who became one of America’s most recognizable ambassadors of professional football, reaching millions, and generations, from the broadcast booth and the popular video game that bears his name, died on Tuesday. He was 85.
The National Football League announced his death in a statement that didn’t include the cause.
In his irrepressible way, and with his distinctive voice, Madden left an imprint on the sport on par with titans like George Halas, Paul Brown and his coaching idol, Vince Lombardi. Madden’s influence, steeped in Everyman sensibilities and studded with wild gesticulations and paroxysms of onomatopoeia — wham! doink! whoosh! — made the N.F.L. more interesting, more relevant and more fun, for over 40 years.
“John Madden is as important as anybody in the history of football,” said Al Michaels, his broadcast partner from 2002 through 2008 with ABC and NBC, in an interview in 2013. “Tell me somebody who did all of the things that John did, and did them over this long a period of time.”
Madden retired from coaching the Oakland Raiders in 1979, at age 42 and with a Super Bowl victory to his credit, but he turned the second act of his life into an encore, a Rabelaisian emissary sent from the corner bar to demystify the mysteries of football for the common fan and, in the process, revolutionize sports broadcasting….