Legions of fans mourn loss of NFL legend Madden

Cameron Bevan-Abel ‘22, Boys sports editor

The late great John Madden died on Dec. 28, 2021. Though his main legacy was in football, he touched the hearts of millions of Americans and people throughout the world in ways outside of football as well as in it. 

From his humble beginnings at Jefferson High School in Daly City, he went on to gain most of his glory being the head football coach of the Oakland Raiders from 1969 to 1978. Throughout his time with the Silver and Black, he compiled a 103-32-7 record with a 75.9 win percentage. His win percentage is still the highest any pro football coach has ever amounted to (excluding those with less than 100 wins). 

He also coached in seven AFL/AFC championship games during this nine year stint and won a Super Bowl. 

After retiring from football, he immediately came back to the game as a color commentator from which he would go on to call games for NBC, CBS, FOX, and ESPN over the next 30 years. 

Even with his popular image, few thought he could make it big as a commentator with his unique style. However, his youthful exuberance and high understanding of the game propelled him to become one of the most popular color commentators of all time. 

His experience as a player and coach allowed him to see through the lens of the players and coaches he covered and talked about. This perspective made him a very knowledgeable analyst, but what made him “must-watch television” was his enthusiasm for the game and natural entertaining abilities. 

His infamous comedic “bits” like the one with the baby bucket have been replayed and rewatched for decades. 

Another aspect of his life that has gained a lot of recognition throughout the last few decades is the video game franchise: Madden. He lent his name and commentary amongst other things to the Madden NFL video game series back in 1998 and it has since become the best-selling football video game series of all time. 

John Madden sometimes appeared larger than life, but he also always remained down to Earth. He was elected into the pro football Hall of Fame in 2006 as a coach, but he really had three different hall of fame careers: one as a coach, one as a broadcaster and one for the Madden video game franchise. John Madden might be gone, but his legacy will last forever.