John Madden dies at 85, NFL says

The NFL announced that Pro Football Hall of Fame coach and football personality John Madden died unexpectedly Tuesday morning. He was 85.

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In a statement, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell shared condolences for Madden’s family.

“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 said.

“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.”

Madden gained fame in a decade-long stint as the coach of the renegade Oakland Raiders, making it to seven AFC title games and winning the Super Bowl following the 1976 season. He compiled a 103-32-7 regular-season record, and his .759 winning percentage is the best among NFL coaches with more than 100 games.

But it was his work after prematurely retiring as coach at age 42 that made Madden truly a household name. He educated a football nation with his use of the telestrator on broadcasts; entertained millions with his interjections of “Boom!” and “Doink!” throughout games; was an omnipresent pitchman selling restaurants, hardware stores and beer; became the face of “Madden NFL Football,” one of the most successful sports video games of all-time; and was a best-selling author.

On Tuesday, officials with the Las Vegas Raiders called Madden’s impact on professional football both and and off the field “immeasurable.”

In a statement obtained by the Dallas Morning News, Jerry Jones, owner of the Dallas Cowboys, said Madden’s death was “a loss that is as big as the legacy that John Madden created.”

“I am not aware of anyone who has made a more meaningful impact on the National Football League than John Madden, and I know of no one who loved the game more,” he said. “If you knew John, he made your life better. For me he was a trusted confidant, advisor, a teacher and above all, a very dear friend. When he walked into the room, it was a better day.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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