‘He was a national treasure’: NFL legend John Madden dead at 85

Iconic NFL coach and broadcaster John Madden died this week at the age of 85.

According to reports, his death was sudden and unexpected, leaving scores of admirers in shock.

“He taught us all a great deal”

Madden became an unequaled force in the NFL and many of his colleagues in the league have already asserted that his influence will live on. Players, owners, and fans have contributed to an outpouring of condolences and well-wishes for those he left behind.

As a coach, he led the Oakland Raiders to a Super Bowl victory in 1976. His decade as the team’s coach made him the winningest coach in NFL history with a 103-32-7 regular-season record.

He retired from coaching at the age of 42 and went on to cement his legacy as a broadcaster.

Calling Madden “the most popular figure in the history of the NFL,” sportscaster Jim Gray offered a touching tribute to the late broadcaster.

“As John traveled the country by bus, he spent more time talking and listening to the fans than anyone associated with the game ever has,” Gray said. “He loved football and he loved people. He taught us all a great deal. There will never be another John Madden. He was a national treasure.”

“His impact, knowledge, and love for the game”

U.S. Rep. Burgess Owens (R-UT), who once played for the Raiders, shared his thoughts in a tweet, asserting that the team “lost a legend” and expressed gratitude that he had been able to know Madden personally.

“His impact, knowledge, and love for the game will never be forgotten,” the lawmaker said.

A new generation of fans got to know Madden as the face of a popular series of pro football video games.

In his statement acknowledging the news, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell explained: “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 is survived by his wife, Virginia, and sons, Joseph and Michael.

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