Tuesday, November 28

Coaching, Commentary, and Gaming Consoles: How John Madden Made the NFL Fun for All Generations

There are NFL legends. Then there is John Madden.

It’s nearly impossible to quantify the impact Madden made on the National Football League as a video game coach, broadcaster, and innovator. Well, maybe one word will work.


It didn’t matter if you heard it on the sidelines, on TV, on PlayStation, or on Xbox. That’s Madden, and football fans of several generations knew that voice.

Madden died unexpectedly on Tuesday morning at the age of 85, and testimonies of his multi-layered impact will run from now until Super Bowl LVI, which takes place on February 13, 2022 at Sofi Stadium. in Inglewood. Qualif.

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It’s appropriate to know that Madden’s coaching career began in 1960 at Allan Hancock College in Santa Maria, California. Less than a decade later, Madden was, in a way, the coach of the Oakland Raiders in the AFL. Oakland owner Al Davis took a chance on Madden, who was only 32, and the rest is an underrated coaching story.

Did you know that of the NFL coaches with at least 100 wins, Madden has the highest winning percentage at .759? Madden had a 103-32-7 record from 1969 to 1978 while leading the Raiders from the AFL to the NFL. Madden was on the sidelines for unforgettable moments like the “Immaculate Reception,” “Ghost to the Post,” and “Holy Roller.” He led the Raiders to victory in Super Bowl XI.

That’s the Madden the Baby Boomer that football fans remember. Most of the NFL legends would take that career to the Hall of Fame and live off the royalties. That was somehow Madden’s opening act.

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He built a second Hall of Fame career as a broadcaster, and rose to the booth in 1979. Madden was a color commentator for CBS, FOX, ABC, and NBC. He called at least one Super Bowl on every network and 11 Super Bowls in total in his broadcasting career.

That’s what Generations X and Y remember. Madden set an incredibly high bar for the commentators of color who followed him. The golden years, of course, were with Pat Summerall. They formed possibly the best tag team in the history of sports broadcasting.

It was beyond the “Boom!” and the “Turducken” soliloquies. Madden once used a teleporter to draw the Gatorade cube’s family tree during Super Bowl XXI. Forget the game. Tell me more about that cube, John.

Madden spent his later years calling games alongside Al Michaels, a dream team that made “Sunday Night Football” the must-see broadcast of the week. Madden’s last broadcast was Super Bowl XLIII between Arizona and Pittsburgh on February 1, 2009.

It has been more than a decade since he broke the blockade schemes and the history of the cube, but the Madden name never lost its luster. That’s due to the enduring legacy of the “Madden NFL” video game franchise that began in 1988. The latest version, “Madden 22,” remains. one of the best-selling games on the market.

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Madden’s name still appears every Sunday. When a coach is guided by analysis and looks for it on the fourth chance, you’ll end up hearing an announcer say, “That guy is acting like he’s playing ‘Madden.” It is the ultimate tribute and a testament to the whole of Madden. -around impact. But somehow it’s not the best part.

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The stories about the man made him a legend. Madden was the guy who was afraid of flying and traveled to games on the bus called “Madden Cruiser”. Madden was the guy who could talk about the intricacies of soccer with the ease of someone who just opened a can of Miller Lite. Madden is possibly the most colorful character in NFL history. Comedian Frank Caliendo launched a career posing as Madden.

That won’t fade either. When “The Autumn Wind” plays in Raiders games, that sound will evoke memories of the Madden era. When an announcer opens a telecast to diagram a play, you will think of Madden. If an NFL player appears on the cover of next year’s “Madden 23” then there will be talk of curses. That’s Madden too. Perhaps no one made soccer more fun for everyone.

That is more than a legend. That is a soccer legacy that will last for generations to come.


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