On Tuesday, December 28, 2021, the NFL lost one of its icons.
John Madden passed away unexpectedly at the age of 85.
Though Madden was officially retired, he was still a presence in the game.
FOX Sports aired a Christmas Day special talking about his legendary career.
#AllMadden is a look into one of the enduring icons of football: Hall of Famer John Madden.
Tune in tomorrow at 2pm ET to explore Madden’s impact on football, the mark he made on broadcast television and how he revolutionized the video game industry. pic.twitter.com/ESbKgdojqb
— Pro Football Hall of Fame (@ProFootballHOF) December 24, 2021
His EA Sports video game continued to be a huge hit.
Though he was not on our television screens weekly anymore, there was comfort knowing he was still around and likely watching NFL games each weekend just like the rest of us fans were.
Upon hearing of his death, many took to social media to share their memories and thoughts on Madden.
Former NFL Players React
Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kurt Warner was on the losing end of the last Super Bowl Madden commentated on February 1, 2009.
I always loved sitting down & talking with the Legend #JohnMadden – he was larger than life in the NFL world… but what left a larger impression upon me was the character of the man! Honored to have played in last SB he would call in the booth… We love u & we’ll miss you Coach!
— Kurt Warner (@kurt13warner) December 29, 2021
Troy Aikman loved Madden throughout his own career evolution from player to broadcaster.
John Madden was a treasure. He was a gift. And he was an incredible friend.
— Troy Aikman (@TroyAikman) December 29, 2021
Speaking of Aikman, so many posted a favorite clip of Madden commenting on Aikman’s beard growth.
This showed Madden’s humor and his love of the Telestrator.
John Madden absolutely roasting Troy Aikman for 44-seconds over Aikman’s inability to grow a beard will always be one of my favorite John Madden memories… https://t.co/RT3baj5mXO
— Rex Chapman🏇🏼 (@RexChapman) December 29, 2021
Who would not have wanted to be a fly on the wall for the pregame meetings between Brett Favre and Madden to hear those conversations?
The non football topics those two covered had to be hilarious.
We lost a larger than life legend in John Madden. My career was narrated by “Coach”, one of the best in the game.
I’ll always remember our pre-game mtgs, when we laughed & talked about anything but football. I’ll miss my dear friend.
Love & prayers to Virginia & the family. pic.twitter.com/DImjAbUTGI
— Brett Favre (@BrettFavre) December 29, 2021
Madden was a confidante to Phil Simms in his playing years.
As Simms said, players and coaches knew if the Madden and Summerall broadcasting team was covering their game, it was a big deal.
When Madden and Summerall did our games, every player & every coach was excited. It felt big. I told John Madden everything. I trusted him & he never betrayed it. I admired John’s passion for the game most and his truth. He was and will he remembered as a GIANT for football. pic.twitter.com/Oyy5C0GZg1
— Phil Simms (@PhilSimmsQB) December 29, 2021
Wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald notes that Madden’s legacy will live on.
John Madden contributed as much to this game as anybody. His vision helped bring millions of fans to the sport, myself included.
His legacy will continue forever.
My prayers are with his family and friends.
— Larry Fitzgerald (@LarryFitzgerald) December 29, 2021
R.I.P. to John Madden. It was one of my greatest honors to grace the cover of your video game. Thank you for the years of joy and motivation! pic.twitter.com/4P4NKdC1gT
— Richard Sherman (@RSherman_25) December 29, 2021
Wide receiver Calvin Johnson said it all in a few words.
— Calvin Johnson Jr. (@calvinjohnsonjr) December 29, 2021
NFL Owners Share Their Thoughts
The only NFL team Madden ever coached, the Raiders, paid homage to him on Tuesday night.
Mark Davis displayed images inside and outside Allegiant Stadium and lit the Al Davis Memorial Torch in his honor.
Here’s the @Raiders tribute to John Madden on and in @AllegiantStadm. Madden featured on video boards inside and out of the stadium and Raiders owner Mark Davis lit the Al Davis Memorial Torch in Madden’s honor earlier tonight. #vegas #raiders #RaiderNation #ripjohnmadden pic.twitter.com/90kleKXWAY
— Mick Akers (@mickakers) December 29, 2021
“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.”
Cowboys’ owner Jerry Jones: “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.” pic.twitter.com/woRffvTwox
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) December 29, 2021
EA Video Game Players Added Their Suggestions
Madden’s video game franchise has been running for over 30 years.
Each year, a player is selected to grace the cover.
In light of Madden’s passing, there have been suggestions on what to do with Madden 23 to honor him.
John Madden should be on the cover of Madden 23.
Make it happen, @EAMaddenNFL.
— Ari Meirov (@MySportsUpdate) December 29, 2021
john Madden needs to be on the cover of Madden 23
This is him on the cover Madden 2000 pic.twitter.com/w0hINGA3bH
— 𝕯𝖊𝖒𝖔𝖓 (14-10-2) (9-6) (@BURNITDOWNNNNN) December 29, 2021
This is my formal petition to put John Madden on the cover of Madden 23 instead of some player.
— Justin Bauerle (@justinbauerle) December 29, 2021
In addition to putting Madden’s face on the 2023 cover of his game which seems like a no brainer suggestion for EA Sports to implement, another great idea has emerged.
Fans want the commentators of the games to be the iconic duo of John Madden and Pat Summerall.
Who can disagree with that idea?
— Rep. Nick Hoheisel (@RepHoheisel) December 29, 2021
— Frankie Cruz (@Guamfucius) December 29, 2021
It is often trite to call someone one-of-a-kind.
However, Madden truly was.
Yes, his legacy will endure, but Thanksgiving NFL games have not been the same since he retired.
“Thanksgiving and football. Some things just go together greatly.” – John Madden
— NFL (@NFL) December 29, 2021
Rest In Peace John Madden!