American football legend John Madden has passed away

John Madden, the former American football coach whose sympathetic voice and broadcast style made him synonymous with the National Football League, died suddenly on December 28. Madden, who lent his name and his image to the long series of football matches published by EA, was 85 years old when he died.

Madden’s first claim to fame was his ten-year stint as head coach of the Oakland Raiders, which culminated in a 1976 victory over the Minnesota Vikings in Super Bowl XI. During his time with the Raiders, he became the youngest coach to rack up 100 wins, which he accomplished at 42. While he was a head coach, the Raiders never finished a season without a winning record. Madden ended his coaching career 103-32-7 in the regular season, which remains the best winning percentage for a modern NFL head coach.

In 1984, EA Sports approached Madden, who had then withdrawn from training due to burnout and moved on to color commentary, to discuss the approval of his computer football game plan. Madden saw it as a chance to help people learn about football and was enthusiastic about the concept, but declined to lend his name to the original designs, which used six or seven players per team due to the technical limitations of their personal computers. the time.

After numerous delays, which at one point involved EA Sports hiring Bethesda Softworks to help build a physical system, John Madden Football was released for the Apple II in 1988, with the retail box including a quote from Madden who said, “Hey, if there aren’t 11 players, it’s not real football. The game featured pieces taken directly from the 1980 Raiders playbook, which Madden provided, and was billed as the “first real football simulation.”

Madden viewed himself primarily as a trainer and continued to view the Madden game series as useful educational tools. He took a similar approach to his broadcast commentary, explaining the action in an enthusiastic yet straightforward way anyone could understand, even if they had never seen a football game before.

He is survived by his wife Virginia and their two sons Joseph and Michael.

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