Like most people in the world of professional sports, the owner of the New England Patriots football team had only good things to say when learning of the passing of John Madden. Robert Kraft described the former football coach and television broadcaster as the most iconic personality in football over the past 50 years.
Tom Brady, former quarterback of the Patriots who led the team to six Super Bowl victories, also shared fond memories of Madden. He especially remembers Madden calling the play-by-play in his first Super Bowl win with the Patriots in 2002. Upon hearing that Madden had passed away due to unknown causes at age 85 in late December 2021, Brady stated that the sportscaster was nothing short of a legend.
John Madden’s Career as a Football Coach
John Madden first made a name for himself as a winning coach in the National Football League. After serving seven seasons as assistant coach, head coach, and defensive coordinator for two college teams, Madden joined the NFL’s Oakland Raiders as the team’s head coach in 1967.
Madden remained with the Oakland Raiders until 1978, posting a record of 103 wins, 32 losses, and seven ties. He also led the Oakland Raiders to the Super Bowl in 1976. With a win percentage of .759, Madden continues to hold the record for NFL coaches who have coached more than 100 games.
John Madden decided to leave coaching and become an NFL broadcaster at the start of the 1979 season. He was 42 years old. Although his coaching results remain untouched to this day, it is his work as a television broadcaster that stands out to Robert Kraft, Tom Brady, and others who love the game of football.
A Sportscaster Like No Other
John Madden spent 30 years behind the microphone calling the play-by-play for football audiences across the country. His broadcasting career spanned from 1979 to 2009. He had a following of his own, with sports fans delighting in his unique expressions of “doink!” and “boom!” to describe what he saw on the field.
Sports audiences loved Madden so much that he earned 16 Emmy Awards in the category of outstanding sports personality and analyst. He worked for several networks and had the opportunity to call 11 Super Bowl games in his three-decade career.
Video game developers even created a game called John Madden Football, one of the highest-selling sports video games of all time. Madden was so sought after during his sportscasting years that many companies hired him to pitch their products. He was also a best-selling author.
Why the Sports World Loved John Madden
John Madden was a burly man with a booming voice who always looked a little unkempt. In a sport where players’ egos sometimes got the best of them, people appreciated Madden for the unpretentious way in which he presented himself.
Madden admitted to an intense fear of flying, stating that being in an airplane gave him claustrophobia. His phobia played a big part in the decision to give up coaching and go into broadcasting instead. Madden always rode his own bus to get to each football stadium where he broadcast games.
The NFL broadcasts games on Thanksgiving each year, and these were favorites for Madden to call. He enjoyed giving the game’s most valuable player a turducken, a meat creation consisting of a turkey with duck and chicken stuffed into it.
Roger Goodell, the current commissioner of the NFL, spoke for many when he said that few people loved football as much as John Madden. He concluded that there would never be another coach or broadcaster like Madden, and that the league owes him a debt of gratitude for all that he did for the game.
About Robert Kraft
Always a big fan of John Madden, Robert Kraft has been involved with professional football nearly as long as Madden was. He bought the New England Patriots in January 1994 and celebrates 28 years at the helm this month. The Patriots have won six Super Bowl Champions under Kraft’s leadership, more than any other team in the NFL. The team has had just three losing seasons in the same timeframe.
See more information about Robert Kraft: https://www.pro-football-reference.com/executives/KrafRo0.htm