Football sportscaster John Madden dies | WORLD
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Football sportscaster John Madden dies

Former Oakland Raiders coach John Madden practices the electronic charting device Telestrator on Jan. 21, 1982, in Pontiac, Mich., for the upcoming NFL football Super Bowl broadcast on CBS. Associated Press photo, file

Football sportscaster John Madden dies

Former college football player, Hall of Fame NFL coach, award-winning TV sportscaster, best-selling author, and video game entrepreneur John Madden died on Tuesday at the age of 85. The National Football League, which made the announcement, did not name a cause of death. Madden coached the Oakland Raiders for 10 years and won the 1977 Super Bowl against the Minnesota Vikings before retiring from coaching at age 42. But he soon launched a second successful career as a pro football broadcaster, illuminating the sport for fans with trademark enthusiasm, punctuating his play-by-play commentary with exclamations of “Doink!” “Wham!” and “Boom!” Former NBC Universal Sports chairman Dick Ebersol reportedly said of Madden, “He’s the best analyst in the history of sports. He’s able to cut through from people my age, who remembered him as a coach, all the way to 12-year-olds.”

What else was Madden known for? He won 16 Emmy Awards during a three-decade broadcast run, covering 11 Super Bowls for four networks. Madden also wrote three New York Times best-selling books and lent his persona to a highly successful series of Electronic Arts football video games. Suffering from claustrophobia that prevented him from flying in airplanes, he traveled the country to games and appointments in his personal bus. During the Thanksgiving games he called, he became known for giving one outstanding player a “turducken”—a turkey stuffed with a duck stuffed with a chicken. Madden is survived by sons Joseph and Michael, along with his wife Virginia, with whom he would have celebrated a 62nd anniversary on Thursday this week.

—WORLD has updated this report to correct the name of John Madden’s wife.

Daniel James Devine

Daniel is editor of WORLD Magazine. He is a World Journalism Institute graduate and a former science and technology reporter. Daniel resides in Indiana.


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