Legendary NFL Hall of Fame football coach and sportscaster John Madden unexpectedly passed away Tuesday at age 85 in Pleasanton, California.
Drafted as a player by the Philadelphia Eagles in 1958, Madden was permanently sidelined with a knee injury before he played in a professional game. During his rehabilitation, he was inspired by coach Norm Van Brocklin; Van Brocklin would review training films with Madden and explained what was going on at the time. This led to an interest in coaching and a degree in teaching.
Madden was drafted as a linebackers coach in 1967 with the then-AFC Oakland Raiders. Later as their head coach at age 32, Madden never had a losing season and amassed the second highest winning percentage in league history.
He was also well known as a television color commentator on the FOX, NBC, ABC and CBS networks from 1979 to 2009 and after winning fourteen Sports Emmy Awards. After retiring, Madden became an advertising pitch man and made several movie cameo appearances From 1988 onward, he lent his name, voice and likeness to the Madden NFL series of video games by EA Sports/Electronic Arts.
Madden’s fear of flying was well known, a fear which began in 1960 after several people close to him were killed in a plane crash. As such, Madden traveled between venues by train or bus, claiming claustrophobia and the inability to watch scenery as the primary reasons.
Madden leaves behind his wife Virginia and two sons, Joseph and Michael.
IVOX NEWS :: SOURCE – Ralph Squillace