John Madden, Hall of Fame Coach and Broadcaster, Is Dead at 85


Madden, at age 32, inherited a group in 1969 that had gone a mixed 25-3 the earlier two seasons, (*85*) he maintained the Raiders’ customary of excellence. Perhaps his best accomplishment was working so long as 12 years for Al Davis, the Raiders’ irascible (*85*) Machiavellian proprietor — (*85*) staying shut mates with him till Davis’s demise in 2011.

But when Madden retired, having been pummeled by ulcers (*85*) panic assaults (*85*) what’s now thought to be burnout, he might boast of a résumé that included a Super Bowl XI demolition of the Minnesota Vikings in 1977; a .759 regular-season successful share (103-32-7), greatest amongst coaches who’ve labored at least 100 video games; (*85*) an on-field view of some of probably the most controversial (*85*) memorable moments in soccer historical past: the infamous “Heidi” recreation (1968), the Immaculate Reception (1972) (*85*) the notorious Holy Roller play in 1978, his last season.

The thought of overseeing one other minicamp, one other spherical of draft preparation, bedeviled him. Lombardi coached for 10 years, (*85*) so would Madden.

“You traveled around but you never saw anything,” Madden instructed The Washington Post in 1984. “Everything was an airplane, a bus, a hotel, a stadium, a bus, an airplane and back home. One day I said, ‘There has to be more to life than this.’”


And there was.

John Earl Madden was born in Austin, Minn., on April 10, 1936, the oldest of three youngsters, (*85*) the one son, of Earl (*85*) Mary (Flaherty) Madden. His father was a mechanic.

When John was 6, his household moved to Daly City, Calif., a working-class suburb of San Francisco whose proximity to the town supplied adventurous escapes for sports-crazed boys. With his shut pal John Robinson, who would change into the pinnacle coach at Southern California (*85*) of the Los Angeles Rams, Madden hitched trolley rides into city (*85*) then sneaked into Kezar Stadium (*85*) Seals Stadium to observe soccer (*85*) baseball video games.

His household was of modest means, however Madden was resourceful. He scrounged for gear in rummage bins (*85*) normal his baseball bats by taping collectively items discovered at semipro video games. Opportunities for minor-league baseball beckoned — the Red Sox (*85*) the Yankees expressed curiosity — however Madden, from his time caddying for the well-heeled at the San Francisco Golf Club, had come to equate success with a university schooling.