Sports world mourns the loss of Hall of Famer, NFL icon John Madden

The NFL world mourned the loss of Hall of Fame coach and broadcasting icon John Madden on Tuesday.

Madden died unexpectedly Tuesday morning, the league announced. He was 85.

Madden was one of the most recognizable names in NFL history, whether it's from his coaching career with the Oakland Raiders, his broadcasting run with nearly every network or even the video game that's been named after him. 

Naturally, the sports world and football fans everywhere honored Madden on social media almost instantly after news of his death.


— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) December 29, 2021

"A brilliant coach. A loyal and trusted friend. A Raider."

We'll always remember John Madden.

— Las Vegas Raiders (@Raiders) December 29, 2021

A coaching legend. A broadcasting icon. Beloved by football fans everywhere.

Remembering John Madden.

— NFL (@NFL) December 29, 2021

Thanks, Coach

— Madden NFL 22 (@EAMaddenNFL) December 29, 2021

A statement on the passing of the great John Madden from CBS Sports Chairman Sean McManus.

— NFL on CBS 🏈 (@NFLonCBS) December 29, 2021

Rest In Peace Coach.

— Sunday Night Football on NBC (@SNFonNBC) December 29, 2021

FOX Sports CEO and Executive Producer Eric Shanks on the passing of John Madden.

— FOX Sports PR (@FOXSportsPR) December 29, 2021

Absolute legend amongst legends.

Rest In Peace Mr. Madden.


— JJ Watt (@JJWatt) December 29, 2021

So sad to hear this.
Such a fan of his-Growing up in my era it was Pat Summerall & John Madden on Sunday.
No matter who your team was-changed the game of how football games were broadcasted.
Legend as a coach and a broadcaster-My thoughts & prayers with his family & friends. 🙏🏼

— Kirk Herbstreit (@KirkHerbstreit) December 29, 2021

I was saddened to hear about the passing of John Madden, at age 85. One the all-time greats, he showed me the ropes during our brief football partnership. He was always kind and delightful. He can now join his former partner, Pat Summerall, in calling Super Bowls in heaven.

— Vin Scully (@TheVinScully) December 29, 2021

We lost a great coach, man and legend. Thanks for the one of most distinctive voices in all the sports. Also thank you for recognizing and respecting my gift. RIP
Little Giants

— Emmitt Smith (@EmmittSmith22) December 29, 2021

Idk if there will ever be another John Madden….just iconic

— Damien Woody (@damienwoody) December 29, 2021

Rest in Paradise To the 🐐 John Madden!!!! Your legacy will continue to live on ♾!!!!!

— LeBron James (@KingJames) December 29, 2021

Rest in heaven John Madden!! True definition of legendary!! Thanks for all you did for the game I love with all my heart!! And you are a big reason for that!!

— Mark Ingram II (@markingramII) December 29, 2021

An icon to the game of football
Rest In Peace

— Adrian Peterson (@AdrianPeterson) December 29, 2021

Loved this man. Loved him as a coach and as a broadcaster. We all did. Love to his family and thanks for all coach.

— Adam Sandler (@AdamSandler) December 29, 2021

Rest In Peace to a Legend! Prayers to the Madden Family. 🙏🏽

— Patrick Mahomes II (@PatrickMahomes) December 29, 2021

Before I went into broadcasting with FOX Sports, Coach Andy Reid asked me to speak with John Madden. Mr. Madden’s advice to me was to just be myself. His words gave me the confidence to pursue this new career path. I thank Andy for suggesting and Mr. Madden for accepting my call.

— Michael Vick (@MichaelVick) December 29, 2021

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has long regarded John Madden as a dear friend.

His statement on the death of an NFL icon.

— David Moore (@DavidMooreDMN) December 29, 2021

We lost a larger than life legend in John Madden. My career was narrated by “Coach”, one of the best in the game.

I’ll always remember our pre-game mtgs, when we laughed & talked about anything but football. I’ll miss my dear friend.

Love & prayers to Virginia & the family.

— Brett Favre (@BrettFavre) December 29, 2021

When you think NFL football, you think John Madden.

RIP to a Legend.

— Julian Edelman (@Edelman11) December 29, 2021

one thing about madden as broadcaster was how personable he was while retaining the gravitas that came from being a championship-winning coach. clearly from a time when coaches were seen more as teachers than ceo's.

— bomani (@bomani_jones) December 29, 2021

Statement from Robert Kraft on the passing of John Madden.

— New England Patriots (@Patriots) December 29, 2021

😔RIP John Madden. What an incredible life

— danawhite (@danawhite) December 29, 2021

Sad day in #RaiderNation
RIP Coach John Madden
A legend & one of a kind!!

— Guy Fieri (@GuyFieri) December 29, 2021

I would sit in my room for hours, playing Madden 94, dreaming about the NFL. John Madden voiced countless childhood memories and help cultivate my love of football.

Now I make new memories with my boys playing Madden.

I never met John Madden. But I feel like I knew him. 🙏

— Greg Olsen (@gregolsen88) December 29, 2021

RIP to an incredible man and coach, John Madden. My thoughts and prayers are with his loved ones and Raider Nation🙏🏿

— Jerome Bettis (@JeromeBettis36) December 29, 2021

few names more synonymous with football than Madden. he's an NFL Mount Rushmore fixture.

— Mike Golic Jr (@mikegolicjr) December 29, 2021

A legend, icon and American original.
Few make a true impact on their sport…
He made an indelible mark on three levels coach, broadcaster and video games.

What a life that touched so many of us. Prayers to his family and friends.

— MikeTirico (@miketirico) December 29, 2021

Rest In Peace, John Madden. One of our all-time most beloved personalities. ❤️🏈

— Jim Irsay (@JimIrsay) December 29, 2021

RIP to the legend and Hall of Famer John Madden

— Bruce Arians (@BruceArians) December 29, 2021

Coach John Madden was an NFL icon, who played, coached and gave his name to a video game. But to me he offered his time, wisdom and coaching insight. I was truly blessed to have him as a mentor! RIP Coach 🙏

— Ron Rivera (@RiverboatRonHC) December 29, 2021

R.I.P. to John Madden. It was one of my greatest honors to grace the cover of your video game. Thank you for the years of joy and motivation!

— Richard Sherman (@RSherman_25) December 29, 2021

A coaching and broadcasting legend and loved by all. You will be missed. RIP John Madden

— Jerry Rice (@JerryRice) December 29, 2021

Transformational. Generational.
These words are too often used inappropriately when talking sports personalities in general. It IS appropriate to use when talking about John Madden, and there is no need to explain why. It just is what it is. He changed the game. #RIP legend.

— Louis Riddick (@LRiddickESPN) December 29, 2021

RIP to the legend Coach John Madden! I never heard of ALL-PRO teams during my childhood. It was all about the All Madden team!! One of a kind! Rest up Coach 🕊🕊🕊

— Draymond Green (@Money23Green) December 29, 2021

John Madden was a true football man. RIP, Coach.

— Mike Tomlin (@CoachTomlin) December 29, 2021

Just found out that John Madden has passed away. The world and the world of sports has lost a true icon. We all learns so much from him. My prayer go out to his family.

— Joe Theismann (@Theismann7) December 29, 2021

Plenty of fans shared some of Madden’s best broadcasting bits, movie clips and other moments of his throughout the years, too.

John Madden has passed away at the age of 85. Rest In Peace, John…

— Rex Chapman🏇🏼 (@RexChapman) December 29, 2021

How special was John Madden? Just listen to the man talk about Gatorade buckets.

— Faux John Madden (@FauxJohnMadden) December 29, 2021

John Madden's "Fat Guy Touchdown" scene in The Replacements always made me laugh

— David Gardner (@byDavidGardner) December 29, 2021

"you know the old thing, you can run down to the pigeon and turn left"

— playoff ace (@AceAnbender) December 29, 2021

My favorite John Madden memory was when he randomly showed up in The Little Giants with a bus load of NFL superstars who helped give advice to a peewee football team on how to beat those arrogant, good for nothing Cowboys. RIP

— East Bay Chris (@EastBayChris) December 29, 2021

John Madden calling NFL games was the absolute best

— Jon Machota (@jonmachota) December 29, 2021

John Madden, the G.O.A.T.

— Jon Machota (@jonmachota) December 29, 2021

A few of his former colleagues, including some who are not on Twitter, issued statements of their own on Tuesday night.

“John Madden was an extraordinary man on so many levels,” said Al Michaels, who worked alongside Madden at both NBC and ESPN. “As a Hall of Fame coach, a beloved broadcaster who rewrote the book on ways to connect with an audience and the guiding force behind an iconic video game that created millions of new football fans, he was as important a figure as any in the history of the National Football League.

“We worked together for seven years on Monday Night Football and Sunday Night Football. It was like hitting the lottery. He was so much more than just football – a keen observer of everything around him and a man who could carry on a smart conversation about hundreds and hundreds of topics. The term ‘Renaissance Man’ is tossed around a little too loosely these days, but John was as close as you can come. A dear friend, a wonderful partner in the broadcast booth and a man who brought so much joy to so many people, I’ll miss him enormously.”

Cris Collinsworth, who is currently in the booth with Michaels for “Sunday Night Football” on NBC, worked with Madden at both NBC and Fox.

“If you love football, John Madden was probably part of the reason why. If you were lucky enough to watch his Raiders, you were likely inspired watching his free-spirited team play with such heart,” Collinsworth said. “If you watched him as a broadcaster, you learned the game from the inside out, through the eyes of a former offensive lineman who understood every nuance of the game. But, as a broadcaster he will always be remembered as the original LOL. He could make you belly laugh for reasons you couldn’t explain, but always treasured. And if you remember him for his video game, you probably learned how to play football without ever touching a ball.

“But I will remember him for the night he had dinner with our NBC team at our house. I introduced him to my two boys who both played in the Junior Football League. John asked them about their respective teams. An hour later John excused himself from dinner having spent his entire time breaking down the offensive and defensive schemes of those two teams. My boys will never forget that, and neither will I.”

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