John Madden turns 85: 5 stuff you most likely did not know concerning the Corridor of Fame coach and broadcaster

On Jan. 9, 1977, John Madden was hoisted up by his gamers after the Raiders gained their first Tremendous Bowl. And whereas he reached the summit of his career at age 40, Madden was nonetheless within the early phases of an unparalleled soccer profession that included 10 years as an NFL head coach and 30 further years in broadcasting. Madden can also be the title behind probably the most iconic soccer online game of all time. 

Madden, who turned 85 on Saturday, was inducted into the Professional Soccer Corridor of Fame in 2006. Upon retiring from broadcasting, Madden suggested the NFL’s competitors committee and security panel. Within the spirit of his birthday, listed below are 5 issues chances are you’ll not find out about Madden, a legendary coach and the voice of NFL Sunday’s for a era of soccer followers. 

1. Lifelong teaching pal 

Whereas he was born in Minnesota, Madden spent nearly all of his childhood in Daly Metropolis, California. His finest childhood pal was John Robinson, the previous coach of USC and the Los Angeles Rams. Madden and Robinson each went to Oregon on soccer scholarships. Whereas Robinson performed 4 years for the Geese, Madden finally transferred to Cal Poly, the place he turned an all-conference offensive sort out. He additionally performed catcher on the varsity’s baseball group. 

“We had been going to play for the Yankees in the summertime and the 49ers within the winter,” Robinson mentioned of he and Madden’s childhood desires. “We started to understand that possibly this fabulous profession wasn’t going to occur.” 

Whereas they by no means turned family names as athletes, Madden and Robinson had been two of the very best coaches of their period. Madden turned the seventh coach in NFL historical past to win the Tremendous Bowl in 1976. Robinson compiled an 8-1 bowl report as a university coach that included a 4-0 report in Rose Bowl video games. He additionally led the Rams to NFC Championship Sport appearances in 1985 and 1989. Robinson’s first Rose Bowl win happened only one week earlier than Madden gained his first Tremendous Bowl inside the identical stadium.

2. Profession-ending harm a blessing in disguise 

The 244th general decide within the 1958 draft by the Philadelphia Eagles, Madden’s NFL profession ended almost as shortly because it started. He suffered a knee harm throughout his rookie coaching camp. Whereas he was rehabbing, Madden determined to spend his free time watching movie with quarterback Norm Van Brocklin, who was on the again 9 of a Corridor of Fame profession. 

“He referred to as me Crimson,” Madden recalled. “He mentioned, ‘Hey Crimson, come on up right here with me. I am the one one there, so he is speaking out loud. … It was the best training I ever had, Norm Van Brocklin.” 

Two years after he was drafted by the Eagles, Madden formally broke into the teaching ranks. He spent 4 years at Allan Hancock School in California earlier than spending a further three seasons as San Diego State’s defensive coordinator. In 1967, Al Davis employed Madden to be his defensive coordinator with the Raiders. On the finish of the season, Madden matched wits along with his teaching idol, Vince Lombardi, who was teaching his remaining recreation for the Packers in Tremendous Bowl II. Two years later, Davis shocked many by making the then 32-year-old Madden his new head coach. Davis selected Madden after Chuck Noll, who had simply helped the Colts attain the Tremendous Bowl as a defensive coordinator, accepted the top teaching place in Pittsburgh. 

3. File-setting head coach 

Madden compiled a .759 profitable proportion in Oakland, the very best proportion in league historical past amongst coaches which have gained 100 video games. Throughout his 10 seasons because the Raiders head coach, Madden led Oakland to the playoffs eight occasions. The Raiders appeared in seven AFC title video games below Madden that included 5 straight from 1973-77. And after falling brief in his first 5 AFC title video games, Madden and the Raiders lastly broke by way of in 1976. After a 13-1 common season, the Raiders dethroned the Steelers — the group that defeated Oakland within the earlier two AFC title video games — to punch their first ticket to the Tremendous Bowl. In Tremendous Bowl XI, the Raiders dominated the Vikings behind a punishing dashing assault and equally devastating protection. Oakland obtained an MVP efficiency from Fred Biletnikoff, who arrange three of the Raiders’ 4 offensive touchdowns. The Raiders gained 32-14, and Madden and the Raiders had been champions for the primary time. 

“They’ll by no means take it away from you,” Madden mentioned of his Tremendous Bowl win. “Possibly the truth that we chased it so lengthy made it larger to us. It was the best feeling on the planet. There’s nothing that may beat it.” 

Whereas the Tremendous Bowl took the cake, Madden was a part of a number of legendary video games throughout his time on the sideline. These video games embody the “Immaculate Reception,” “The Sea of Palms,” the “Holly Curler,” and the “Ghost to the Put up.”

4. The G.O.A.T meets the G.O.A.T.

Fittingly, the ultimate Tremendous Bowl broadcast for the enduring duo of Madden and Pat Summerall was Tom Brady’s first of seven Tremendous Bowl wins. With Summerall and Madden offering the backdrop, Brady led the Patriots to one of many best upsets in Tremendous Bowl historical past, as New England upset the closely favored Rams in Tremendous Bowl XXXVI. 

In all, Madden and Summerall labored eight Tremendous Bowls collectively (5 on CBS), probably the most ever for a broadcast duo. And whereas their run ended with the “G.O.A.T.”, it started by calling Joe Montana’s (Brady’s childhood idol) first Tremendous Bowl win: the 49ers’ 26-21 win over the Bengals in Tremendous Bowl XVI. 

“He was John Wayne and Walter Cronkite,” Madden mentioned of his longtime broadcast accomplice. “He might hold all the pieces on a good keel. I would be wandering off, and Pat might summarize it in like three phrases. And I would suppose, ‘That is what I used to be attempting to say.'” 

Madden labored three extra Tremendous Bowls with Al Michaels that included his remaining broadcast: the Steelers’ dramatic victory over the Cardinals in Tremendous Bowl XLIII. Madden’s colourful evaluation earned him 16 Emmy Awards, the 1994 NSAA Nationwide Sportscaster of the 12 months award and the Pete Rozelle Radio-Tv Award in 2002.

5. Madden’s ‘Cruiser’ earned Corridor of Fame honor 

An aversion to flying resulted in Madden utilizing a bus to journey to NFL video games all through most of his broadcasting profession. A Greyhound bus was transformed into the “Madden Cruiser” in 1987. In 2018, Madden donated the unique “Madden Cruiser” to the Corridor of Fame, the place it was restored to its unique situation. Included inside the unique “Madden Cruiser” are two shade televisions, a phone and intercommunications system, a residents band radio, two laser disc gamers, a built-in vacuum cleaner, a stereo system and a videotape participant. The bus additionally features a non-public bed room with a queen sized mattress, together with a full rest room and a kitchenette, full with a microwave oven. 


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