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Announced by the NFL on Twitter earlier today, the Hall of Fame coach of the Oakland Raiders and broadcaster was also the face of the sport for any who played it in video game form.
“Nobody loved football more than Coach. He was football,” said NFL commissioner Roger Goodell. “He was an incredible sounding board to me and so many others. There will never be another John Madden, and we will forever be indebted to him for all he did to make football and the NFL what it is today.”
— NFL345 (@NFL345) December 29, 2021
He first lent his likeness to John Madden Football in 1988, with the most recent game to sport his name being Madden NFL 22 from earlier this year. Madden’s name and likeness were on dozens of titles, and he became known as the face of NFL video games.
When Madden was asked about his thoughts on the game series in a 2012 Grantland interview, he replied: “It’s a way for people to learn the game and participate in the game at a pretty sophisticated level.”
Originally Madden was against endorsing EA’s series because it was envisioned as a six or seven player game, with Madden reportedly saying: “I’m not putting my name on it if it’s not real,” after insisting the game have the realistic 11 players.
Madden has the best winning percentage of coaches in the NFL for those who have taken charge in over 100 games, and he coached the Raiders from 1969 to 1978. He also travelled to games in his own bus due to claustrophobia, alongside a fear of flying.
Fans are calling for Madden to be the central figure on next years title.