NFL Week 17 – Hall of Fame-caliber coach. Hall of Fame-caliber broadcaster. And developer of the greatest sports video game of all time. John Madden has passed away, age 85.
From 1969 to 1978, Madden’s Oakland Raiders went 103-32-7, a .759 winning percentage that tops Vince Lombardi, Bill Walsh, Bill Belichick, Sean McVay, and all of your other favorite coaches. (In NFL history, he is only topped by the .784 mark of Guy Chamberlin, whose last team played nearly a century ago.) But that doesn’t come close to capturing his influence on the league. I’m probably not a professional football writer without John Madden. Football Outsiders may not exist without John Madden. His influence behind the mic and as the innovator of sports games that go beyond button-mashing may never be truly measured.
Everyone go read One Knee Equals Two Feet. It will make you a smarter fan, even three-plus decades after it was first published.