Calhoun Times

Hall of Fame coach, NFL media icon mourned

- By Pat Leonard

NEW YORK — John Madden was larger than life. He was everywhere.

Atlanta Falcons quarterbac­k Matt Ryan fondly remembers Madden, who died Tuesday at age 85, bringing his trademark “Boom!” phrase to the advertisin­g world.

“He was the man with the cure for athlete’s foot, man. It was the ‘Boom, Tough Actin’ Tinactin’,” Ryan told reporters Wednesday.

NFL great and Fox broadcaste­r Troy Aikman mostly remembers the man.

“John Madden was a treasure. He was a gift. And he was an incredible friend,” Aikman tweeted.

And while younger generation­s mostly associated the word “Madden” with the famous NFL video game, Giants coach Joe Judge explained Madden’s NFL legacy as a great Raiders coach to his Giants players on Wednesday morning.

“I have two young sons, they play the Madden football game all the time, as do a lot of our players, and you have to educate them sometimes,” Judge said. “They don’t really realize who the guy was, how accomplish­ed a coach he was, how he really changed a lot of the broadcasti­ng. But then even more important as I talked to the players this morning, the impact he had on the game by really the compassion and care he had for the players.”

“It was looking after his own players when they were done playing,” Judge added, “and the impact he’s had pushing around the league for different rules being changed and things to take into considerat­ion with the healthcare of players, and taking care of the older players with benefits. The things that he’s done for the players that sat in the seats looking at us today — really his greatest impact was for the players on the field when he was already off the field himself.”

To Judge’s point, Buccaneers corner Richard Sherman paid homage to Madden by posting a photo of himself on the cover of the Madden game when he was dominating with the Seattle Seahawks.

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

Retired legend Peyton Manning, however, summarized just how revered Madden was and how influentia­l he was in the game.

“My grandfathe­r always loved John Madden,” Manning wrote in a statement. “My rookie year, he was always asking if Madden and Summerall were going to broadcast one of the Colts games. I said ‘Pa-Pa, the Colts are 2-8 and we are playing the Bengals who are 3-7. Madden and Summerall don’t do those games.’”

But the next year, when the Colts beat the Dallas Cowboys, Madden and Summerall were on the call.

“My grandfathe­r was so excited,” Manning said. “We won the game that day, and John Madden said, ‘the Colts are on their way.’ It’s one thing for a fan to say the Colts are on their way. When John Madden says that, that meant something.”

Judge channeled Madden’s appreciati­on for the game on Wednesday to motivate his team, it seemed, to keep their feet on the gas these last two weeks even though they’ve been eliminated from the playoffs.

“The expectatio­ns and the competitiv­eness, that

doesn’t change,” Judge said. “We’re not negotiatin­g or compromisi­ng our standards around here. Every game is important, it’s the National Football League. We all lost John Madden last night. One thing John Madden was great about, when you really sit back and you listen to some of the things that he said throughout his career, he talked about the importance of every game and every opportunit­y in the National Football League, and the value of the opportunit­y that we have to coach or play in this league.”

“None of that should be taken for granted,” Judge said. “I hear people all the time say ‘meaningles­s games.’ What is a meaningles­s game? Everyone here has worked very hard to be in this position, to play or coach in this league. We’re only guaranteed or promised so many games a year. It’s a privilege to have the opportunit­y to go out here and compete. There’s no such thing as a meaningles­s game. There’s wasted effort, there’s wasted preparatio­n, but there are no meaningles­s games.”

Boom. He’s got that right.

 ?? Ron Jenkins/Fort Worth Star-telegram/tnS ?? John Madden stands with his bust at the Pro Football Hall of Fame induction ceremony in 2006.
Ron Jenkins/Fort Worth Star-telegram/tnS John Madden stands with his bust at the Pro Football Hall of Fame induction ceremony in 2006.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from United States