In December, former football player, coach and commentator John Madden passed away due to unidentified causes at the age of 85, sending ripples across the football community.  

“I’m sad that such an influential person [in] the game of football is no longer with us,” history teacher and football coach Paul Horne said.

Madden’s death stirred the football community, as people saw John as a leader due to his ability to break down the game.

“He was a huge impact in regards to the evolution of the game,” history teacher and head football coach Richard Martin said. 

Madden helped share the game of football to people who didn’t understand the sport through his commentary and his video game, Madded.

He took the complex game of football and explained it to everyone,” Horne said. “He explained the reason for why things are the way they are.”

Both coaches felt that he helped new players or fans ease into the game. His video game, Madden Football, truly helped bring it into the homes of anyone who wanted to learn about football.

“By creating the video games series, he gave a lot of young kids the dream to play football,” senior Jake Tudor said. “[He] made the sport easily attainable and let kids play as their favorite players and teams making people love the game of football even more.”

Coaches and football players felt that he let the game of football grow more because of the video game series.

“It allowed the game of football to come into a household, if you’re not watching the game, or your parents don’t like the game, or you don’t play the game, you can at least now play a video game,” Martin said. “It was very progressive [and] it allowed you to pick plays out of a playbook […] you learned about the game and the x’s and o’s and the schemes.”

Madden was seen as a teacher of football and has helped expose generations of kids to the sport. His unfortunate death was seen all across the country as football games and commentators would commemorate his death. 

“[John’s death] was a reminder of just going back to that initial question of just how impactful he was,” Martin said. “His death just allowed you to kind of reflect and look back and see just how important he was to not only the game of football, but to the social aspects of our lives.”