Watch CBS News

'John Really, Really Liked Football': Vikings React To John Madden's Death

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- NFL legend John Madden died Tuesday morning at the age of 85.

The Austin, Minnesota, native became a football icon in triplicate as a Hall of Fame coach, broadcaster and sports video game pioneer.

Madden's crowning moment as a coach was his Oakland Raiders' Super Bowl XI win over the Minnesota Vikings. It was the Vikings' fourth Super Bowl appearance in the 1970s, but Madden's team denied them a Hollywood ending with a wire-to-wire 32-14 trouncing.

Super Bowl XI - Oakland Raiders v Minnesota Vikings
PASADENA, CA- JANUARY 9: Head Coach John Madden of the Oakland Raiders celebrates after they defeated the Minnesota Vikings in Super Bowl XI on January 9, 1977 at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California. The Raiders won the Super Bowl 32 -14. (Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images)

The Vikings released a statement Tuesday after news of Madden's passing spread.

"From coaching to broadcasting to video games, football isn't what it is today without John Madden," the team tweeted. "His legacy and stamp on our game will never be forgotten."

The team also shared a statement from Bud Grant, the Hall of Fame coach who Madden defeated in Super Bowl XI.

"Coaches come in a variety of forms. John really, really liked football. For him it wasn't about the attention. He would sit down and talk football to anyone. That made him a great coach and a great commentator after his coaching career was over," Grant said. "John was a great ambassador for the game of football and will be missed."

Current Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer has served on the NFL coaches subcommittee, known as the Madden committee and chaired by the late legend.

"I was very disappointed to heart that he passed away. Losing a legend like that of the NFL," Zimmer said during a press conference Wednesday. "I was fortunate enough to at least have some conversations with him over the years."

Tommy Kramer, the former Vikings quarterback who made his first ever start against Madden's Raiders in 1977, also honored the icon.

"My condolences to the family of John Madden," Kramer said. "He was not only a great coach and broadcaster, he was [a] great man. RIP Coach."

Chuck Foreman, whom Madden's defense held to just 44 yards on 17 carries in Super Bowl XI, said he "was a great coach and meant a lot to the league."

Running back Adrian Peterson, who graced the cover of some versions of "Madden 25" when he was with the Vikings, called Madden an "icon to the game of football."

On Twitter, Randy Moss shared a video of his exchange with Madden after his three-touchdown Thanksgiving performance against the Cowboys in 1998.

"I wanna talk to John Madden and Pat Summerall, that's what I want," Moss said into a headset at the time. "Y'all know I'm putting on a show for y'all two old heads, man."

The Vikings shared Madden's calls of those three touchdowns. The first was particularly emblematic of Madden's signature, friend-at-the-bar style of commentary.

"You knew they were going to do it, the fans knew they were going to do it, the Dallas Cowboys knew they were going to do it," Madden said after Randall Cunningham heaved a 51-yard pass to Moss.

Moss' fellow wide receiver Jake Reed tweeted a picture of himself wearing an All-Madden jacket, given to Madden's yearly hand-selected team of favorite players. Reed was honored in 1997.

"This is truly one of my favorite jackets," Reed said. "I wear it often and will cherish it forever!"

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.