Al Michaels (play-by-play alongside John Madden from 2006-08 on NBC’s Sunday Night Football, 2002-2005 on ABC’s Monday Night Football):
“John Madden was an extraordinary man on so many levels. As a Hall of Fame coach, a beloved broadcaster who rewrote the book on ways to connect with an audience and the guiding force behind an iconic video game that created millions of new football fans, he was as important a figure as any in the history of the National Football League.
“We worked together for seven years on Monday Night Football and Sunday Night Football. It was like hitting the lottery. He was so much more than just football – a keen observer of everything around him and a man who could carry on a smart conversation about hundreds and hundreds of topics. The term ‘Renaissance Man’ is tossed around a little too loosely these days, but John was as close as you can come. A dear friend, a wonderful partner in the broadcast booth and a man who brought so much joy to so many people, I’ll miss him enormously.”
Cris Collinsworth (NFL TV teammate with John Madden from 2006-2008 at NBC Sports, 1998-2001 at Fox Sports):
“If you love football, John Madden was probably part of the reason why. If you were lucky enough to watch his Raiders, you were likely inspired watching his free-spirited team play with such heart. If you watched him as a broadcaster, you learned the game from the inside out, through the eyes of a former offensive lineman who understood every nuance of the game. But, as a broadcaster he will always be remembered as the original LOL. He could make you belly laugh for reasons you couldn’t explain, but always treasured. And if you remember him for his video game, you probably learned how to play football without ever touching a ball.
“But I will remember him for the night he had dinner with our NBC team at our house. I introduced him to my two boys who both played in the Junior Football League. John asked them about their respective teams. An hour later John excused himself from dinner having spent his entire time breaking down the offensive and defensive schemes of those two teams. My boys will never forget that, and neither will I.”
Andrea Kremer (sideline reporter with John Madden from 2006-08 on NBC’s Sunday Night Football):
“John Madden was the greatest custodian of the game of football. His larger-than-life energy and enthusiasm made him an iconic figure in American sports history. Working with Coach on Sunday Night Football was a pleasure and an honor – from the laughs on his bus, to the Friday film tutorials, to the support he always showed me throughout my career. My deepest condolences to Virginia and the entire Madden family.”
Michele Tafoya (sideline reporter with John Madden from 2004-05 on ABC’s Monday Night Football):
“Coach Madden was like no one else. A giant. He was a joy to be around. He made everyone feel like they mattered. He was so naturally funny. Bus rides with him to games and practices were an absolute treat. One moment you were learning the nuances of a play, and the next moment you were laughing hysterically over something really silly. Coach Madden was a treasure. His life was monumental. His passing is profoundly sad. I consider myself so fortunate to have been his colleague and friend. Rest in Peace, Coach.”
Fred Gaudelli (coordinating producer with John Madden from 2006-08 on NBC’s Sunday Night Football, 2002-2005 on ABC’s Monday Night Football):
“John Madden was an American treasure. No one loved football more than he did and he lived to make it better every day of his life. It was an absolute honor to work with him and share a 20-year friendship. Like football fans everywhere, I will miss him dearly. My love goes out to his wife Virginia, sons Mike and Joe and all the grandchildren he simply adored.”
Drew Esocoff (director with John Madden from 2006-08 on NBC’s Sunday Night Football, 2002-2005 on ABC’s Monday Night Football):
“Working with Coach Madden was a dream come true. He made everything fun. He found a way to relate to everyone. He was the greatest ‘hang’ ever. Gonna miss you, coach.”
Mark Lazarus (Chairman, NBCUniversal Television and Streaming):
“John Madden made an enormous impact on the NFL, sports broadcasting, NBC, and many of the people on our team. He will be sorely missed.”
Dick Ebersol (Chairman, NBC Sports, 1989-2011):
“John was arguably the most impressive man I’ve ever met…he was a hero, as well as a dear friend. Sunday Night Football is what it is today in part because he came over to NBC. He set the tone for what has become primetime’s #1 show for the past decade.
“In retirement, I’ve gotten to see him a lot and have spent time with him and his wife, Virginia. We all took advantage of John’s love of the NFL and football in general, and of his love of the American dream as well. He went from being a poor kid in the San Francisco Bay Area as boyhood neighbors with Coach John Robinson, his lifelong friend, and John went on to become one of the most important figures in our country’s number one sport—just remarkable.
“John, through his tenure as the best coach in the NFL, endeared himself to a generation…followed by being the best broadcaster ever on four different networks (CBS, FOX, ABC, NBC) and had more impact than anyone at that time of tremendous growth of the NFL. Madden games have welcomed more fans to the game for decade after decade, and those games still enthrall hundreds of millions every year.
“Personally, I loved John. He was a friend, a mentor and one of the most intelligent human beings I’ve ever known. Our love goes out to his wife, Virginia and his sons and grandchildren. He’ll be sorely missed by every American sports fan who ever invited John into their living rooms.”