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John Madden loved Cal Poly, his alma mater, and the feeling was mutual.

In a nod to that, the two Cal Poly universities — San Luis Obispo and Pomona — made a last-minute adjustment to their annual Rose Parade float to honor the Hall of Fame NFL coach and broadcaster, who died unexpectedly Tuesday.

The school was known simply as Cal Poly when Madden was a student at the San Luis Obispo campus in the mid-1950s, starting on the offensive and defensive lines as a football player, and playing catcher on the baseball team.

The tribute to him in the parade will be subtle, but keen eyes will be able to spot it. The float is called “Star Grazers” and is a twist on the “Hey Diddle Diddle” nursery rhyme, only the engineering cows are building jetpacks to jump over the moon.

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