Reactions pour in after death of legendary NFL broadcaster John Madden

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Former Oakland Raiders coach John Madden gestures toward a bust of himself during his enshrinement into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio, Aug. 5, 2006. (AP Photo/Mark Duncan, File)

Former Oakland Raiders coach John Madden gestures toward a bust of himself during his enshrinement into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio, Aug. 5, 2006. (AP Photo/Mark Duncan, File)

John Madden has died at the age of 85. The Hall of Fame NFL coach became the league’s most revered broadcaster during a television career that lasted nearly 40 years. Reactions quickly poured in from current and former NFL players, colleagues and big names from the world of sports and entertainment.

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“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.” — Al Michaels, lead announcer for NBC’s “Sunday Night Football.”

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“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.” — Cris Collinsworth, Madden’s successor as analyst on “Sunday Night Football.”

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“We lost a larger than life legend in John Madden. My career was narrated by ‘Coach,’ one of the best in the game. I’ll always remember our pre-game (meetings), when we laughed & talked about anything but football. I’ll miss my dear friend. Love & prayers to Virginia & the family.” — Hall of Fame quarterback Brett Favre.

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“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 prime time’s No. 1 show for the past decade.” — Dick Ebersol, NBC Sports chairman from 1989-2011.

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“Rest In Peace to Hall of Fame Coach John Madden! Young people know him for the Madden NFL game, but he is a legend for being a great football coach winning Super Bowl XI, coaching the Raiders for 10 seasons, and becoming the youngest coach to reach 100 regular-season victories.” — NBA great Magic Johnson.

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“In the 150+ years football’s been around, no one has had a bigger impact on the game than John Madden. I’m going to really miss him and our Wednesday HOF calls. Rest in peace, John.” — Fellow Hall of Famer and former Dallas Cowboys executive Gil Brandt.

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“I am not aware of anyone who has made a more meaningful impact on the National Football League than John Madden, and I know of no one who loved the game more.” — Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones.

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“Nobody loved football more than Coach. He was football. He was an incredible sounding board to me and so many others. There will never be another John Madden, and we will forever be indebted to him for all he did to make football and the NFL what it is today.” — NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.

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“I would sit in my room for hours, playing Madden 94, dreaming about the NFL. John Madden voiced countless childhood memories and help cultivate my love of football. Now I make new memories with my boys playing Madden. I never met John Madden. But I feel like I knew him.” — Former NFL tight end and current broadcaster Greg Olsen.

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“I was saddened to hear about the passing of John Madden, at age 85. One the all-time greats, he showed me the ropes during our brief football partnership. He was always kind and delightful. He can now join his former partner, Pat Summerall, in calling Super Bowls in heaven.” — Retired Los Angeles Dodgers broadcaster Vin Scully, who also called NFL games.

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“John Madden was dearly loved by millions of football fans worldwide. While it’s a very sad day, it’s also a day we should celebrate the life of a man who brought joy through the game of football to millions.” — Pro Football Hall of Fame.

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“RIP to the legend Coach John Madden! I never heard of ALL-PRO teams during my childhood. It was all about the All Madden team!! One of a kind! Rest up Coach.” — Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green.

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“Loved this man. Loved him as a coach and as a broadcaster. We all did. Love to his family and thanks for all coach.” — Actor Adam Sandler.

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“Coach John Madden was an NFL icon, who played, coached and gave his name to a video game. But to me he offered his time, wisdom and coaching insight. I was truly blessed to have him as a mentor! RIP Coach.” — Washington Football Team coach Ron Rivera.

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“John Madden was a treasure. He was a gift. And he was an incredible friend. RIP John.” — Hall of Fame quarterback Troy Aikman.

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“John Madden absolutely roasting Troy Aikman for 44-seconds over Aikman’s inability to grow a beard will always be one of my favorite John Madden memories …” — Former NBA player Rex Chapman.

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