Oakland says goodbye to Madden at the Coliseum

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OAKLAND, California – When John Madden died in December, his widow Virginia knew exactly where she wanted to honor the life of her late husband.

The place where Madden first came to fame, running along the sidelines at the Oakland Coliseum as the Super Bowl-winning coach for the Raiders.

“John believed in the city of Oakland, he believed in the Colosseum, most of all he believed in the Raiders,” Virginia Madden said. “I believe in the Raiders. The Oakland Raiders.”

It drew loud applause from the few thousand fans who showed up for the event and have stuck with the Raiders during their 13 seasons in Los Angeles and after their move to Las Vegas in 2020.

The event featured video tributes to Madden’s Hall of Fame career as a coach and broadcaster and video messages from Hall of Famers such as Peyton Manning and Brett Favre.

“I feel like my career should be told by John Madden,” Favre said. “I loved John. I sensed the good relationship we had … He was a bigger character if you did not know him, and even bigger than life if you knew him. I’m just grateful for my relationship with him.”

There were also live speeches from several coryphaeus close to Madden over the years, such as coaches Andy Reid, Ron Rivera and Steve Mariucci.

“He never taught me to lose my childlike love of life,” Reid said.

Madden died unexpectedly at his home in the Bay Area on December 28 at the age of 85, leading to an outburst of love after a remarkable career that included a 10-year stint as Raider’s coach, three decades as the best television star. analyst in football and his role in creating the popular video game that bears his name.

Madden reached seven AFC title fights in his 10 seasons as a coach with a record of 103-32-7 in the regular season. His .759 winning percentage is the best among NFL coaches with more than 100 games.

Tickets sold for $ 32.14 in a nod to the result of the Raiders’ 32-14 Super Bowl victory over Minnesota with Madden as coach in the 1976 season. The profits benefited the John Madden Foundation to provide educational opportunities for young people in Oakland.

Virginia Madden said she would match up to $ 1 million of what was raised for the event.

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