Oh my gosh! Just days ago, I read about a new documentary on the life of legendary coach John Madden, "All Madden." It was released on Christmas Day, on Fox Sports. Since I don't have streaming TV, I went looking for it... not yet available to the unwashed masses, but I hope it will be soon.
And then today... I read the news that John Madden has died! Three days after his documentary! Is that incredibly good timing, or horrible timing?
Part of the fun of watching the Oakland Raiders, back in the Kenny Stabler / Freddy Biletnikoff / John Matuszak days, was seeing Madden, pacing the sidelines, TOTALLY wound up by the game! He was a football genius... but he was always pretty close to that fine line "football insanity." Fifty years ago, he always looked like he could suffer a fatal heart attack, right there on the sidelines!
His players loved him and he always coaxed their finest performances. Raider Nation loved him.
Of course, after he retired as a coach (it gave him ulcers... not quite as bad as a heart attack), he continued to share his knowledge of the game with fans, as an expert analyst for many years. And if I'm not mistaken, there's even a video football game named after him.
In 2006 he was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
I feel fortunate that I was a fan during those Raider Glory Years. (Madden and The Snake...)