Kenny Chesney / Instagram
On Tuesday (December 28), the NFL announced the legendary John Madden had passed away. The NFL told ESPN Madden “died unexpectedly.”
Madden was the former coach of the Oakland Raiders (now known as the Las Vegas Raiders). He served as the team’s head coach for ten seasons, and led them to their first Super Bowl win in 1977. His coaching career was recognized by the Pro Football Hall of Fame, who inducted him in 2006.
At age 42, Madden made the decision to retire from coaching. He then began a decades-long career in broadcasting, and won 16 Sports Emmy Awards during that time. Madden retired from broadcasting after the 2008 NFL season came to an end.
Madden was also known for providing his name to the immensely popular Madden NFL video game series.
As a well-respected figure in the sports community, people were heartbroken to learn about Madden’s death on December 28 at the age of 85.
Country singer Kenny Chesney was one famous figure who publicly mourned Madden’s passing. The two of them became friends after working together on the 2010 documentary film, Boys of Fall, which Chesney produced.
“He was such a big part of the ‘Boys of Fall’ film,” Chesney wrote in his tribute to Madden. “We became friends after his interview, and he’ll be missed by everyone that loves the game of football.”
Chesney ended his tribute by writing, “Thank you, John, for your time and for listening to my song and bringing so many people together on a Sunday afternoon. Rest In Peace, my friend.”
Look below to read Chesney’s full tribute. It’s clear that Madden will be dearly missed by Chesney and many others.