Al Michaels recalls John Madden never boarding a plane despite his wife being a qualified pilot
John Madden is arguably one of the greatest coaches to ever grace the NFL. It was his electrifying personality, along with his shrewd footballing brain, that helped him continue to make an impact on the sport even long after his coaching days.
After stepping down as head coach of the Raiders, Madden made his mark in the NFL as a color commentator alongside fellow pit legend Al Michaels. The two worked together on ABC Monday night football from 2002 to 2005 before moving to NBC for their Sunday night football special in 2006. They worked together on SNSF for three years before Madden finally quit his role.
While the two worked together on air for seven years, they barely traveled together. Madden had a well-known aversion to flying, for which he had his famous Madden Cruise Bus to help him travel around the country.
Recalling his experience with the Madden Cruiser, Michaels, when appearing on the Pat McAfee Showhad this to say:
“My over/under on the bus for about an hour. I’ve never been across the country. I’ve never been further than Boston to Providence when we had a game in Foxborough. The bus was fun, but there there were people who crossed the country with John. Man, I don’t know how he did it.
But what really surprised everyone was the fact that Madden’s wife, Virginia, was actually a qualified pilot. Yet the former Raiders HC has always refused to board a flight:
“I’m going to tell you something amazing that no one is thinking about right now. Virginia Madden, who he was married to for 62 years, they celebrated their birthday last weekend. Virginia, at one point, got a pilot’s license. She took flying lessons. She did it. She took flying lessons…And John still hasn’t flown.”
Madden left a lasting legacy on the NFL, whether as a coach, a broadcaster, or even as the man who changed video games for us forever.
John Madden’s Legacy As One Of The Greatest Names In Video Game History
Madden’s name is synonymous with the video game we all love. But how did he become such a big name in the gaming world?
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The very first Madden The game was released in 1988 after Electronic Arts (EA) failed to land Joe Montana as the cover star.
The key moment in the franchise’s success came in 1990 with the game’s second edition after it was released on the Sega Genesis. In 1993, it was on Gameboy, and in 1995, on the PlayStation console as well.
EA developers also managed to land an official license from the NFL in 1993, which saw the brand renamed to Madden NFL. Since then, the name has stuck, and the video game franchise is now said to be worth $4 billion.