Sports world mourns the loss of Hall of Famer, NFL icon John Madden

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The NFL world mourned the loss of Hall of Fame coach and broadcasting icon John Madden on Tuesday.

Madden died unexpectedly Tuesday morning, the league announced. He was 85.

Madden was one of the most recognizable names in NFL history, whether it's from his coaching career with the Oakland Raiders, his broadcasting run with nearly every network or even the video game that's been named after him.

Naturally, the sports world and football fans everywhere honored Madden on social media almost instantly after news of his death.

Plenty of fans shared some of Madden’s best broadcasting bits, movie clips and other moments of his throughout the years, too.

A few of his former colleagues, including some who are not on Twitter, issued statements of their own on Tuesday night.

“John Madden was an extraordinary man on so many levels,” said Al Michaels, who worked alongside Madden at both NBC and ESPN. “As a Hall of Fame coach, a beloved broadcaster who rewrote the book on ways to connect with an audience and the guiding force behind an iconic video game that created millions of new football fans, he was as important a figure as any in the history of the National Football League.

“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.”

Cris Collinsworth, who is currently in the booth with Michaels for “Sunday Night Football” on NBC, worked with Madden at both NBC and Fox.

“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,” Collinsworth said. “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.

“But I will remember him for the night he had dinner with our NBC team at our house. I introduced him to my two boys who both played in the Junior Football League. John asked them about their respective teams. An hour later John excused himself from dinner having spent his entire time breaking down the offensive and defensive schemes of those two teams. My boys will never forget that, and neither will I.”

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