NFL to honor John Madden in wake of icon's death

Madden died earlier this week at the age of 85

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The NFL urged teams on Thursday to honor John Madden, the legendary icon of the sport who died unexpectedly earlier this week.

Madden, whose cause of death was not immediately revealed, died at the age of 85. He rose to fame as coach of the Oakland Raiders, making it to seven AFC title games and winning the Super Bowl after the 1976 season. He holds the record for most wins as a Raiders coach.

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John Madden (right) play-by-play announcer for ABC's "NFL Monday Night Football" and fellow announcer Al Michaels (center) along with producer Fred Gaudelli (left) discuss Madden joining the team for the program in for the fall 2002 television schedule during the ABC Summer press tour.

John Madden (right) play-by-play announcer for ABC's "NFL Monday Night Football" and fellow announcer Al Michaels (center) along with producer Fred Gaudelli (left) discuss Madden joining the team for the program in for the fall 2002 television schedule during the ABC Summer press tour. (Reuters)

He was also recently featured on the FOX Sports documentary "All Madden," which first aired on Christmas Day. 

"As you know, the NFL lost a true giant on Tuesday with the passing of John Madden. To help honor his legacy, we ask that each home team in Week 17 observe a moment of silence in his memory just prior to the start of the game. Below is a recommended stadium public address announcement that can be made prior to the playing of the national anthem," NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell’s memo read.

"Ladies and gentleman, earlier this week the NFL family lost a Hall of Fame coach, broadcaster and friend with the passing of John Madden. At this time, please stand and join in a moment of silent reflection in memory of John Madden, who had an indelible impact on football, the NFL and generation of fans. …"

CBS NFL commentator Pat Summerall (left) and NFL analyst John Madden (right) on the air during an NFL Football game circa 1986. 

CBS NFL commentator Pat Summerall (left) and NFL analyst John Madden (right) on the air during an NFL Football game circa 1986.  (Focus on Sport/Getty Images)

JOHN MADDEN DEAD AT 85: WHO WAS THE LEGENDARY NFL COACH?

Madden coached in the NFL from 1969 to 1978 — all with the Raiders. He was 103-32-7 as head coach and led the 13-1 Raiders to a Super Bowl over the Minnesota Vikings in 1976. He was also the youngest coach to reach 100 regular-season victories when he did it at 42. He never had a losing season.

John Madden, former coach of the Oakland Raiders, celebrates after being named into the NFL Hall of Fame at a news conference in Detroit, Michigan, Feb. 4, 2006.         

John Madden, former coach of the Oakland Raiders, celebrates after being named into the NFL Hall of Fame at a news conference in Detroit, Michigan, Feb. 4, 2006.          (REUTERS/Mike Cassese)

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Madden was then a broadcaster for all the major networks before retiring following Super Bowl XLIII.