John Madden Honored at 2022 Super Bowl After His Death, His Family Takes the Field

NFL legend and broadcaster John Madden died in December at the age of 85

Steve Madden tribute super bowl
Photo: NBC

John Madden's memory was alive and well at Super Bowl 56.

The late broadcaster and NFL legend — who died on Dec. 28 at the age of 85 — was honored at this year's game, in a touching tribute before kickoff.

"On the biggest day in football, we remember one of the most towering figures the NFL has ever known: coaching legend, broadcasting icon, gaming pioneer John Madden," the game's announcer said, as footage of Madden played on monitors.

His name and photos then appeared on the monitors at the SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California, with the announcer calling Madden, "forever synonymous with everything great about this game and a true American treasure."

Madden's sons, Michael and Joseph, were on hand for the homage, too, taking the field with their families.

Steve Madden tribute super bowl

Madden was a significant member of the NFL community for five decades, beginning as a player in 1958 and ending in 2009 as a beloved broadcaster.

"Nobody loved football more than Coach," the league said in a statement after his death. "He was football. He was an incredible sounding board to me and so many others."

The NFL added, "There will never be another John Madden, and we will forever be indebted to him for all he did to make football and the NFL what it is today."

The icon was mourned after his death by players and coaches throughout the sports world. And on the first Sunday following his death, a moment of silence was held at stadiums across the country.

John Madden

FOX and CBS paid tribute to the late broadcaster with separate on-air tributes, each featuring a compilation of some of Madden's most iconic moments and lines from his years as a broadcaster

"All around the league, we mourn the loss of the iconic John Madden: coach, broadcaster and so much more whose legacy will live forever," said announcer Kenny Albert on FOX's broadcast of the Las Vegas Raiders-Indianapolis Colts game.

CBS' emotional tribute to Madden began with a soundbite of the former coach speaking about the prospect of immortality from his 2006 induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. "Some of us think maybe we will be immortal, that we'll live forever. But when you really think about it, we're not going to be," Madden said in the clip as the camera pans across his bronze bust. "But I say this: Through this bust in that hall, we will be forever."

The tribute then shifted to various clips of Madden calling NFL games over the years with famous partners Dick Stockton, Vin Scully and Pat Summerall.

"I've never worked a day in my life. I went from player to coach to a broadcaster and I am the luckiest guy in the world," the late broadcaster said, later adding, "This has been the sweetest ride of them all."

john madden
Focus on Sport/Getty

Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE's free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from juicy celebrity news to compelling human interest stories.

Super Bowl LVI, airing on NBC, has the Cincinnati Bengals and Los Angeles Rams facing off. The game marks the Bengals' first time playing in the Super Bowl in more than 30 years, while the Rams were last in it in 2019.

Dr. Dre is headlining the Pepsi Super Bowl Halftime Show, with friends Eminem, Mary J. Blige, Kendrick Lamar and Snoop Dogg making guest appearances.

Related Articles