Hall of Fame NFL coach John Madden died unexpectedly on Tuesday at age 85. File Photo by Terry Schmitt/UPI | License Photo
Dec. 29 (UPI) -- Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback Peyton Manning and legendary broadcaster Vin Scully were among those who took to social media to honor NFL legend John Madden, who died unexpectedly at age 85.
Madden died Tuesday morning. No cause of death was announced.
He posted the best winning percentage in NFL history for a coach who coached at least 100 games when he led the Oakland Raiders from 1969 through 1978. He went on to serve as a longtime football broadcaster for ABC, NBC, Fox and CBS from 1979 through 2008.
"One [of] the all-time greats, he showed me the ropes during our brief football partnership," tweeted longtime broadcaster Vin Scully, who worked with Madden at CBS. "He was always kind and delightful. He can now join his former partner, Pat Summerall, in calling Super Bowls in heaven."
Madden later served as the face of the Madden NFL video game franchise, further educating generations of new football fans though his energetic commentary.
"It was an honor and privilege to know coach Madden, and my thoughts and prayers are with his family," Manning tweeted Tuesday. "As I said in my retirement press conference, my grandfather always loved John Madden. My rookie year, he was always asking if Madden and [Pat] Summerall were going to broadcast one of the Indianapolis Colts games.
"I said, 'pa-pa, the Colts are 2-8 and we are playing the Cincinnati Bengals who are 3-7. Madden and Summerall don't do those games.' But the next year, we played the Dallas Cowboys with John Madden and Pat Summerall broadcasting the game, and my grandfather was so excited. We won the game that day, and John Madden said, 'the Colts are on their way.' It's one thing for a fan to say, 'the Colts are on their way.' When John Madden says that, that means something."
Manning said he developed a "special relationship" with Madden and he enjoyed talking about football with the NFL legend at production meetings. He also stayed in touch with Madden and called him when he was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady, NBA star LeBron James, Washington Football Team coach Ron Rivera and the Las Vegas Raiders were among those who posted tributes to Madden on Tuesday on social media.
"Few individuals meant as much to the growth and popularity of professional football as coach Madden, whose impact on the game both on and off the field was immeasurable," the Raiders wrote. "
Madden is survived by his wife Virginia and two sons, Joseph and Michael.
Betty White attends the media preview for the Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association's Beastly Ball fundraiser at the Los Angeles Zoo in Los Angeles on June 11, 2015. The actress died
December 31. She was 99 years old. Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI | License Photo