This Day In Sports: Oakland Hops Aboard the Madden Express

John Madden
Photo: Rosenstrauch/Contra Costa Times/ZUMA Press/Icon SMI
"I'm gonna have a video game named after me one day boys, you'll see."

February 4, 1969 - After losing two consecutive AFL Championships to the Jets and Chiefs, Raiders head coach John Rauch resigned, prompting owner Al Davis to say, "give me the turducken hunter." John Madden was then promoted from Oakland's linebackers coach to head coach making him pro football's youngest coach at age 32.

Madden became the Raiders sixth head coach and immediately transformed Oakland into one of the most successful franchises in the NFL, winning six division titles in the 1970's. But with success came disappointment as Madden and the Raiders lost three consecutive AFC championships (1972-1974), including an immaculate one at Three Rivers Stadium in 1972. Facing fourth-and-ten on their own 40-yard line, the Steelers trailed the Raiders 7-6 with 22 seconds left and no timeouts. On the ensuing play, fullback Franco Harris caught a deflected pass and ran an incredible 42 yards to the end zone, giving Pittsburgh a 13-7 win over Oakland. Madden likely went "boom, on his back" after the loss.

Madden and the Raiders finally captured their first Super Bowl in 1977 as Oakland defeated Minnesota 32-14 in Super Bowl XI. In 1979, after ten years as Oakland's head coach, Madden retired with a 103-32-7 record, never once having a losing season. He'd spend the next 30 years as a color commentator/analyst for the NFL and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2006. For all of you Madden fans who miss the lovable commentator, fear not, Madden 2011 will be available for both Xbox 360 and PS3 in just a few months.