The late John Madden will appear on the “Madden NFL 23″ cover, EA Sports announced in a news release.
The Pro Football Hall of Fame coach and NFL broadcaster, who died on Dec. 28, 2021, at the age of 85, last appeared on the main cover of the popular game for the 2000 edition, which was released in 1999, ESPN reported. He appeared in a small box over the next few seasons before being replaced by current players for the cover beginning with “Madden NFL 06,” according to the sports network.
Madden was the focus for the inaugural cover of the game, called “John Madden Football,” and released on June 1, 1988, Sports Illustrated reported. This year’s edition will be released in August, and the late coach will appear on the cover of all three versions of the game, according to EA Sports.
“What better day to celebrate Coach Madden and his legendary career in sport and entertainment than the day he changed the gaming industry forever,” EA Sports said in a statement.
“We were thinking about this year’s game and who was going to go on it; it almost became an obvious answer,” Seann Graddy, the executive producer of Madden NFL, told ESPN. “I say that because we really wanted to celebrate Coach in the product this year and what he’s meant to us for the 30-plus years that we’ve been using his name in our game.”
The “Madden NFL” franchise has since sold more than 150 million copies, according to Sports Illustrated.
Philadelphia-based artist Chuck Styles designed the cover for the All-Madden edition, ESPN reported. The cover depicts a young Madden, holding a football and crashing through a paper full of X’s and O’s. The side of the cover has the statement, “Thanks, Coach,” according to ESPN.
“As someone who grew up loving football, playing in the suburbs of West Philly, it’s a full-circle moment to now be able to contribute to the culture of the sport by honoring an icon like John Madden, who has influenced generations of football fans through his passion for football and unmistakable energy, through my art,” Styles said in a statement.
The other two covers, which were not created by Styles, show Madden as a coach and broadcaster.
“The thing that we wanted everyone to take away is that we’re celebrating all three phases of Coach Madden’s kind of legacy,” Graddy told ESPN.
Madden coached for 10 seasons in the NFL, recording 103 wins with the Oakland Raiders. He had a .759 winning percentage and won Super Bowl XI after the 1976 season. He also won seven division titles.
1969: Head Coach John Madden, of the Oakland Raiders, on the sidelines during a game on November 2, 1969 against the Cincinnati Bengals at Nippert Stadium in Cincinnati, Ohio.
1970: Quarterback Daryle Lamonica (#3) of the Oakland Raiders talks with head coach John Madden on the sidelines during an NFL football game in 1970 at the Oakland Coliseum in Oakland, California.
1970s: John Madden of the Oakland Raiders shakes hands with Ken Stabler in the 1970s.
1970s: John Madden, head coach of the Oakland Raiders, talks with linebacker Phil Villapiano (#41) with offensive guard Gene Upshaw (#63) looking on during an NFL game at the Oakland Coliseum in Oakland, California, in the 1970s. (Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images)
1970s: John Madden head coach of the Oakland Raiders talks to his quarterback Daryl Lamonica (#3) from the sideline during an NFL game in the 1970s at the Oakland Coliseum in Oakland, California. (Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images, File)
1976: Closeup of Oakland Raiders coach John Madden during a game against the New England Patriots in Oakland, California, on Dec. 18, 1976.
1977: Closeup of Oakland Raiders coach John Madden upset and yelling from the sidelines during Super Bowl XI against the Minnesota Vikings in Pasadena, California, on Jan. 9, 1977. (Photo by James Drake/Sports Illustrated via Getty Images, File)
1977: John Madden, head coach of the Oakland Raiders walking off the field with offensive guard Gene Upshaw (#63) holding up a sign that says, "We’re No. 1#" behind him after the Raiders beat the Minnesota Vikings in Super Bowl XI on January 9, 1977 at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California. The Raiders won the Super Bowl 32-14. (Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images)
1977: Raiders head coach John Madden, left, and owner Al Davis hold the Super Bowl trophy after the Oakland Raiders defeated the Minnesota Vikings 32-14 in Super Bowl 11 on January 9, 1977 in Pasadena, California.
1982: (l-r) Brian Doyle-Murray as Ken Anderson (seated), John Madden, Tim Kazurinsky as Forrest Gregg during the "Bengals Locker Room" skit on January 30, 1982.
1986: CBS NFL commentator Pat Summerall (L) and NFL analyst John Madden (R) on the air prior during an NFL Football game in 1986. (Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images, File)
2002: Pat Summerall (left) and John Madden in the broadcast booth together for the last time at Super Bowl XXXVI at the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans, on Feb. 3, 2002.
2002: Pro Hall of Fame enshrinee Dave Casper (L), former Oakland Raiders tight end, knocks on the head of his bust as he poses with his presenter and former coach with the Oakland Raiders, John Madden, during the enshrinement ceremony on Aug. 3, 2002, at the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio.
2002: The longest running primetime sports program in television history, ABC’s NFL "Monday Night Football," celebrates its 500th game on Nov. 11, 2002, at Invesco Field At Mile High in Denver, Colorado. The Oakland Raiders played the Denver Broncos. Wearing the yellow blazers which were identified with ABC Sports during the 1960s through the 1980s are broadcasters Al Michaels (left) and John Madden.
2003: Al Michaels, left, Lisa Guerrero, and John Madden presents the Best Play for the 2003 ESPY awards.
2003: ABC commentator John Madden, center, answers questions for members of the media in preparation for Super Bowl XXXVII on Tuesday, January 21, 2003, in San Diego, California. (Photo by George Bridges/MCT/Tribune News Service via Getty Images, File)
2003: John Madden during Super Bowl XXXVII – EA Sports Ninth Annual Football Videogame Tournament at Axiom Nightclub in San Diego, California, on Jan. 23, 2003. (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/WireImage)
2004: Al Michaels and John Madden during the 2004 ESPY Awards at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood, California.
2004: Quarterback Peyton Manning of the Indianapolis Colts talks with TV personality John Madden at the 2004 ESPY Awards afterparty at the Mondrian Hotel on July 14, 2004 in Hollywood, California.
2006: Broadcaster and former coach John Madden talks with Sara White, widow of NFL Hall of Fame inductee Reggie White, during a press conference February 4, 2006 at the Renaissance Center in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
2006: Broadcaster and former coach John Madden celebrates his selection to the NFL Hall of Fame during a press conference Feb. 4, 2006 at the Renaissance Center in Detroit, Michigan.
2006: Broadcaster and former coach Oakland Raider John Madden (L) gestures in front of a portrait of him after being introduced by Oakland Raider owner Al Davis during his induction during the Class of 2006 Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Ceremony at Fawcett Stadium on August 5, 2006 in Canton, Ohio.
2006: Coach John Madden poses with his bust after his induction during the Class of 2006 Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Ceremony at Fawcett Stadium on August 5, 2006 in Canton, Ohio.
2006: John Madden taps his bust during his Hall of Fame ceremony before the game as the Oakland Raiders defeated the Arizona Cardinals by a score of 22 to 9 at McAfee Coliseum in Oakland, California on Oct. 22, 2006.
2006: Broadcaster and former coach John Madden speaks at a press conference as other members of the NFL Hall of Fame 2006 electees including (L-R) Troy Aikman, Sara White, widow of Reggie White, Rayfield Wright and Warren Moon listen February 4, 2006 at the Renaissance Center in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images, File)
2014: Former NFL punter Ray Guy, left, poses with his bust and former coach John Madden, right, during the NFL Class of 2014 Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Ceremony at Fawcett Stadium on August 2, 2014 in Canton, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images, File)
2010: (L-R) Dick Ebersol, John Madden and Jerry Jones at the 31st annual Sports Emmy Awards at Frederick P. Rose Hall, Jazz at Lincoln Center on April 26, 2010 in New York, New York. (Photo by Marc Bryan-Brown/WireImage, File)
2016: Former Oakland Raiders head coach John Madden wearing his Hall of Fame Jacket speaks to the fans during the unveiling of the Hall of Fame busts for former Raider and teammate Ken Stabler at halftime of an NFL game between the Atlanta Falcons and Oakland Raiders at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on September 18, 2016 in Oakland, California.