Dale Jarrett Pays Tribute to ‘Legend’ John Madden

Dale Jarrett

Getty Hall of Famer Dale Jarrett paid tribute to John Madden on December 29.

The NFL issued a press release on Tuesday, December 28, and announced that Hall of Fame coach John Madden had died at the age of 85. This news prompted messages of tribute from people in the NFL, as well as NASCAR Hall of Famer Dale Jarrett.

The driver-turned-NBC Sports analyst appeared on “The Morning Drive” on Wednesday, December 29, and talked about Madden’s impact on the NFL. He explained how “legend” is the right word for the former head coach-turned-broadcaster due to his work on the field and in the booth, as well as his efforts to bring the NFL to fans of video games.

“He was more than just a football coach,” Jarrett said during his December 29 appearance. “When you talk to people who were around him in that scenario, they’d talk about his brilliance. That came through when he retired from coaching. And when you’d sit in front of your TV and listen to him as he analyzed a football game, you realized just how much he knew about that and how he… The things that he did as a coach and then the things he told us that he was basically changing the game in different ways.”

Madden Had Some Ties to NASCAR Drivers

Fans knew about Madden leading the Raiders to a win over the Vikings in Super Bowl XI and his role as an analyst in the broadcast booth. However, many younger fans remained unaware that the Hall of Famer had ties to some prominent NASCAR drivers.

Twitter user nascarman, the author of historical articles for Racing Reference, posted the classic commercial after the NFL announced Madden’s death. The clip featured the longtime coach talking about Exxon’s Superflo 10w-30 motor oil while Geoff Bodine, Brett Bodine, Tim Richmond, and Darrell Waltrip worked on their stock cars.

“You ever heard of racecar drivers running with a family car oil?” Madden asked in the commercial. “These do. Winners like Geoff and Brett Bodine, Tim Richmond, and Darrell Waltrip. They use the same new Superflo 10w-30 motor oil you can buy in stores.”

A Fellow Hall of Famer Sent His Condolences

Joe Gibbs, the only person to win a Super Bowl and a Cup Series championship, released a statement about Madden. He spoke about their time together in the collegiate ranks and Madden’s overall impact on the popularity of the NFL.

“John (Madden) will be missed,” Gibbs said in a statement from JGR. “He was one of the first coaches I had a chance to work under in my career while we were at San Diego State with (Don) Coryell. He has had an immense impact on the sport in so many ways.

“I think his success as a coach can get overlooked at times because of his accomplishments as a broadcaster and the popularity of the video game. I don’t think you can measure how many fans he brought and continues to bring to professional football. My prayers are with his wife Virginia and their family.”

Gibbs and Madden both spent three seasons at San Diego State (1964-1966) while coaching different sides of the ball. The future NASCAR owner served as the offensive line coach while Madden served as the defensive coordinator. They went their separate ways after the 1966 season with Gibbs heading to Florida State as an offensive line coach and Madden moving to the NFL and becoming a linebackers coach.

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