Kenny Chesney is paying tribute to the late football legend John Madden, who died Tuesday, Dec. 28, at age 85.
Chesney shared a pair of photos of himself with Madden during the making of Chesney’s The Boys of Fall documentary. “So long to my good fiend [sic] John Madden. He was such a big part of the Boys of Fall film. We became friends after his interview, and he’ll be missed by everyone that loves the game of football,” he captioned the post. “Thank you, John, for your time and for listening to my song and bringing so many people together on a Sunday afternoon. Rest In Peace, my friend.”
Madden was among those featured in the Shaun Silva-directed ESPN film, which also starred Brett Favre, Sean Payton, Nick Saban, Peyton Manning and more. Chesney executive-produced the film, which was inspired by his 2010 single “The Boys of Fall,” written by Casey Beathard and Dave Turnbull.
Football coach-turned-sportscaster Madden spent a decade as coach of the Oakland Raiders and led the team to a Super Bowl championship in 1977. After he retired from coaching at age 42, Madden became a legendary NFL broadcaster across all four major television networks. He retired from sports broadcasting in 2009. Along the way, Madden won 16 Sports Emmys awards and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2006.
Madden was also the namesake, image and voice of one of the most successful sports video game series of all time, Madden NFL.
“Today, we lost a hero. John Madden was synonymous with the sport of football for more than 50 years,” EA Sports, the brand supporting the Madden franchise, said. “His knowledge of the game was second only to his love for it, and his appreciation for everyone that stepped on the gridiron. A humble champion, a willing teacher, and forever a coach. Our hearts and sympathies go out to John’s family, friends, and millions of fans. He will be greatly missed, always remembered, and never forgotten.”
“The entire Pro Football Hall of Fame family mourns the passing of Coach Madden,” the organization said via a statement. “Few, if any, have had as great an impact on the sport of professional football on so many different levels. He was first and foremost a coach. He was a coach on the field, a coach in the broadcast booth and a coach in life.”