What would be the best permanent tribute to John Madden?

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We’ve spent plenty of time this week thinking and talking about the best way for the NFL to create a permanent tribute to John Madden. Yes, his name will appear on the official NFL video game for as long as the NFL exists. But that’s something he earned. It’s incumbent on the league to bestow on John Madden an honor that properly reflects his unparalleled influence on the game and those who love it.

So here’s a list of possibilities, as inspired by various discussions with PFT contributors and, in some cases, reader input.

The All-Madden Team.

Many have made the obvious possibility of renaming the All-Pro team the All-Madden team. On the surface, it makes sense. At a deeper level, it doesn’t.

John Madden had an All-Madden team, one that was based on a different viewpoint and appreciation of player talents. Would that be the guiding light for the crafting of an official All-Madden team? If not, it’s not the answer. If so, the challenge then becomes finding the right people to vote on the prize, people with the same sensibility and perspective as Madden. There simply aren’t many who fall into that category.

Even if that’s what happens, calling the All-Pro team the All-Madden team doesn’t feel big enough. There would need to be something more.

The John Madden Coach of the Year.

This has become another common suggestion. But it doesn’t fit Madden’s overall career, which swept so much more broadly. He coached for only 10 years, winning only one Super Bowl. Frankly, if the coach of the year award is going to be named after anyone, it needs to be named after Bill Belichick.

The John Madden MVP Award.

If any award will be named after John Madden, it’s this one. The NFL MVP award. The biggest individual prize that reflects on-field excellence and performance.

The John Madden Pro Football Hall of Fame.

The powers-that-be have been looking for a way to generate more interest in what basically is a museum. Changing the name of the Pro Football Hall of Fame to the John Madden Pro Football Hall of Fame would do it, immediately. And then the challenge would be to reimagine everything about the Hall of Fame based on the things John Madden said and believed about the game.

The John Madden Super Bowl.

This was the first thing that popped into my brain when trying to think of a proper tribute for John Madden. Name the sport’s biggest and best game after it’s biggest and best personality. It probably won’t ever happen. That doesn’t mean it shouldn’t.

John Madden in the NFL logo.

Some readers have suggested a reshaping of The Shield to include John Madden, in some way. Whether reshaping The Shield based on his silhouette or working his likeness into it. Whatever it may be, there has to be a way to weave the man who has been such an important part of the fabric of the game directly into the fabric of The Shield.

“John Madden 345.”

This is an easy one, even if it’s not nearly big enough. Change the name of the league office, widely known as 345 Park Avenue, to Madden 345.

The Oakland All-Maddens.

Here’s my favorite idea, one that a reader recently suggested. With expansion possibly on the horizon as the NFL looks to increase inventory for gambling purposes, why not put a team back in Oakland and name it after John Madden?

The obvious name would be the Oakland Maddens. The better name, in my view, would be the Oakland All-Maddens.

Yes, the NFL would have to find a buyer and a stadium. Then again, there’s already an NFL-ready stadium located closer to Oakland than San Francisco. The Raiders didn’t move their because the 49ers and Raiders don’t get along. Maybe putting a new team named for Madden in that stadium would avoid such issues.

There may be other ideas. Many may be better than the ideas listed above. Regardless, the NFL eventually needs to find a way — a big way and the right way — to honor the man who has meant more to the game of football since the first time someone pumped air into an oblong ball and started running around with it.

32 responses to “What would be the best permanent tribute to John Madden?

  1. I like the idea of the MVP award bearing his name. Maybe even the first game of each year, the John Madden Kickoff Classic or something like that, to officially kick off each season

  2. Renaming the All-Pro team to the All-Madden team is well-suited to Madden’s focus on tough, disciplined football players.

  3. If they name a team after him, please let the logo be a turducken. I’d contribute to a GoFundMe to support that.

  4. Let’s not get carried away here…
    Maybe the thanksgiving day player of the game or broadcaster of the year…
    Noll, Landry and Shula don’t have an award named after them…
    I bet Madden wouldn’t want one either.

  5. The John Madden MVP award wouldn’t work. They’d have to give it to Brett Favre every year.

  6. What about having something similar to the Walter Payton man of the year award, but instead of only including players, it could include coaches, broadcasters, GM’s/executives, or any other person that makes a significant contribution to the NFL. Essentially the NFL’s highest reward for each season. For lack of a better title The John Madden Contributor of the year award.

  7. How about making it permanently called the MADDEN BUS instead of BOOGER MOBILE or whatever names are used since he always refused to fly…..

  8. Madden would not be happy if the guy in practice with the red jersey (MVP) award was named after him.

    I think a broadcaster award would be the most appropriate. That’s how WE know him. His players, friends and family know the real man (RIP).

  9. Madden put David “Boomer” Wells on his all Madden team. The NFL would never do that, so that should be a non starter. HOF or SB (Madden Bowl) would be best ideas. It’s not like they will change Park Ave to Madden Ave but there should be a street with the Raiders also.

  10. So the Walter Payton Man of the Year award seems to be specifically for players but what if there was a Madden Award that recognized the same thing but for coaches, executives, other members of football? Surely you have coaches that involve themselves in their communities and assist with a number of causes? Why can’t we recognize one of these individuals in this way?

  11. As per Usuasl the NFL is being reactionary instead of Proactive. Goodell should have had conversations with Madden years ago when he retired In what award will be named after him and why. Then said award shouuld have debuted in 2015 so the man himself could have presented the award himself and lived his twilight with eveyone celebrating him. Coach of the yr is BB and should be done sooner than later. For me this award needs to be a lifetime achievement based award. I would be in favor of renaming HOF as a start in conjuction with an award that is bigger than HOF enshrinement. to receive Such award as a prerquisite you would have to be a hall of famer and then designated by your peers kind of like the Heisman as a Gamechanger someone that when you tell the story of the NFL. you can not tell it without mentioning this person. they were bigger than their team.and if 80% or more of you peers dont vote you into this award. then it is simply not awarded that year.

  12. Madden’s work as a Coach put him in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. The ” All Madden” Team as the name of Pro Bowl Team goes against the premise Madden’s own All Madden Team. There have been a number of Coaches with more wins, more Superbowls then Madden, so Coach of the Year seems more like an emotional decision then a logical one. Madden had a great second career as a broadcaster, I think a Madden Broadcaster of the Year Award seems most appropriate.

  13. Since he was so adamant the head be taken out of the game to avoid brain damage, maybe name one of the existing or a new center for head trauma and research after him. Would seem fitting

  14. One thing you’re underestimating, Belichick wants the coach of the year award to be a coaching fellowship award not just for him. For example The Lombardi, Brown, Walsh, Parcells, Belichick fellowship award. Just an fyi.

  15. Knowing Madden, he deserves not a street but a boulevard would be more appropriate. Hopefully Mark Davis gives him that honor.

  16. I’d hate for a team to be named The Oakland All-Maddens when we are also talking about naming the All Pro team after him. It’s much more fitting, IMHO, for the team of the best players to be named after him rather than a 2-15 expansion team.

  17. Create the John Madden award for the best offensive lineman in football each year. He was a former o lineman, a huge believer in the value of o line play and those guys never get considered for OPOY let alone MVP. I think that would be a fitting tribute to the man.

  18. For starters, how about him actually being on the cover of his own game next year?

    I have to admit a yearly award (John Madden Coach/contributor of the year) would be the most fitting for a coach that went above and beyond just coaching talents, like the Man of the year award.

  19. How about removing Detroit from the league in his honor? THAT would be a permanent improvement in his name!

  20. The problem is that teams named after great coaches may be purchased by grifters, swindlers, and cons who would have no problem relocating the team after defrauding the good citizens and fans.

  21. The team finishing with the best regular season record should win the John Madden Trophy.

  22. I don’t think there is an award out there that’s worthy of bearing John Madden’s name other than the Lombardi trophy. And that’s not happening. I think the best thing to do is just let it happen organically and not try to force his name on some award that really doesn’t justify the magnitude of his career accomplishments. John will always have an omnipresence in the NFL. He really was its caretaker for many decades. His contributions to the game will always serve as a reminder on how to take care of and preserve the game of football.

  23. Totally reformat the Pro Bowl and call it the Madden Bowl.

    And bring it back to Hawaii!!

  24. Super Bowl halftime. The John Madden Super Bowl half time show with a 6 legged Turkey. Just kidding. Actually his broadcasting career was better than his coaching career.

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