(AP) – A major figure in pro football, broadcasting and videogames is gone.

John Madden has died at age 85. The NFL announced the news, saying his death was sudden, but gave no cause.

No matter how old you are, if you’re into football Madden was the guy.

Old-school fans remember his 10-year run as coach of the Oakland Raiders. He quit at age of 42 and embarked on a career that endeared him to TV viewers and gamers.

Generations of viewers learned the X’s and O’s of the game from him through his use of the telestrator, walking us through key plays, often punctuating his markings with an emphatic “Boom” or “Doink.”

And his “Madden NFL” videogame game, which has been around since 1988, has entertained gamers from the early days of computers and game systems – all the way to today’s high-def consoles.

Many pro sports figures struggle to recapture the glory they had on the field. But John Madden managed to equal – and even surpass – his NFL feats as a broadcaster.

During his TV career, Madden racked up 16 Emmys and covered 11 Super Bowls for four networks.

For decades, he and Pat Summerall would call dozens of classic NFL games. Madden would travel to each game by private bus since he had a fear of flying.

And despite being a star, he had the kind of aura fans and football novices were drawn to because he enjoyed teaching viewers about the game as much as he enjoyed watching and talking about it.

More about: