Rest in Peace John Madden. You showed us how to chase our dreams

I’m a writer, so I love a good story, and you don’t see many stories like John Madden’s. The Hall of Fame coach and broadcaster was 85 when he passed away unexpectedly yesterday, and while I don’t yet know how he died, I know the impact of the life he lived.
Madden was a two-way lineman in college. Drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles, a knee injury cut his career short. But he loved the game, so he pursued degrees in education and became a teacher of a different sort. Madden became a coach. And he was among the best.


He took over the Raiders at just 32, and over a 10-year period, he won numerous conference championships and a Super Bowl. He went on to become a broadcaster who worked for every major network. And in 1988—21 years after he got his first coaching job, Madden became the face of a video game that would reshape the gaming industry.

“Football is what I am,” Madden once said.

And now that he’s gone, he will live on in the game he poured his life into, and therein lies the lesson for us.

If you love something so much that you would do it without getting paid, if that thing you love brings joy and hope to others, if that thing not only builds you up, but builds up other people, then maybe that’s your calling. And when you pursue your calling, doors will open and lives will change, beginning with your own.

You might have a tough break along the way. Keep going. You may have to overcome fear. Keep going. No matter what you look like, where you come from, or what they tell you, keep going. Because I don’t care how much you say you want success … the only way to catch your dreams … is to chase them.

Photo: John Madden and Roger Goodell, the NFL Commissioner By. Andrew Dallos

Creative Commons License 

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