John Madden himself is the cover star of Madden NFL 23

Thanks for everything, coach.

Image via EA

EA Sports has revealed the cover star for Madden NFL 23 ahead of its reveal trailer tomorrow, and it’s none other than coach himself, John Madden.

The inclusion of the namesake as the cover star is to honor the longtime coach and broadcaster after he passed away on Dec. 28, 2021. Usually, the game features a current NFL superstar, but the decision to honor the coach is a no-brainer this season.

Madden’s ability to explain the ins and outs of football to a broad audience as a broadcaster after his coaching career ended translated to the games as well. For many years of the franchise, Madden would lend his voice as an in-game broadcaster along with partners like Pat Summerall and Al Michaels.

The original John Madden Football game was released on the MS-DOS, C=64/C=128, and Apple II platforms in 1988, later coming to Amiga, Sega Genesis, and SNES in 1990. The franchise continued on but changed its name to Madden NFL ’94 in 1994 and has been a yearly release ever since.

As a coach for the Oakland Raiders, Madden never had a losing season. He led the team to eight playoff appearances, seven division titles, seven Championship Game appearances, and the franchise’s first Super Bowl victory at Super Bowl XI.

After moving to the broadcast booth, the success continued for Madden, who was a featured NFL broadcaster for every major broadcasting network. He started out at CBS Sports, moved to Fox Sports, followed up at ABC Sports, and finished his career at NBC Sports, retiring after the 2008 season.

The trailer for the game is teasing a new feature called Fieldsense. It will debut online tomorrow, June 2, at 9am CT.