John Madden said that he was in shock over former Oakland Raiders owner Al Davis' death Saturday, he told XX Sports Radio in San Diego on Monday.
He told the station he was in shock over Davis' death when Raiders CEO Amy Trask called him in the middle of the night.
It was one of those calls that you get in the middle of the night when you're sleeping and it could have been five or six o'clock, Madden said. Amy Trask of the Raiders called and said, 'Al Davis passed away,' and I was in shock.
Madden, of course, got his start on the path to NFL fame when Davis hired him as the Raiders' head coach in 1969. He had only been with the organization for two seasons, and he became the youngest head coach ever in the NFL at 32.
Despite the disappointment that typically followed the Raiders' regular-season success, Davis stuck with Madden. And in 1977, Madden and the Raiders finally won that elusive first Super Bowl over the Minnesota Vikings.
I had been with Al Davis since I left San Diego State, as a matter of fact, in the 1960s, Madden told the radio station. I'd been with him directly or indirectly all those years, for six decades. He was a bigger part of my life than any outsider outside of my family. He was my best friend. It's Al Davis. Al Davis doesn't die.
Madden said he still typically talked to Davis every Friday about football. He called Friday but did not get an answer. The suddenness of Davis' death left Madden in even more shock, and when asked for comment by USA Today on Saturday he said he was not ready.
There will never be another Al Davis, Madden said Monday. There was never an Al Davis before -- a guy that went from being a scout for the Baltimore Colts. He was an assistant for the Chargers. He was the head coach of the Raiders. He was a commissioner of the AFL. He was the owner and general manager of the club.
And no one will ever do that again.