Former UC Berkeley instructor John Madden won the only NFL game at Memorial Stadium
RIP and Go Bears.
Yes, indeed, John Madden was a Cal teacher, instructing on the basics of "‘Man to Man Football” in a UC Berkeley extension course after his time leading the Oakland Raiders.
So Madden is one of our Cal family. The man was a teacher not just on TV, but in a University of California classroom as well!
In fact, John Madden learned the tricks of his TV trade in that classroom in Berkeley—working the chalkboard like he’d eventually work the telestrator for some 30 years on CBS, FOX, ABC, and NBC. Bryan Curtis explains:
Professor Madden stood in front of a board that was like the Telestrator he later used on TV. Madden drew X’s and O’s and carefully studied his students’ faces. “I wanted to see at what point I lost ’em,” he told me years later.
So Cal is partly responsible for making Madden a part of the football zeitgeist.
John Madden’s most famous regular season win came not at Oakland Alameda County Coliseum, but California Memorial Stadium! Due to scheduling conflicts in 1973, the Raiders had to move up the block to Berkeley to play the Miami Dolphins, where they snapped their 18-game winning streak.
Check out that vintage 1973 California Memorial Stadium footage!
Over 74,000 attended, which was then a record for attendance for watching the Raiders. Due to traffic and parking issues caused in the larger downtown area, the City of Berkeley passed a Professional Sports Events License Tax that the Raiders would have to pay. This is the major reason this is the only NFL regular season/playoff game to ever be played in Berkeley.
We’ll miss you John. Your telestrating, your turduckens, your teaching. And you’re as much a Golden Bear as the rest of us.