At the former home of the Raiders, the Oakland Coliseum, Madden’s wife, Virginia, addressed the crowd.
As she reminisced about their 62 years of marriage, which she joked about”more that was awesome,” she also recalled Madden’s glory days as head coach of the Super Bowl-winning Oakland Raiders.
VIDEOS: Watch all 7 speeches from NFL icon John Madden’s public memorial in Oakland
She talked about her love for the city, her love for the team and her love for the fans.
“I know he’s up there, and I know he’s smiling at all of his players…and all of you, the fans, who have supported him for so many years,” she said. “John believes in the city of Oakland, he believed in the Coliseum, and most importantly, he believed in the Raiders.”
Fans cheered, and when they calmed down, she continued.
“I believe in the Raiders,” she said, adding with John-esque boldness, “The Oakland The adventurers.”
RELATED: Legendary Raiders Coach John Madden Honored at Oakland Coliseum Memorial
Then, to the delight of the audience, Virginia said, “Oakland needs a football team!”
The crowd roared at the words, soaking up Virginia’s vigor, sense of humor and pride in Oakland and her fans.
She and John’s son Mike Madden spoke soon after, showing that wits run in the family.
“I was at SoFi Stadium yesterday, but today I’m in a football stadium,” he said.
Mike echoed his mother’s sentiments, reminding everyone that his father loved Oakland, and “Oakland loved him back.”
You can watch his full speech here:
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