Yesterday marked the first NFL Sunday since the passing of football icon John Madden, and no team has a deeper connection to Madden than the Las Vegas Raiders. But one Raiders player was apparently not allowed to pay tribute to Madden in his own way.
The Raiders scored a huge win over the Indianapolis Colts that gave them control of their own destiny in the playoff race. But wide receiver DeSean Jackson complained after the game that he wasn't allowed to wear a special pair of Madden-themed cleats.
“NFL hated on me and said if I didn’t take cleats off they was gonna remove me from the game! I had these made for the legendary John Madden,” Jackson wrote on Instagram.
Unfortunately, the NFL does not allow players to put messages on their cleats outside of specific exceptions. It feels like this should have been an exception though.
Fortunately, the Raiders got their chance to pay tribute to their departed coach.
The Raiders wore a "JM" sticker and added a black stripe to their helmets to pay tribute to the NFL icon. Across the NFL, there was a pregame moment of silence for Madden.
From 1969 to 1978, John Madden never had a losing season and led the Raiders to the playoffs eight times. Seven of those playoff appearances resulted in an AFL/AFC Championship Game appearance.
But in 1976, Madden led the Raiders to the Super Bowl, where they beat the Minnesota Vikings to win Super Bowl XI.