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John Madden avoided flying, instead he traveled the country in his famed ‘Madden Cruiser’

John Madden avoided flying, instead he traveled the country in his famed ‘Madden Cruiser’
Posted at 2:02 PM, Jan 09, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-09 17:28:17-05

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — 13 Action News got a look inside the place NFL legend John Madden called home while he was on the road.

"This is where people realize what it is, and after a while, you get it. It made it where he had to leave two or three days ahead of everyone else to be at whatever game it was," said Woody Melton, owner of Wood-Lee International.

Madden, who was particularly opposed to flying, opted to travel the long distances to game assignments by train. When that didn't work out, the famed 'Madden Cruiser' was created.

A Greyhound bus was transformed to cater to Madden's needs back in 1987, a few years after Madden transitioned from his hall of fame coaching career into what became an iconic broadcasting career.

Inside the original 'Madden Cruiser' you'll find what was then state-of-the-art technology, that includes:

  • Two color televisions
  • Telephone and intercommunications system
  • Citizen's band radio
  • Two laserdisc players
  • Built-in vacuum cleaner
  • Stereo system
  • Videotape player

There is also a queen-size bed in a private bedroom, along with a full bathroom and a kitchenette.

The bus traveled more than 80,000 miles every year to different NFL stadiums across the country. In 2018, Madden donated his bus to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

"This has all the things that would at least keep him happy," Melton said.

The Las Vegas Raiders are honoring Madden in a series of ceremonies this weekend leading up to the kickoff of the 2021 regular-season finale when the Raiders host the Los Angeles Chargers at Allegiant Stadium.

Fans with tickets to the game will have a chance to experience the 'Madden Cruiser' firsthand and feel for who Madden was off the field.

"There will be lots of people just giddy. It just shows that the Madden legacy lives on," Melton said.

After this weekend's game, the 'Madden Cruiser' will be making its way back to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Ohio.

Madden led the Raiders to seven AFC title games and even won a Super Bowl following the 1976 season.

The kickoff is scheduled for Sunday at 5:20 pm.