Longtime NFL official dies while driving home from Chiefs-Titans game: Reports

A longtime NFL official died this week while driving home from a game between the Kansas City Chiefs and Tennesee Titans on Sunday.

According to reports, 71-year-old Carl Madsen apparently suffered a medical issue while driving home to Weldon Spring, Missouri, though it is unclear what the exact cause of death was.

“Terrific friend and colleague”

As the New York Post reported, the veteran referee is one of the longest-serving replay officials in NFL history.

Authorities responded to the report of a stalled car along Interstate 65 shortly before 5 p.m. and found Madsen unconscious inside of the vehicle upon their arrival.

Officers broke a window and began performing chest compressions but were unable to resuscitate him, according to reports. He was transported to St. Thomas Midtown Hospital where he was later pronounced dead.

Madsen’s work in the NFL included a stint as an on-field official between 1997 and 2008 before he took a position as a replay official. After a dozen years in that role, he was among the most experienced replay officials in the league.

NFL executive Walt Anderson issued a statement describing Madsen as a “fixture” within the league and a “terrific friend and colleague” who was dedicated to his job.

“A warm and generous man”

“Carl Madsen was an NFL officiating fixture for more than two decades, first as a highly respected on-field official before transitioning to a replay role beginning in 2009,” Anderson said.

He went on to declare that the late official’s “love of football and dedication to officiating was ever-present as he generously shared his time to mentor young officials at clinics across the country.”

Prior to joining the NFL, he served in the U.S. Air Force between 1973 and 1976.

NFL Referees Association President Scott Green issued a statement of his own as a tribute to Madsen, writing: “Carl will be missed by those who worked with him on the field and in replay. He had a nickname among his fellow officials of ‘Big Country’ which was not only related to his size but to his big personality as a warm and generous man.”

Anderson concluded that Madsen’s “tremendous spirit … will be greatly missed” by those he leaves behind.

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