The sports world was shocked and saddened to learn this week that legendary NFL quarterback Daryle Lamonica – known far and wide as the “Mad Bomber” – died at age 80, as ESPN.com reports.
The death was confirmed by the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office in California, with officials revealing that the famed Raiders standout died at home from what appeared to be natural causes, and Lamonica’s son Brandon also told the New York Times that his father passed away in his sleep.
According to Sports Illustrated, Lamonica spent 12 seasons in the professional ranks, playing for both the Bills and the Raiders, amassing a 66-16-6 record, and throwing for 164 touchdowns.
Establishing himself as a true giant of the game, Lamonica earned two MVP nods while with the Raiders in 1967 as well as 1969, also winning two AFT titles as a member of the 1964 and 1965 Bills and one with the Raiders in 1967.
Late Hall of Fame coach John Madden once said of the player, according to CBS Sports, “Daryle Lamonica was the perfect quarterback for the Raiders [during the late 60s]. He wasn’t intruding on a team that was set, he eased into a team that was being built, a team that went to the Super Bowl that season, a team that was starting a tradition of success.”
The Raiders franchise, now based in Las Vegas, issued a statement as the sad news of Thursday began to emerge, saying, “The Raiders Family is deeply saddened to learn of Daryle Lamonica’s passing earlier today,” as ESPN.com further noted.
“The Raider Nation will forever miss his easy-going nature and warm smile. Our deepest condolences are with his wife Mary, son Brandon, the rest of the Lamonica family, teammates and friends,” the team said of the former franchise star, also posting a memorial montage of images from his career.
Once a Raider, always a Raider.
Remembering Daryle Lamonica. pic.twitter.com/LmRKyDqxif
— Las Vegas Raiders (@Raiders) April 21, 2022
Lamonica’s exploits on the gridiron will undoubtedly be remembered by fans and sports historians for generations to come, something which will hopefully provide some degree of solace and comfort to friends and family members of this true football great as they mourn his passing.