‘All Madden’ captures John Madden’s impact on the NFL

Through Martin rogers
FOX Sports Columnist

Bill Belichick never encountered an unsuspecting microphone or recording device. In fact, the New England Patriots“The head coach has made it an art form to say the bare minimum.

So when the producers of “All Madden,” a 90-minute special that premiered on FOX (2 p.m. ET on Christmas Day), sat down with Belichick ahead of the start of the season, there was a reasonable degree of apprehension.

“We just weren’t sure what we were going to get,” co-director Tom Rinaldi told me. “It turned out better than we could have hoped for.”

Not only did Belichick open up, offering laughs, smiles, endearing anecdotes, and a powerful tribute to John Madden, but he also spoke 15 minutes into the time limit.

“This is what we quickly realized,” added Joel Santos, Managing Partner of Rinaldi. “As far as John Madden is concerned, his importance is so strong that people want to talk about him. The story of his life is in many ways the history of modern football.”

The iconic coach, broadcaster and video game pioneer has retired from our television screens for 13 years now, but his influence is stronger than ever. After a successful coaching career, his transition to the pit set the stage for what we now see as the right way to go about broadcasting football.

Bill Belichick recalls facing John Madden early in his coaching career in “All Madden”

Bill Belichick recalls facing John Madden early in his coaching career in

Bill Belichick remembers facing John Madden early in his coaching career and what Madden had to say about him when he started as a head coach in the NFL.

His encyclopedic knowledge of the game, combined with a relentless desire to share this idea to educate audiences, has made him the highest paid sports broadcaster. Coupled with its turn of phrase and pure entertainment value, those enthusiastic interjections – “Boom!” – completed the package.

Rinaldi and Santos tried to get their interviewees to sum up the Madden experience by giving their own take on “Boom.”

Madden, 85, meant different things to different generations, but something important to everyone. For a rookie Peyton Manning, playing for a struggling Indianapolis Colts, appearing in a game for which Madden and Pat Summerall were the callers was an indicator his team was on the rise.

“John was the authoritative voice for our sport, and in many ways he still is,” said Troy Aikman, FOX analyst and Hall of Fame quarterback. “When John spoke to ‘Hey, this guy has a future,’ I think even the critics should take that into account.”

Ninety minutes is worthy of a sports documentary, but that’s John Madden we’re talking about.

“Honestly,” said Rinaldi, “No time was ever going to be enough.”

A production crew sifted through thousands of hours of archived footage and left pure gold on the editing room floor, out of necessity.

The movie contains hilarity and weirdness, as there were plenty of times Madden was pure comedic gold. There is an explanation for the bizarre origins of “Turducken,” a composite of three holiday meats, and how it became a part of Madden’s NFL TV shows.

John Madden and the History of the Turducken | All Madden

John Madden and the History of the Turducken |  All Madden

“All Madden” explores the first time John Madden had a turducken and how it became the official Thanksgiving meal for Team All-Madden.

On a deeper note, the theater in Madden’s California home was used as a way for Rinaldi and Santos to perform for him some of the music videos others had talked about him and, therefore, capture the emotion that accompanied him.

One thing that prevails is the level of admiration at all levels, from those in a similar era, from those who played at the height of his comments and from more recent players including Lamar Jackson still struck by popularity. growing from one of the biggest videos. gaming franchises in history.

EA Sports’ ‘Madden’ and its place in the evolution of football should not be overlooked. I will always remember how, at a Super Bowl promotional event in 2012, Drew Brees told me he viewed “Madden” games as a real learning tool for all players, especially QBs.

Since then the game has only gotten better, Madden’s time away from our screens has grown, and his presence in football has – if that was even possible – increased.

The segments of the Madden and Her Family documentary are heartwarming, and he’s the kind of guy who when he talks you feel compelled to listen. Much like in “The Last Dance” of 2020, there are moments that serve as reminders, parts that you remembered differently from reality, and things that you didn’t know happened in the first place.

The real story more than any other, however, is how Madden impacted and affected everyone and how he continues to leave his mark on football today.

Tom Rinaldi opens up about new ‘All Madden’ documentary, including whether John Madden would be an effective trainer in 2021 I THE HERD

Tom Rinaldi opens up about new 'All Madden' documentary, including whether John Madden would be an effective trainer in 2021 I THE HERD

Tom Rinaldi joins Colin Cowherd to discuss FOX’s first house documentary, “All Madden,” which will air on Christmas Day.

Football’s rise to become America’s most important sport is due to the emotions it evokes. We’ll never know how much Madden – the master of sports and television excitement – is responsible for this.

All you can be sure of is that “All Madden” captures the rarity of Madden’s character and the remarkable truth that he is part of the past, present and future of the sport.

It’s hard not to be moved by this, and that’s why legends like Manning, Aikman, Brett Favre, Tom Brady and countless others volunteered their time – and why Belichick spoke for so long.

This is also why Madden, for the rest of the time, will mean more to football and to America than just a name.

Martin Rogers is a columnist for FOX Sports and author of the FOX Sports Insider newsletter. You can subscribe to the newsletter here.


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