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Filmmakers Talk Getting Early Copy Of All Madden To John Madden Just A Few Days Before He Died

John Madden in All Madden
(Image credit: Fox Sports)

The NFL and its supporters suffered a tremendous blow shortly after the holidays when news came down that iconic former coach and commentator John Madden died. The news came just days after a documentary dedicated to the career of the coach, All Madden, aired nationwide. The doc was enjoyed by all, including John Madden, who got to see it just a few days before he died.

Directors Tom Rinaldi and Joel Santos were the ones to confirm that the legendary sports figure got to see the program. Santos told USA Today about how Madden requested the movie and also shared his reaction to it:

John asked to see it. It was our wish to make it a gift for him and his family on Christmas Day. … He was really blown away… it made (Madden) realize his impact and the fact that so many people loved him.

In an ideal world, the Super Bowl-winning John Madden would still be here reveling in the rave reviews of the documentary and continued celebration of his legacy post-release. Even so, the fact that he got a chance to see some of the NFL’s living legends honor him in All Madden while surrounded by friends and family is quite the consolation prize and no doubt something those who were there won’t soon forget. 

The timing of John Madden's death and the release of the doc is incredibly bittersweet. As you can imagine, the news of passing was just shocking Joel Santos and Tom Rinaldi, as the latter shared his feelings when hearing the news:

We are truly stunned by the timing and heartbroken by it. The other side of our sorrow is our incredible gratitude that John was able to see this.

John Madden didn’t just get to see the project before his death, he’s also a part of it. The documentary also features interviews with members of his family, and of course, interviews with some of the biggest names in the NFL. New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick and even former players like Lawrence Taylor were interviewed. Tom Rinaldi and Joel Santos noted that they made 38 interview requests for the documentary, and all 38 people agreed to speak about Madden

All Madden is a documentary that examines the former player and coach's life and the impact he had on the game of football. This includes his tremendous run as coach of the Oakland Raiders, his equally prolific career as an NFL commentator alongside the late Pat Summerall, and his titular football video games that continue to sell well each and every year. The final product is truly a sight to behold and is definitely fitting one of the greatest sports aficionados the world has ever known.

All Madden has already premiered on national television, though those interested can stream now stream it on ESPN+ and Peacock. Simply put, the documentary is a great watch for football fans and sports lovers in general.

Mick Joest

Mick likes good television, but also reality television. He grew up on Star Wars, DC, Marvel, and pro wrestling and loves to discuss and dissect most of it. He’s been writing online for over a decade and never dreamed he’d be in the position he is today.