Filmmakers talk about getting John Madden an early copy of All Madden days before he dies

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The NFL and its supporters suffered a heavy blow shortly after the holidays when word of this iconic former coach and commentator fell John Madden is dead. The news came a few days later a documentary dedicated to the career of the coach, All Madden, broadcast nationwide. The documentary was enjoyed by everyone, including John Madden, who got to see it just days before his death.

Directors Tom Rinaldi and Joel Santos were the ones who confirmed that the legendary sports figure got to see the program. Santos said USA today on how Madden requested the movie and also shared his reaction:

John asked to see him. 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, Super Bowl winner John Madden would still be around to revel in the documentary’s rave reviews and continue to celebrate his legacy after release. Even so, the fact that he got to see some of the living legends of the NFL honor him in All Madden while being surrounded by friends and family, this is quite a consolation prize and definitely something those who were there will not soon forget.

The timing of John Madden’s death and the documentary’s release is incredibly bittersweet. As you can imagine, the news of the passing simply shocked Joel Santos and Tom Rinaldi, as the latter shared his feelings upon hearing the news:

We are really blown away by the timing and heartbroken by it. The other side of our grief is our incredible gratitude that John was able to see this.

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

All Madden is a documentary that examines the life of the former player and coach and the impact he had on football. That includes his formidable journey as a coach of the Oakland Raiders, his equally prolific career as an NFL commentator alongside the late Pat Summerall and his titular football video games which continue to sell well every year. The end product is truly a sight to see and certainly suits one of the greatest sports aficionados the world has ever known.

All Madden has previously aired on national television, although those interested can now stream it on ESPN + and Peacock. Put simply, the documentary is a great watch for football fans and sports fans in general.


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