‘All Madden’: a wonderful tribute informing younger generation about greatest icon in NFL history


Courtesy IMDb

The documentary “All Madden”, released on Dec. 25, 2021, follows the life of football icon John Madden.

Dominic Frallicaridi, Staff Writer

As football fans (and many others) know, John Madden sadly passed away at the age of 85 on Dec. 28, 2021, just three days after the release of a documentary on his life and legacy. Madden was not only one of the most influential people in football history, but also a phenomenal human being. 

“All Madden” focuses on Madden’s life and the massive influence he had after his near-perfect coaching career. The documentary provides many different perspectives that show the impact Madden had on players, coaches, broadcasters and basically everyone he met. Many household names such as Lamar Jackson, Patrick Mahomes and Peyton Manning are featured in the documentary, along with all-time great players such as Brett Farve, who share how Madden influenced them.

Madden coached the Oakland Raiders until the age of 42 and was known for his obsessive arm movements and extreme yelling on the sidelines. Soon after retiring from coaching, he entered the broadcasting world for over 30 years. There, he changed many people’s lives, helping them understand the game of football through his knowledge and in-depth perspective.

His documentary was a heart-filled, joyous film that gives viewers an in-depth look at Madden’s life. “All Madden” encapsulates his lively personality and his overall kindness to every person he met.

Madden even connected to people of the younger generation on a great level. Brett Farve and Lamar Jackson, two NFL quarterbacks, were both inspired by him when they were young, showing how Madden influenced people of all ages. When I played “Madden,” the video game, as a kid, I was similarly inspired, even though I didn’t know who John Madden was.

The documentary includes an interview with a bus driver, Willie Yarbrough, whose life was changed by Madden. Yarbrough was Madden’s driver around the country for his whole broadcasting career, and he speaks about how he had the best time of his life driving that bus. Madden was an incredibly lively guy to be around, and he made memories with Yarbrough to last a lifetime.

While the documentarian (Tom Rinaldi) intended for this film to celebrate Madden’s life and legacy while he was still alive, the documentary now has a different feel than what was intended due to Madden’s death. Since the documentary shows an in-depth reflection on his life, it is even more moving now that Madden has passed away. Personally, it made me realize how things can happen so suddenly, and how life, even for one who lived for 85 years, is very short.

“All Madden” is a heart warming film about one of the most important figures in the sports world. One of Madden’s famous quotes, “You got one guy going boom, one guy going whack, and one guy not getting in the endzone,” really shows his electric personality and how he really had an impact on viewers and even his co-worker Pat Summeral. Luckily, his fantastic personality and the impact it had is all captured in ‘All Madden”, which is now available on Hulu, Peacock, ESPN+ and other streaming services.