Jay C. Brandriet
John Madden passed away yesterday.
It’s a gut punch to most huge football fans across the globe.
Right away I thought, “what a coincidence.”
There was a highly anticipated documentary released on him just 72 hours earlier.
It’s called “All Madden.”
It’s not that John’s story hadn’t been told.
This show was a bit different.
We will come back to that.
HOW I’LL REMEMBER HIM
When I was growing up, John was an innovative broadcaster in the NFL.
His shoot from the hip descriptions created quite an aura.
Larger than life, yet relatable as a next door neighbor.
I’d been aware he was an amazing coach.
He had three rules for his Raiders teams.
Be on time.
Play like hell when he told you to on Sunday.
Once described as looking like an “unmade bed.” John thought it fit him.
Listening to Harry Williams talk relentless trash playing “Madden 98.”
Frank Caliendo and Brett Favre.
The Madden Cruiser.
Waiting for his partner Pat Summerall to say,
“Tonight on CBS….60 minutes. Followed by…. Murder, ….She Wrote.”
Coach was a family man. Married for 61 years.
John was the poster boy, for hardcore football love.
WHY THIS DOCUMENTARY STOOD OUT
With decades of perspective behind them, everyone awesome you can imagine had something to say about John’s influence.
They show us Madden, watching along with this doc.
It was like seeing him, observe his own funeral.
Lawrence Taylor sits down to talk. He’s wearing a pimp, blue jogging suit.
“My daughter is like the NFL wants you to do this and that. They want you to do so on, and so forth. I’m like, man I’m not doing that shi#! Then she said it’s for John Madden. I was like, oh cool. We can work that out. No hesitation.”
The show concluded with L.T. speaking again.
“John Madden looked into my heart and saw what kind of person and player I was. Maybe everybody else didn’t. John Madden made me a better player. Simple as that. Case closed.”
The screen goes black.
John’s eyes get wide while his lips quiver.
He says, “wow…when I hear that stuff, makes me realize, what I didn’t realize probably.”
As he may have soaked in his importance, he was shook with gratitude.
This film was released three days before he passed.
John Madden went out on top.
Jay C. Brandriet