If we made a Mount Rushmore of most beloved sports media figures, I think most of our readers would not quibble with the inclusion of John Madden. The iconic former Raiders coach holds the unique distinction of having called games at all four major media networks during his storied broadcasting career which ended after calling the 2009 Super Bowl for NBC. I’m not sure any color announcer in any sport has come anywhere near the prominence and popularity of Madden since his retirement from the booth.
NFL Network’s, A Football Life, covered Madden’s prolific career in 2017, but for many fans of Madden, his legacy as a coach, announcer, and video game spokesperson feels somewhat muted and forgotten given his larger than life presence and sprawling career in football. For those nostalgic for Madden or just wanting to learn more about the football legend, Fox Sports has announced at their annual upfronts for advertisers a documentary on Madden currently being worked on by former ESPN reporter, Tom Rinaldi.
Fox Sports says Tom Rinaldi will be working on a doc on John Madden's legacy.
— Richard Deitsch (@richarddeitsch) May 14, 2021
Retracing Madden’s career is a no brainer particularly for Fox given how pivotal he was to the launch of Fox Sports when they shocked the media world and added NFL football in the mid 90’s.
While Fox has been ramping up documentary production the last few years, it has felt like the majority of those products have largely gone unnoticed. We ran a poll to see if people could even identify the Fox Sports main documentary brand. The correct answer (Magnify) came in last place.
FS1 is currently airing a mini marathon of some their documentaries from their documentary series catalogue. Without looking, can you name Fox’s documentary series brand?
— Awful Announcing (@awfulannouncing) June 19, 2020
A documentary on Madden is certainly a film that will draw a lot of mainstream appeal and Rinaldi’s narration and involvement is likely to deliver a very polished and rich story. We’ll have to wait and see when the film will debut, what the title will be, how long the film will be, and if the film will be under the Magnify brand. Even without all of the details this squarely puts the Madden project on our short list of sports media things we’re looking forward to this year.