The new word in autobiographical documentary videos is "Videography" and it's been trademarked by Early Entertainment in San Francisco, which just released its second such venture, "John Madden: The American Dream Comes to Life."
The first effort, "Mickey Mantle: The American Dream Comes to Life," was a big seller. More are being planned by producers Lew Rothgeb and Richard Hall, ranging from astronauts to business moguls to statesmen.
The charm of the Madden video ($19.95, 60 mins., 1-800-843-6425) is its style. It's similar to the Mantle video except that Madden, as all TV sports fans know, has an ever-entertaining way of telling his favorite stories. This intimate and personal portrait is not about John Madden -- it is John Madden.
The profile, 15 months in the making, features Madden telling his favorite stories from his home in Pleasanton, Calif. His stories are then illustrated with game highlights and other film clips and photographs so the viewer can watch the story he's telling unfold.
Madden calls his 10 years of coaching the Oakland Raiders the "10 most enjoyable years of my life." He molded teams that posted a 103-32-7 record, largely from castoffs whom he never lectured. Instead, he asked his players to "blend in" and to "obey my three rules: 1) be on time; 2) pay attention; 3) play like hell when I tell you."
As a coach, Madden never had a losing season. As a television sportscaster, he was a six-time Emmy-winner. And he reminisces about many entertaining -- and at times outlandish -- milestones of sport, including: the best of George Blanda and Ken Stabler stories, the kind side of Al Davis, the Immaculate Reception and the Holy Roller, Bob "Boomer" Brown taking down the goalposts, Warren Wells' greatest catch, Ray Guy's first blocked punt, and Phil Villapiano's famous "We got 'em where we want 'em" story.
He also talks about his popular commercials, hosting "Saturday Night Live," and his guest spot on a Paul Simon video. Then there is a complete tour of his traveling vehicle, the "Madden Bus."
This video is worth all the "Holy Moly" you can throw at it. The Ted "Mad Stork" Hendricks $50 bill story, which won't be spoiled here, is priceless.