From the Goonies to the Super Bowl, Oak Creek's Matuszak to be remembered in film

Posted at 1:11 PM, Feb 26, 2024
and last updated 2024-02-26 14:11:53-05

You often hear stories about the "Tooz."

"A beautiful human being," Matuszak Film Director Brett Meyer says. "Just as much as he was on the field as a team player? He was off. He loved people. He made them feel good. And he loved the world."

But Oak Creek native John Matuszak had a completely different side.

"Every time John would go to a city? He would go, after practice, to the Children's Hospital," Film Partner Matthew Peach says. "Without letting anybody know. And he would spend all day there."

Matuszak is the focus of a new documentary. A man who first gained fame, as a member of the Raiders.

"He thought his whole career was over, you know, after the different teams he didn't work with those," Meyer says. "And he thought it was over. And he said yeah, then I got the call from Al Davis. They're creating a team that is all cowboys and all the troublemakers. And so he flew out. Al Davis said you wanna be on the team? He couldn't believe he was like, yeah I'll do it. And then what do they do? Win two Super Bowls under Madden. The troublemakers. The leftovers, and he was part of them."

A man who had a wild persona, yet was beloved.

"Every day the players would come into the locker room," Peach says. "They'd be like hey everybody, what day is it? And they all go it's Tooz Day because that was his day. He fired everybody up. He took everybody out afterward. They partied like rock stars but it was more about brotherhood. And being together."

One of the biggest problems? Trying to find someone to play the 6'8" role, of John.

"We're looking for our John, for those reenactments," Peach says. "We're looking for somebody who's a giant. Who's at least 6'8", 6"9", 300 pounds. Maybe played a little bit of football. An athletic build that they can play John in some of these reenactments."

His larger-than-life nature led him to movies. And that never shined through more than his role as Sloth, in the Goonies.

"He and the Sloth character he got to play in the Goonies is this, you know, this person that is criticized for their size and their look," Peach says. "And he took that to heart. And he put that into his character."

John Matuszak had ten movie roles, and numerous TV appearances including the Dukes of Hazzard, the A-Team, and Miami Vice. He was truly a larger-than-life figure.