NFL to honor John Madden on Thanksgiving broadcasts

From awarding victory turkey legs to the star gamers to being the voice on the NFL’s greatest Thanksgiving Day video games for years, John Madden was synonymous with the vacation he so adored.

The NFL is making {that a} lasting tribute by honoring the late broadcaster by launching the “John Madden Thanksgiving Celebration” to start on the primary Thanksgiving following his demise final December.

“No one cared more or contributed more to our game than John Madden,” Commissioner Roger Goodell stated in a press release. “Honoring his memory and impact on the NFL is important and Thanksgiving Day brings all of the elements significant to John to life — family, football, food and fun.”

The league plans for the Thanksgiving tribute to Madden to be an annual occasion beginning Nov. 24, when there shall be particular segments on all three broadcasts by CBS, Fox and NBC devoted to Madden.

NFL gamers, coaches and personalities pay tribute to the greatness of John Madden

Within the documentary “All Madden,” launched Christmas Day 2021 by FOX Sports activities, NFL coaches and gamers paid tribute to Madden’s enduring soccer legacy.

A recording of Madden discussing Thanksgiving and the vacation’s relationship to soccer will function the lead-in to the three video games that day: Buffalo at Detroit on CBS, the Giants at Dallas on Fox and New England at Minnesota on NBC.

Madden labored for all three of these networks throughout a profession that included 20 video games on Thanksgiving when he labored at CBS and Fox.

“There’s no place that I would rather be today on Thanksgiving than right here, right now, at a football game,” Madden stated on the Bears-Lions Thanksgiving recreation in 1997. “There are just certain things that go together: the turkey, the family, the tradition, football. … And we have it all today.”

Madden started the custom of handing out a turkey leg to the star of the sport starting in 1989 when Philadelphia’s Reggie White obtained it following a win over Dallas.

The next 12 months Madden gave out victory legs to Dallas’ Emmitt Smith and Troy Aikman and joked that he wished he had extra for the offensive linemen. A barbecue proprietor in Texas took up the problem and created a man-made six-legged turkey.

For this 12 months’s video games, the “Madden Player of the Game” will obtain a trophy and a $10,000 donation of their identify from the NFL Basis to the youth or highschool soccer program of their selection.

There will even be “John Madden Thanksgiving” logos on the 25-yard traces and a patch on the uniform jerseys that includes a picture of Madden together with his fist up within the air.

Reporting by The Related Press.

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