For years, the voice of NFL legend John Madden could be heard in living rooms across the country on Thanksgiving Day. Now, the NFL has chosen to honor Madden during the holidays each year.
During his time as a broadcaster, Madden relished the Thanksgiving Day games because he got the chance to entertain people with football and food. Whether he’s describing a turducken or giving a turkey leg to the best player in every game, Madden’s personality has appeared on screen every Thanksgiving.
Now the NFL will pay tribute to Madden, who died in December 2021, each year with the “John Madden Thanksgiving Celebration”. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell released a statement explaining why the league chose Thanksgiving to honor Madden’s memory.
“Nobody cared more or contributed more to our game than John Madden,” Goodell said. “Honoring his memory and his impact on the NFL is important and Thanksgiving Day brings to life all the things that are important to John – family, football, food and fun.”
The first “John Madden Thanksgiving Celebration” will feature a number of tributes to the NFL legend. For starters, CBS, Fox, and NBC will all put together a Madden tribute video that will play before every game.
The “Madden Player of the Game” for each game will also receive $10,000 to donate to the youth or high school football program of their choice. Fans watching on TV will also notice logos honoring Madden on the pitch in every game, and there will also be interactive tributes to Madden on social media.