The NFL recently announced it will honor Hall of Fame head coach and broadcaster John Madden on Thanksgiving Day as part of an annual “multi-faced celebration of the late great icon’s indelible legacy.”
The inaugural “John Madden Thanksgiving Celebration” will feature a recording of Madden as the lead-in to the games on CBS, FOX and NBC, with each network also having segments dedicated to him throughout their respective broadcasts.
Madden, who passed away last December at the age of 85, went 103-32-7 as the head coach of the then-Oakland Raiders from 1969-78. He led the franchise to eight playoff appearances, including a 32-14 win over the Minnesota Vikings in Super Bowl XI.
Madden ventured into broadcasting once his coaching career was over and served as the color analyst at ABC, CBS, FOX and NBC. He notably called 20 Thanksgiving Day games during his career, which also saw him become the namesake of EA Sports’ NFL video game.
“No one cared more or contributed more to our game than John Madden,” NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said. “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 Thanksgiving lineup includes the Buffalo Bills at Detroit Lions (12:30 p.m. on CBS), New York Giants at Dallas Cowboys (4:30 p.m. on FOX) and New England Patriots at Minnesota Vikings (8:20 p.m. on NBC).
There will be a special logo painted onto the 25-yard lines at each game, while every player will wear a helmet decal depicting the iconic image of Madden with his fist in the air, which happened as the Raiders carried him off the field following their aforementioned Super Bowl victory.
Each network will then select a “Madden Player of the Game,” who will receive a trophy and a $10,000 donation in their name from the NFL Foundation to a youth or high school football program of their choice.
Photo courtesy of @NFLMedia on Twitter.