The National Football League is set to continue the tradition of honoring the late John Madden with the second annual "John Madden Thanksgiving Celebration" on Thursday, November 23. This unique event, initiated in 2022, serves as a fitting tribute to Madden, embracing the elements that were close to his heart – family, football, food, tradition, and fun.
A true football legend, John Madden, once said, "There's no place that I would rather be today on Thanksgiving than right here, right now, at a football game." The "John Madden Thanksgiving Celebration" embodies this sentiment, creating a platform to celebrate Madden's profound contributions to the game, both on the field and in the broadcast booth.
Here are the critical components of this year's celebration:
Network Tributes: FOX, CBS, and NBC, the NFL's network partners, will honor Madden's legacy with tributes interwoven throughout each Thanksgiving Day game. The lineup features the Green Bay Packers versus the Detroit Lions at 12:30 p.m. ET on FOX, the Washington Commanders versus the Dallas Cowboys at 4:30 p.m. ET on CBS, and the San Francisco 49ers versus the Seattle Seahawks at 8:20 p.m. ET on NBC. Live game audio of all three matchups will be broadcast nationally by Westwood One and SiriusXM.
Madden Hallmark: A special NFL-produced "Madden Hallmark" will initiate each broadcast, providing Madden's own words on what Thanksgiving meant to him.
Player of the Game Donations: Each network will select a "Player of the Game" who will receive a $10,000 donation from the NFL Foundation. The donation will be directed to a high school or youth football program in the player's name, emphasizing Madden's commitment to youth football.
Special Coin and Jersey Patch: A unique coin featuring a silhouette of Coach Madden on one side ("Heads") and a six-legged turducken on the reverse side ("Tails") will be used for the coin toss. Additionally, a patch featuring Madden's silhouette will adorn every player's jersey in all three games.
Field Stencils: Special "John Madden Thanksgiving Celebration" stencils will be placed at the sidelines of Ford Field (Detroit), AT&T Stadium (Dallas), and Lumen Field (Seattle).
Radio Programming: The NFL's radio broadcast partners, Westwood One and SiriusXM NFL Radio will air Madden and Thanksgiving-related programming throughout the week leading up to Thanksgiving Day.
Social Media Support: The NFL's social media handles across various platforms, including X, Snapchat, TikTok, Reddit, YouTube, and AP Images, will contribute to the "John Madden Thanksgiving Celebration" by sharing content and imagery related to Thanksgiving throughout the day.
This annual celebration serves as a testament to John Madden's indelible legacy and enduring impact on football. As the NFL community comes together to celebrate Thanksgiving, it also pays homage to a true icon who played an integral role in shaping the league's history.
This is Dez Barnes of Pretty Girls Love Sports, a new writer on the MTMV Sports platform. I am a retired US Army veteran, professional cheerleader, dog mom, and avid sports lover. Feel free to follow my writings as I dive into the latest sports news! You can find me on all social media channels @PGLOVESPORTS.