For the first time this year, the primetime Thanksgiving game moves from NFL Network to broadcast television on NBC. It'll be interesting to see just how good the ratings are for the new NBC Thanksgiving game, especially since it's Patriots-Jets this year. Surely the peacock will be giving thanks for Tom Brady, Mark Sanchez, and Tim Tebow to deliver in that department.
If there's one tradition the NFL has held onto, it's the Thanksgiving Day games, specifically in Detroit and Dallas. Thankfully, the addition of a third Thanksgiving game in recent years has allowed more teams in on the exclusive tradition. But the networks have their own traditions as well with pretaped segments, awards, and all the dressings. The key figure in those Thanksgiving broadcasts is certainly retired analyst John Madden and his Turducken.
This year John Madden is back as a new tradition begins.
Madden will welcome viewers in an introductory segment talking about "family, football, and tradition" as announced by NBC. In addition, the player of the game will be given the "Madden Thanksgiving Player of the Game award."
I'm all for NBC involving John Madden in their Thanksgiving night telecast. In fact, the Madden Award instantly becomes the most prestigious of the networks' Thanksgiving awards. Seriously, does anyone actually want one of Phil Simms' irons or the nightmarish Galloping Gobbler? All of those have to be floating around ebay purgatory somewhere. An award with John Madden's name on it would actually be worth keeping. And if it comes with a slice of turducken, all the better.