Jan 2, 2022; Baltimore, Maryland, USA; Fans observed a moment of silence to honor the late John Madden before the Baltimore Ravens game against the Los Angeles Rams at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports

The NFL will be honoring the late John Madden during their Thanksgiving Day games this month.

This Thanksgiving is the first one since Madden passed away, and the NFL legend was as much a part of Thanksgiving for many fans as pumpkin pie and cranberry sauce. It makes perfect sense for the league to honor him on the holiday. The “John Madden Thanksgiving Celebration” will be an annual event going forward.

Here’s more from the NFL’s release.

Beginning this year, the National Football League honors Madden with the “John Madden Thanksgiving Celebration,” a yearly, multi-faceted celebration of the late great icon’s indelible legacy.

“No one cared more or contributed more to our game than John Madden,” said NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. “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 inaugural “John Madden Thanksgiving Celebration” on Thursday, November 24 will feature special broadcast tributes as CBS, FOX and NBC will create their own segments dedicated to the football legend. These tributes will be interspersed throughout the broadcast of each game (Bills vs. Lions at 12:30 PM ET on CBS, Giants vs. Cowboys at 4:30 PM ET on FOX and Patriots vs. Vikings at 8:20 PM ET on NBC). A recording of Madden – who called 20 Thanksgiving Day NFL games during his broadcasting career – discussing Thanksgiving and the holiday’s special relationship to football will also serve as the lead-in to each of three games.

Additionally, there will be a “Madden Player of the Game” in each game, who will receive a $10,000 donation to the youth or high school program of their choosing.

Each field will feature “John Madden Thanksgiving” logos, while a sticker of Madden will be on each player’s helmet.

This really does feel like a fitting tribute to Madden. Great decision by the NFL.


About Joe Lucia

I hate your favorite team. I also sort of hate most of my favorite teams.