LeBron James honors John Madden amid Thanksgiving games

The NFL and Thanksgiving go together like mashed potatoes and gravy. Watching football with family and turkey is a long-standing tradition many will not soon forget. The prominent figure in the day’s celebrations this year is the late John Madden, a man whose legendary broadcasts became a staple of Thanksgiving football. The NFL and many figures across the sports landscape honored Madden today, including Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James.

The former Super Bowl-winning coach spent ten seasons as the head coach of the Oakland Raiders before turning to broadcasting, a field in which he soared, appearing on all four major American networks from 1979 until his retirement in 2008. Madden is also known for the popular video game series that bears his name, produced by EA Sports. By nearly every measure possible, Madden is the single most beloved figure in the history of American football.

During all of the television broadcasts on Thursday, the league honored Madden, who passed away in December 2021 at the age of 85. The NFL made the kind gestures of adding a “John Madden Thanksgiving” logo at the 25-yard line on the field for each game and a sticker on the back of each player’s helmet depicting his image. Additionally, every broadcast referred to Madden’s affinity for turducken, a deboned turkey stuffed with a deboned duck stuffed with a chicken, and kept Madden’s tradition of presenting turkey legs and a turducken post-game to the winning team.

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