The National Football League announced its plan to honor late Pro Football Hall of Famer John Madden annually during Thanksgiving.
The league said it will launch its "John Madden Thanksgiving Celebration" beginning this year, which will include special broadcast tributes during Thursday's (November 24) slate of games on CBS, FOX and NBC.
"No one cared more or contributed more to our game than John Madden," said NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell via NFL.com. "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 tributes include segments during CBS' broadcast of the game between the Buffalo Bills vs. the Detroit Lions at 12:30 p.m. ET; FOX's broadcast of the New York Giants vs. Dallas Cowboys at 4:30 p.m. ET; and NBC's broadcast of the New England Patriots vs. the Minnesota Vikings at 8:20 p.m. ET.
Madden died unexpectedly in December 2021 at the age of 85, the NFL announced in an official statement shared at the time.
"On behalf of the entire NFL family, we extend our condolences to Virginia, Mike, Joe and their families," NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said in the statement. "We all know him as the Hall of Fame coach of the Oakland Raiders and broadcaster who worked for every major network, but more than anything, he was a devoted husband, father and grandfather.
"Nobody loved football more than Coach. He was football. He was an incredible sounding board to me and so many others. There will never be another John Madden, and we will forever be indebted to him for all he did to make football and the NFL what it is today."
Madden led the then-Oakland Raiders to a Super Bowl XI victory over the Minnesota Vikings in 1977 and retired in 1978 with a 103-32-7 career coaching record and a 76.3% winning percentage, the highest in NFL history.
The Minnesota native went on to a legendary broadcasting career as the first NFL color analyst to contribute to all four major networks: CBS (1979-93), FOX (1994-2001), ABC (2002-05) and NBC (2006-08), before retiring ahead of the 2008 season.
Madden was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in recognition of his coaching career in 2006.