For me, nothing said Thanksgiving like John Madden. Every Thanksgiving, he would whip out this massive, mutant 6-legged turkey and break off the legs and give them to the players he felt performed the best in whatever Thanksgiving day game he was broadcasting.
Once Madden jumped ship to ABC and Monday Night Football, the Thanksgiving special and the Turkey Leg Award went with him. Now, Thanksgiving is personified by everyone's favorite, Joe Buck and his little robot turkey. It's not the same.
But I was thinking about Thanksgiving as I flipped on the Detroit/Tennessee game (which can be described simply as an epic crapfest), and I was thinking about Madden, and the year he abandoned the Turkey Leg Award in favor of what I believe to be the ultimate Madden food (and anyone familiar with Madden at all knows he can associate anything back to food), the Turducken.
This was on a Monday Night in 2002, if I'm not mistaken, an eminently forgettable game between the San Francisco 49ers and the Philadelphia Eagles. Philly was blowing out San Francisco (Always the damn Philly team doing it to my teams), and so Al Michaels and Madden had a lot of time to kill. So, Madden starts waxing poetic about the Turkey Leg Award and I believe the description was something like this:
"Well, Al, you know, back when I was on the other network, we had the Thanksgiving Turkey, and that was good. And when you got your Turkey, you got your Turkey Leg. And so one year, I was in Dallas and I decided that I was going to give my Turkey Leg to the best player out there, and Reggie White got the first Turkey Leg Award. And that was good. So we had the Thanksgiving, and we had the Thanksgiving Turkey, and we had the Turkey Leg Award. And now, this year, we got the Turducken."
Cut to the booth. Madden is now standing in front of this ghastly looking loaf of meat.
"See, here's the Turducken. And when you got your Turducken, here's what you got."
Madden proceeds to rip open the Turducken with his bare hands. Al Michaels looks about ready to piss himself. Madden won't stop talking about the Turducken.
"See, look what you got here. You got your deboned duck. And then you got your dressing. And then, you stuff the duck inside a deboned chicken, and then you got more dressing. And then you take your deboned chicken and your deboned duck and your dressing, and you put that inside the deboned turkey, and that's how you got your Turducken. And this year, I'm going to start giving out the Turducken Award."
He then goes on to break down the Turkey and the Duck and the Chicken and the Dressing with the telestrator.
I missed the Sunday Night game with Madden last weekend, so I don't know if he's still giving out the Turducken award. But today, I discovered that someone decided to take this monstrosity one step further.
Get your defibrillators, folks, it's the TURBACONDUCKEN! Someone actually decided to wrap one of these things in bacon. I'd like to see John Madden pound one of these suckers.
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!