The NFL’s tribute to John Madden on Thanksgiving includes a coin toss

There are two sides to every story. For the NFL, on Thanksgiving, it’s John Madden; Tails, turducken and six legs.

These will be the two images that will be presented to the team captains during the coin toss for Thursday’s matches.

It’s part of the league’s second annual Thanksgiving tribute to the late broadcaster and coach, a holiday in which he called 20 games during his career.

“There’s no place I’d rather be today on Thanksgiving than right here, right now, at a football game,” Madden said at a Thanksgiving game between the Chicago Bears and Detroit Lions in 1997. “There are certain things that go together: Turkey, family, tradition, football… and all of that we have today.”

League tributes during Thursday’s tripleheader will include jersey patches featuring Madden’s silhouette for all players and a “John Madden Thanksgiving Celebration” stencil on the field on the sidelines.

Additionally, the Madden Player of the Game will receive a $10,000 donation in his name from the NFL Foundation to the youth or high school football program of his choice.

Madden began the tradition of handing a turkey leg to the game’s star starting in 1989 when Philadelphia’s Reggie White received it after a win over Dallas.

The following year, Madden gave Victory Legs to Dallas players Emmitt Smith and Troy Aikman and joked that he wished he had more for offensive linemen. A Texas barbecue restaurant owner took up the challenge and created an artificial turkey with six legs.

It eventually evolved into turducken, which is chicken stuffed into a boneless duck stuffed into a boneless turkey.

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Information from The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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