For a number of years around this time of year, I have gone and sought out highlight videos of John Madden and Pat Summerall holding court on Thanksgiving. Alas, the videos existed nowhere online. I eventually got to a point at The Big Lead where I got Fox Sports PR to send me the clips from above for a deeper profile on Madden and Summerall.
I’d be remiss if I brought this up without talking about the turducken, the delicacy that is a duck stuffed inside a chicken stuffed inside a turkey that Madden helped popularize in the 1980s and 90s. Madden became aware of the triple bird when a Saints assistant introduced him to Glenn Mistich, who operated The Gourmet Butcher Block in New Orleans and sent a turducken up to the booth. There was crawfish and Creole dressing in it, and it was sliced like a cake. If you want to read the full origin story of the turducken, the New Orleans Times-Picayune did a deep dive on the topic in 2005.
What Madden and Summerall most accomplished, and this is no easy feat, was transcending that barrier of the television screen such that it felt like they were hanging out with us in our living rooms. They had a sincere joy in the broadcasting booth and were excellent stewards of Americana.