This Just Grinds My Gears
Thanksgiving is a holiday chock full of traditions. Most folks wake up to the Macy’s Day Parade, eat pumpkin pie, and join family later in the day for a big Thanksgiving dinner.
For many of us NFL fans (which, I assume you are or else reading this is pretty futile right?) watching the Thanksgiving Day games is part of that tradition that accompanies the holiday, and for me?
That NFL tradition includes the infamous John Madden Turducken.
Or included, I suppose.
For those of you who are too young (daggum millenials), for nearly 15 years John Madden handed out the Turkey Leg Award following his Thanksgiving Day broadcast to the game’s MVP. The MVP would nab a leg off the Turducken and chow down.
Was it pertinent to the broadcast? Nope.
Was it rewarding for the player? Probably not.
But it was a great tradition, and now it’s gone and I’ve died a little inside.
If you want to get technical, Wiki specifically wants you to know that it’s a portmanteau of turkey, duck, and chicken.
If you want to get gross, it’s technically engastration, in which you’re stuffing one animal inside another’s gastric passage (PETA thanks you for that visual Wiki).
If you want real talk, shove a chicken up a duck’s ass, shove the duck up a turkey’s ass and shove the whole damn thing in the oven. Salt to taste.
Hell if I know.
My best guess is that some guy was 3 sheets to the wind (that means drunk, millennials) thanks to some Wild Turkey (because irony that’s why) the night before Thanksgiving. His wife chirped at him to stuff the turkey, he didn’t listen to the whole thing (am I right fellas??) thanks in large part to a distracting hockey fight (because they’re awesome), and accidentally stuffed the duck in the turkey. Once he realized how ridiculously hilarious that was, he sent his buddy a picture of the bird-on-bird crime with the caption ‘what the duck?’ His buddy text him back saying ‘bet you can’t fit a chicken in that duck now!’
*guy reads text… thinks hard… sips the Wild Turkey*
And that’s how the Turducken came to be.
What Happened To the Turducken?
Hell if I know. Again.
Bang it here for the full story, but the abridged version goes something like this…
The Turducken followed around John Madden in the broadcast booth on Thanksgiving Day games since 1989. Reggie White was the first recipient of the prestigious Turducken leg, also known as the Turkey Leg Award, which went to the MVP of the Thanksgiving Day game.
From there, the Turducken followed Madden over to FOX until 2001 when he left, and somewhere along the way?
The NFL started giving out cheesy little turkey sculpture trophies instead, and a part of my nostalgic youth died.
But what I can’t truly fathom is why the NFL broadcasts decided to do away with the Turducken.
That 6-legged picturesque poultry was the perfect end to a Thanksgiving Day football game. Seeing the MVP’s of the game awkwardly snatch up a leg and chow down was a nice bit of added comic relief to conclude the broadcast, and quite honestly?
It was tradition.
You abandoned what had become a great tradition.
You may as well be dipping your turkey in ketchup, replacing pumpkin pie with ice cream cake, or substituting egg noodles for mashed potatoes (that one’s a sensitive spot for me, and I choose not to continue down that rabbit hole).
So FOX/CBS/NBC- one of you need to re-institute the Turducken tradition.
I want to see you cart wheel out this 6-legged golden piece of heaven after the game. I want to see a monster lineman win the award and ask for seconds, or thirds, or just run off with the whole damn thing. I want to see a vegan player win the award and protest the Turducken on one knee.
I. Just. Want. The. Turducken. Back.