Thanks­giv­ing foot­ball isn't the same with­out tur­ducken

The Covington News - - Sports - Josh Briggs

Thanks­giv­ing. A day to give thanks. Thanks for what?

Thanks­giv­ing is a time for fam­ily. Thanks fam­ily. It's a time for food, no doubt. Thanks for the good eats. But most im­por­tantly, it's a time to watch plenty of foot­ball. Thank you the man who in­vented foot­ball. But as much as I en­joy NFL foot­ball on Thanks­giv­ing Thurs­day's some­thing has been missing these past few years.

It's time to bring back the tur­ducken. For those of you who en­joy the col­lege game more than the NFL, you may not know what the heck I'm talk­ing about. The tur­ducken is a turkey stuffed with a chicken and a duck. I know, sounds gross. Ap­par­ently it's a South­ern thing even though the first time I heard of it was when John Mad­den had one on CBS dur­ing a Lions-Bears game back in the '80s.

Ah, Turkey Day foot­ball. That's what I'm talk­ing about. For as long as I can re­mem­ber, Thanks­giv­ing feast was never com­plete with­out plop­ping down on the sofa to watch foot­ball. Whether it was the Bears, Pack­ers, Cow­boys or Lions, you could al­ways count on great foot­ball.

Lots of great play­ers left their mark on Thanks­giv­ing foot­ball and we've seen plenty of mem­o­rable games. There was the Leon Lett snafu in the snow at Texas Sta­dium in 1993 when he touched a blocked Mi­ami field goal with the Cow­boys lead­ing 16-14 and gave the Dol­phins an­other shot at a game-win­ing field goal which they con­verted to win 17-16. Then there was the in­fa­mous missed call on the coin flip in over­time in Pitts­burgh in 1998 when Jerome Bet­tis clearly called tails yet when the coin landed with tails fac­ing up, the ref­eree awarded the ball to Detroit. Detroit went on to kick a game-win­ing field goal on the en­su­ing pos­ses­sion.

And there were the crazy tra­di­tions Mad­den and broad­cast­ing part­ner Pat Sum­mer­all came up with. One of the most mem­o­rable was award­ing turkey legs off the tur­ducken to play­ers who per­formed well.

Mad­den was the man. Who else has the range of en­dors­ing both ACE hard­ware and a video game? I miss those Thanks­giv­ing days now that he doesn't call the games. The teams have changed too. For in­stance, New Or­leans, New Eng­land, Cincin­nati (yuck) and the New York Jets all played yes­ter­day. Dal­las and Detroit are still stal­warts though and even though I de­spise the Cow­boys, they bring com­fort on Thanks­giv­ing foot­ball day

I know tra­di­tions die hard. But why kill the tur­ducken? With­out it, Thanks­giv­ing Day foot­ball is fine. With it, it's mem­o­rable. Then again, I love NFL foot­ball no mat­ter what. But noth­ing beats an eight-legged turkey.

Ex­cept maybe stuff­ing as turkey with a chicken and a duck.

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