Inman: John Madden was the face of Thanksgiving football. Now the NFL is making it official.

John Madden, who will be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame on August 5th, in his office in Pleasanton, Calif. on Wednesday, July 19, 2006. (Dean Coppola/Bay Area News Group archives)

It was Thanksgiving Eve in 2016 when John Madden grabbed a microphone and took a seat in the festive lobby at Rose Hotel in Pleasanton.

He’d never done a podcast, didn’t know what the heck they were, but he was game for it, especially because it was Thanksgiving time.

My opening line: “Any time I think of Thanksgiving, I think of you.”

Next thing you know, boom, we were talking about six-legged turkeys, the kind Madden would award after the 20 Thanksgiving games he called as an NFL broadcaster — and as the sport’s maître d’.

“Six-legged turkey, yeah,” Madden responded. “You didn’t know how many valuable players you were going to have in a game or how many turkey legs you wanted to give away for the top players, so you had to put a lot of legs on there.

“Sometimes you’d get in a bind with just having two (legs) and you wanted to give the legs to the offensive line.”

The NFL’s Thanksgiving Day tripleheader will honor Madden, who passed away on Dec. 28 at age 85. Tributes will accompany all three broadcasts — Bills-Lions, 9:30 a.m., CBS; Giants-Cowboys, 1:30 p.m., FOX; and, Patriot- Vikings, 5:20 p.m.; NBC — as well as on the…

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