The NFL is paying tribute to the late John Madden once again ... this time, it announced it's starting a huge Thanksgiving Day tradition to honor the legendary coach and broadcaster.
The inaugural "John Madden Thanksgiving Celebration" will kick off on the Thursday holiday later this month ... with the NFL saying it has several tributes planned in Madden's memory.
Before each of the three games slated for Turkey Day -- the Bills vs. Lions, the Giants vs. Cowboys, and the Patriots vs. Vikings -- a recording of Madden talking about football and the holiday will be played.
The league also said in its announcement Friday that each network broadcasting the trio of games will pick a "Madden Player of the Game" following the contests, and the NFL Foundation will give each recipient a $10,000 check in their name to a youth or high school football program of their choice.
In addition, the NFL said each player participating in Thanksgiving Day games will have a Madden sticker on the back of their helmet ... while a Madden logo will be painted on the 25-yard line of all three fields.
"No one cared more or contributed more to our game than John Madden," league commish Roger Goodell said Friday. "Honoring his memory and impact on the NFL is important, and Thanksgiving Day brings all of the elements significant to John to life -- family, football, food, and fun."
John, who initially gained fame for his role as Raiders head coach and later became the face of the most popular football video game ever, passed away last December.
He was 85 years old.