What exactly is a Turducken? John Madden explains

While surfing for something else the other day, I found a John Madden byline story from 2001 in the Chicago Tribune about Thanksgiving.

In the piece, he actually explains the Turducken, which he made famous during his days calling Thanksgiving games for CBS and Fox.

Turducken has become part of our meal, too. Turducken is a New Orleans thing we found years ago. There’s a butcher down there who makes it for us. Turducken is a deboned chicken stuffed in a deboned duck stuffed in a deboned turkey. And between the layers of meat are layers of dressing. So you slice it and you get turkey, dressing, duck, dressing, chicken. That’s really good.

So now you know. Actually, it does sound pretty good.

Happy Thanksgiving, John.

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Flashback: Recalling impact of Dick Young, who changed everything for sportswriters

I only heard Dick Young speak only once. During my first World Series in 1986, I squeezed into the back of the room during the baseball writers’ meeting at Fenway Park.

I recall Young gave a speech in which he implored writers to continue to fight for their turf. To not give to the bastards, etc.

The fiery New York sports columnist could see where things were going in regards to sportswriters, and he didn’t like it.

It turned out to be Young’s last speech to the writers in a World Series. He died in 1987 at the age of 69.

If you never heard of Young, or need a refresher on what he meant to the business, you must read this 1985 profile written by Ross Wetzseon for Sport Magazine. Deadspin posted the piece on its site this week.… Continue Reading

Flashback: 20 years ago today, John Paxson’s 3 against Suns gives Bulls third title

A little something to get you in the mood for tonight’s Game 7.

On June 20, 1993, John Paxson, not Michael Jordan, hit the clutch three-pointer during Game 6 of the Bulls-Phoenix final.

Couple interesting points. The Suns opened the door for the Bulls, missing 6 of 7shots down the stretch.

The Bulls, though, also were shaky. Prior to that final possession, they only had 9 points in the fourth quarter, all scored by Jordan.

Here’s the shot we’ll never forget in Chicago.

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Flashback: Sports Illustrated 1971 cover story on Esposito brothers; ‘I’m not Tony’

From the Sports Illustrated vault, I found this classic on the Esposito brothers from March 29, 1971. With Chicago and Boston in the Stanley Cup Final, it seems fitting to recall the days when Phil tried to beat Tony, and visa versa.

The story, written by Jack Olsen, features this opener:

In the arena seats an attractive dark-haired lady pummeled her husband’s arm in a frenzy of partisan excitement. “Come on, Phil! Come on! Come on!” On the ice below her a bulky hockey player in the uniform of the Boston Bruins executed a rink-long rush with the inexorability of a high-speed freight train. Seconds later he shot. The puck went into the net, the light flashed on over the Chicago goal and the lady’s expression changed completely. “Why, that dirty rat,” she said. “He scored on his brother!”


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Sunday flashback: 40th anniversary of Johnny Miller’s 63 at Oakmont

I have Johnny Miller to blame.

As a young kid, I watched Miller do the impossible in 1973. He shot a 63 during the final round on Oakmont, perhaps the hardest course in the world, to win the U.S. Open.

In my mind and others, it is the greatest round in golf history. And in the process, it got a 13-year-old kid hooked on golf, leading me to a lifetime of torture on the golf course.

Thanks Johnny.

It is hard to believe that 40 years have passed. The anniversary of Miller’s great feat surely will be mentioned several times during ESPN and NBC’s coverage of the U.S. Open next week.

Adam Lazarus, a friend of this site, passed along a 40th anniversary post based on his 2010 book, Chasing Greatness: Johnny Miller, Arnold Palmer, and the Miracle at OakmontContinue Reading

Saturday flashback: Classic covers from ESPN The Magazine; Remember Ricky and Ditka?

ESPN The Magazine is celebrating its 15th anniversary this week. Check out my interview with editor Chad Millman.

I thought I would roll out a few of the more memorable covers.

When it comes to all-time bizarre, nothing beats the beautiful couple of Ricky Williams and Mike Ditka. By the way, how long did that marriage last?

Here the first cover in 1998 featuring the next crop of sports superstars. Kobe Bryant and ARod did alright for themselves. Eric Lindros dominated, but his career got cut short. Kordell Stewart? Not so much.


This one just makes me laugh. Who should go first in the 1998 draft: Peyton Manning or Ryan Leaf?

Here was a true Next: LeBron James’ first cover in 2002.

The full Serena from the first Body issue.

Sometimes you just need to run a cover with … Continue Reading

Saturday Flashback II: ESPN analysts rap Dolphins selecting Dan Marino

A young Chris Berman speculates that Miami might want to take a quarterback with its pick late in the first round, but he says, “The guys they wanted might already be gone.”

Then at the 3-minute mark, Paul Zimmerman goes crazy when the Dolphins pick Dan Marino.

“I don’t understand it,” Dr. Z says.

Bud Wilkinson says, “I hope Dan would calm down considerably.”

He did, and everyone understands the pick now.

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