There’s a lot to be thankful for these days. It may not seem like it sometimes, but there is. I hope you all have some friends or family or both to spend some time with Thursday. If not, fix yourself a hearty turkey sandwich and flip on the three very good NFL games and soak into your Lay-Z-Boy.
If there’s one thing we can all be thankful for, it’s football on Thanksgiving.
Here’s a list of other random stuff I’m giving thanks for this holiday season:
1. Friends and family. I know I already said this above, but seriously, they’re the best. Who else can you argue with on holidays and still love an hour later?
2. The people who can’t spend time with their families on holidays. Whether they’re in the service or simply working somewhere that doesn’t get a day off, that’s tough. Hopefully they find a smidge of time to enjoy themselves.
3. I’ll stop with the sappiness. I’m thankful for the Stone Cold Stunner, the greatest finishing move in professional wrestling history.
4. I’m thankful for all the poor blokes that have been destroyed by the Stone Cold Stunner, except for Donald Trump, because he botched the heck out of. Come on, man!
5. David Ross. The 39-year-old hit a home run in the final game of the World Series in the final game of his career. That’s stuff you tell your grandkids about, and he can do that today.
6. David Blaine. Seriously, the guy’s some sort of sorcerer.
7. I’m thankful for football. The NFL’s Thursday schedule has been abysmal for about three years, but our Thanksgiving slate of games is about as good as we could ask for this year. All three games are evenly matched and half huge playoff implications.
8. More football. The College Football Playoff immediately made everyone forget about the BCS, and this year is no exception. The Ohio State vs. Michigan game Saturday is setting up to be the best college football game in a very long time.
9. Still, football. The high school season is over, but goodness what a season it was. Two state champions and a runner-up. I hope this puts a ton of pressure on these teams to be this good every year, because that was fun.
10. Basketball! You’re probably surprised I went this long before writing that word. The NBA is insanely good again this year — Russell Westbrook is must-see TV, folks. College hoops is killing me with its officiating (see last week’s column), but I don’t remember the last time we had this many good games this early in the season. My Indiana Hoosiers lost to Fort Wayne Tuesday; it was awful and awesome at the same time. It feels like March.
11. More basketball. Can we please pay attention to Sheridan College basketball this year? It’s the best basketball in the region. There are Division I players on the court every night — The Generals sent a kid to Florida State after last season. That’s big time.
12. Shout out to Jason Williams’ elbow pass. I’ve never been more thankful for a basketball play.
13. I’m thankful for 2017. It means March Madness is close; it means the CFP, Super Bowl and NBA Finals.
14. It means Tiger Woods is back! Golf (Mike Pruden) needs Tiger Woods so bad. It’s going to be equally exciting and nerve-racking to see what his most recent hiatus did for his game. Will he ever catch Jack?
15. I’m thankful for Jurgen Klinnsman. He didn’t win World Cups like casual American soccer fans unrealistically expect, but he did a lot for USA soccer. He was willing to cut Landon Donovan — which was hard but necessary — and he brought in some young stars — also necessary. He’s not the main reason USA soccer stinks. Quite the contrary.
16. Peyton Manning, Kobe Bryant, Abby Wambach, etc. All the folks who hung up their sneakers this year. It’s tough getting to a point where all the superstars I watched growing up are calling it quits. It’s a turning point for a fan, but it can’t go without appreciation. Has anyone heard from Tim Duncan since July?
17. I’m thankful for the fans. You guys. Thanks for allowing me to vent; thanks for soaking in stories tying sports into life, and thanks for the occasional chuckle when reading obscure pieces like this one. I try to keep you guys on your toes, and I appreciate you keeping me on mine.