As we prepare for a long day of stuffing our faces with turkey, and get ready to watch the Lions for at least another season, we all reflect on what we are most thankful for.
I am thankful for spending the day with my family while we eat and watch football all day together.
I am thankful for the health and wealth that I have had the privilege of experiencing for the first 20 years in my life.
I am thankful for my love insurance, the friends and family that will love you and stand by you no matter what.
Most of all, and most importantly, I am thankful for sports.
Whether it is a two-yard run by Justin Forsett, a 99-yard interception return by Ed Reed, a slamburger dished out by Dwight Howard, a tee-shot driven by Ian Poulter, a groundball hit by Derek Jeter, or a grand slam hit by Albert Pujols, I am thankful for sports playing a role in my life.
Watching the arm strength of Drew Brees, the power of running by Marion the Barbarian, the assassin instincts displayed every week by Ray Lewis, the sound of helmets and pads colliding on the field, the referees making the good calls and the bad, the voice of Michaels and Tirico on primetime television, the funny voices and nicknames Boomer always has up his clever sleeve... I am thankful for the NFL season.
I turn on ESPN, more specifically Sportscenter.
The question of whether Charlie Weis will be fired always takes up a minimum of 15 minutes per show.
The witty comments made by anchors Chris McKendry, Hannah Storm, John Buccigross, and Josh Elliot make the sport they comment on seem so easy, as if they would've known what to do in that situation and perfect it.
Trent Dilfer talking negative on every and any question he is asked and debates such as whether baseball needs instant replay or whether the Lions should play on Thanksgiving Day (debates irrelevant to the art of sport) makes me thankful that I don't enjoy watching 45 minutes of this show.
In all fairness, I am thankful for the other 15 minutes. Watching the top plays of the prior day is always enjoyable for any type of sports fan.
I am thankful for the Top Ten plays on Sportscenter.
Watching Kyle Busch smash a guitar he was given after winning a race, Terrell Owens and Chad Ochocinco's hilarious and clever touchdown celebrations, Randy Moss 'mooning' Green Bay during a playoff game, Bud Adams giving the middle finger and Bob Knight throwing chairs... I am thankful for the fun in sports that is often viewed as controversy.
The great voices of sports that bring a comfort level of narration for sport fans across the globe, I am thankful for the commentary and story telling brought to us by Brent Musberger, Kirk Herbstriet, Harry Caray, Joe Buck, Marv Albert, and John Madden.
Army-Navy, Michigan-Ohio State, Yankees-Redsox, Auburn-Alabama, Green Bay-Chicago, UNC-Duke, Mark May-Lou Holtz... rivalries are one of the most emotional aspects for fanatic sport viewers. Rivalries can make you feel happy, proud, determined and overwhelmed just as easily as it can make you feel sad, defeated, unbearable, and sick to your stomach.
I am thankful for the rivalries that bring real emotion to sport fans.
I am thankful for the coaches and athletes that have dedicated their entire life to the game they love most. These guys spend a lot of time away from their family in order to perform at the highest level of competition possible.
I am thankful for the time and effort coaches and athletes put into sports, showing the love and determination they have for their respected game.
I am thankful for the NCAA brackets, the Frozen Four, the Triple Crown, and the four major events in tennis and golf.
I am thankful for the Slam Dunk Contest, the X-Games, and the ESPY awards that are given out each year.
I am thankful for the Olympics and the World Cup, watching different countries come together in unification to compete against each other with a level of respect for one another.
The Yankees, Bill Belichick, Kyle Busch, and the BCS... I am thankful for the "evil" in sports that bring a sense of needed heroism.
Lance Armstrong, John Rocker, and Leon Lett... I am thankful for the good, the bad and the ugly in sports.
I am thankful for the past players that set the stage for our future. Ronnie Lott, Jim Thorpe, Arthur Ashe, Jackie Robinson, Bill Russell and more... I am thankful for the past as much as I am thankful for the present.
The world of sports is far and deep. It brings overwhelming emotion of victory and a heartbreaking feeling of defeat.
Most importantly, however, I am thankful for the art of sports.
I am thankful for being able to witness a group of guys work together to achieve a goal. Whether that goal is just trying to get a first down, or that goal is to win a championship, I am thankful for the teamwork that is displayed in sports.
So, as we reflect what we are thankful for this Thanksgiving, from family to friends to health to wealth, I am thankful for sports and every aspect of emotion it brings to fans across the globe.
Thank you... sports.