It's Thursday. It's Thanksgiving. It's Cocktail Thursday Thanksgiving-style.
I know, we have plenty of reasons to feel sorry for ourselves as a fanbase. But there'll be no pity party. Instead, I'd like for us all to count our blessings. I for one have a plethora of things to be thankful for, including the following:
- I'm thankful that my allegiances are to a college football team for whom 6-5 is an utter catastrophe of a season, rather than one for whom it is a resounding success.
- I'm thankful that somewhere in Afghanistan there's a guy (or gal) shivering in the cold thousands of miles away from their loved ones to protect my right to write pithy college football commentary which some regimes would consider so frivolous and irreverent as to be literally criminal. For these people I am truly, truly grateful.
- I'm thankful for Ed Orgeron and Houston Nutt and Lane Kiffin and Mike Leach. I would follow college football without its assortment of clown princes, but they do make it far more interesting to blog about.
- I'm thankful for PETA, because they just make it so darned easy some times.
- I'm thankful that Oklahoma fans are just as miserable as I am right now.
- I'm thankful that next season Branden Smith will be just as fast, a little stronger, and a whole lot more experienced.
- I'm thankful for TCU's swarming 4-2-5 defense, which is a lot of fun to watch even though it makes me despise Willie Martinez's scheme just a little more.
- I'm thankful that I don't characterize our fanbase's relationship with our head coach as akin to what you would share with your prized assassin. Because I want to believe that nice guys can finish first, if for no other reason than that they've done it before.
- I'm thankful that thousands of people a day come to this site to see what I have to say about college sports. The very idea of that still baffles me, but bless you, every last one.
- I'm thankful for the Lone Bugler. That's a goosebump inducing moment for me, no matter what the weather, who we're playing or what the stakes are.
- I'm thankful that Tim Tebow will be playing fullback for the Kansas City Chiefs this time next year.
- I'm thankful that Washaun Ealey reminds me a little bit of Knowshon Moreno.
- I'm thankful that we return 10 out of 11 starters from an offense that looks like it's made from high grade jet fuel. With the right leadership and a little seasoning these guys could be very, very good in 2010.
- I'm thankful for Derek Trucks's slide solo on the Allman Brothers' classic Dreams:
Hearing 14 year old Derek Trucks play made 14 year old me realize that I would probably never be a professional musician, and definitely not a guitar virtuoso. I am thankful for his music nonetheless.
- I'm thankful for Rennie Curran. Whether he comes back next year to play in Athens really matters naught in the grand scheme of things. That young man is going to do great things, both on and off the football field. If you know anything about Liberia and all of the things that its sons and daughters have gone through, you know the nation needs all the Rennie Currans it can get.
- I'm thankful for basketball coach Mark Fox. The guy's got a long way to go, but the early results are promising. When abject failure becomes the norm, mere respectability is something to strive for.
- I'm thankful for old guard media-types like David Hale (inside joke there) who realize that the digital age is upon us and cover college sports accordingly.
- On the flipside, I'm thankful for bloggers like Kyle, Doug, Orson, Peter, Holly, The Senator, Chris Brown and The Doc (among dozens of others too numerous to list individually) whose unique styles coalesce into a symphony of college football coverage. 10 years ago this stuff simply didn't see the light of day, and people really believed that Furman Bisher and Terrance Moore knew more about college sports and/or were more entertaining than folks like those listed above. The very idea of it just blows my mind.
- Speaking of Kyle, I'm thankful to him for allowing me a forum to write about college sports. Amazingly I still never have a day on which I feel that I have to write a blogpost. I still feel that I get to, and I owe a lot of that to Kyle. He is a believer in the marketplace of ideas, an advocate of free speech, and a great American. No matter what they tell you.
- I'm thankful for my loving wife, who puts up with me spending my evenings staring at a laptop screen and pecking away furisouly at the keyboard when I could be doing the dishes or cleaning the gutters. The woman is a saint.
- And I'm thankful for pregame cocktails, because even when hope is faint and you'd just as soon next year get here ASAP, there's still at least a couple of more chances to enjoy food, family and spirits. Football season is all too short, nd you have to imbibe it while you can. Along with the season, I'd suggest you drink in a spiked cranberry punch: Mix 4 oz. cranberry juice, 2 oz. pineapple juice, 2 oz. of orange juice, 2 oz. of bourbon, 1 and 1/2 oz of rum, a dash of lemon juice, and 4 oz. of Sprite over ice. You can easily multiply the recipe for a crowd. In fact, I encourage you to. This Saturday you may all need it. Until later, Happy Thanksgiving everybody, and . . . Go 'Dawgs!!!