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As we gather round the table this Thursday, we’ll be certain to give thanks for those blessings which we have received during the year.
For me, the bounty has been plentiful. I will not, however, mention the following in my thanks to the Almighty:
-That the Cubs were eliminated in the playoffs before making it to the World Series. I will note that I will at least have fodder for another three columns next year. -That the BCS has been so refined as to eliminate any possibility of a controversial national championship. Just kidding, there.
-The “play-in” game for the 64th slot in the NCAA hoops tournament.
-The popularization of the term “in space.” As in, “He caught the ball in space.” How esoteric can you get?
-Sports writers who use words like “esoteric.”
-The brainiac who devised the yellow first-down line that shows up on the TV screen. I miss the good old fashioned measurement, even when it was clear your team hadn’t made the first down. True story here: When the yellow line first came out, I thought the players could see it on the field.
-The toe-hold that instant replay has gotten in MLB. Yeah, those games weren’t quite long enough as they were.
-Boneless wings. A culinary affront by any stretch of the imagination.
-The excessive celebration penalty in football.
-ESPNU, the NFL network and any other sports channel that my basic cable package doesn’t pick up.
-Elementary school kids masquerading as Chinese national team gymnasts.
-The U.S. platform diving team not scoring a perfect 10 at the Olympics, thus denying each of us a free pepperoni flip from Ci Ci’s.
-The New York Jets for:
a) signing Brett Favre, and
b) beating my Buffalo Bills behind him.
-The Dallas Cowboys, who have managed to become football’s version of the Yankees.
-The Boston Red Sox, who have managed to become baseball’s version of the Cowboys.
-Dick Vitale, Tim McCarver and Marv Albert.
-Concession stands that don’t carry peanuts in the shell.
-Corporations that are happy to sell you stuff but won’t let you join them in the fun of their luxury suites at the stadium.
-Throwback uniforms, especially the garish yellow ones the Steelers wear.
-Pitchers that refuse to take ownership of the inside corner of the plate.
-Any sport labelled “extreme.”
-Able-bodied guys who would rather play a sport via video than the real thing..
-NASCAR calling it the “Cup Chase” instead of the “Chase after Jimmie Johnson.”
-Hockey teams in Arizona, Texas and Florida.
-The Big 10 sending a rep to the national championship game every year, only to see it get pasted by an SEC team.
-Usually sane people asking me if I saw some athlete on “Dancing with the Stars” the other night. (Answer: no.)
-Bowl games named for corn chips, credit cards, nuts or chicken sandwiches.
-Supposed “national” press voting (such as for the Hall of Fame) that excludes writers from the Bedford Bulletin.
There. That’s enough for now.
In case you’re thinking that this guy doesn’t seem to be grateful for much, please think again.
I am most grateful that I am allowed to have my periodic rants through this column.
And for that, I thank you.