As I resist the effects of this year’s tryptophan near-overdose and that second helping of deviled eggs, I am reminded of all I have to be thankful for.
It’s a very lengthy list, so I will share some of the excerpts that have specifically to do with the world of sports.
Going back to where it started, I’m thankful to my parents for instilling in me a love of sports. From taking me to Riverfront Stadium in Cincinnati for Reds games to making every evening’s televised sporting event a happening complete with buttered popcorn for baseball or an ordered pizza for Monday Night Football.
This was all after taking me to baseball practice or attending a football or basketball game in which I more or less participated.
There was the memorable stretch when I coached Little League baseball in Portland with my dad. Together, our teams won a total of three championships during that time, but the memories of working together on lineups and strategy and the relationships with the kids who still admire him so much are what I’m most thankful for.
There are basically four college or professional teams I live and die with — Indiana University football and basketball, the Seattle Seahawks and the Reds — and I’m grateful I’ve lived long enough to see each win a national championship, world championship or a bowl game. Any further success will be gravy as far as I’m concerned.
During my time as a restaurant manager, I would frequently sneak in a little black-and-white TV for the Super Bowl or March Madness. I am thankful I was successful enough my superiors looked the other way as I placed it strategically in my kitchen or beside the desk.
I also apologize to anyone whose pizza was late the night Indiana beat Oklahoma in the Final Four back in 2002. I was distracted.
When it comes to sports, I am most appreciative of my wife Anne.
She may have grumbled from time to time, but for the most part, she’s never complained when I want to spend a Sunday or New Year’s Day watching football or would prefer an evening watching baseball or basketball at home.
She didn’t blink an eye when I told her I wanted to return to college back in 2013 to pursue a career in sports journalism.
She knew of my love for sports and wanted me to be happy, something I rarely was when slinging pizzas and subs.
I am fortunate and grateful to have lucked into two jobs in the field that were close to home, including my current — and hopefully final — job at The Herald Bulletin.
I am thankful for her support during my years of study that included little to no income as well as the hours it requires to do the job I do now. That support includes comforting me when things aren’t going well, listening to me reading what I’m typing to make sure it makes sense and being understanding when the job requires postponing some family outings.
And, as always, I am grateful for the readers, the athletes, the coaches and all who support local journalism — sports or otherwise. Without all of you, I wouldn’t be able report to my dream job every single day.
Now a slice of pumpkin pie to wrap up my 51st Thanksgiving Day, for which I am thankful to see.