On what has been yet another wonderful Thanksgiving weekend in Kansas City, I'd like to take a page from the Joe Posnanski files if I may and list some of the things I'm thankful for.
The food. The food is quite possibly the best part of Thanksgiving and is really the core of the holiday altogether. This year was no different (green bean casserole, anyone?).
The food definitely takes priority over all-else on Thanksgiving, as well. The game's on? Doesn't matter. So and so hasn't arrived yet? Who cares?! When the food is ready... IT'S TIME TO EAT!
Am I right, folks?
The fam. This one can get tricky at times because it's easy to get caught up in the craziness that is your family on Thanksgiving — especially if your family is as big as mine. Due to the packs of small children running around the house and outdoors (some of which I can confidently identify as "cousins"), and the chaotic movement/noise coming from the kitchen prior to eating, there are times when the family can become completely unidentifiable and just plain wacky. There are even times when a member of said family, maybe an aunt or an uncle, because of the chaos, will set what would otherwise be considered absurd and unreasonable rules for other members of the family or possibly even zones/areas of the household. For instance:
My brother and I walk into the kitchen area (chips and dip on the table), already filled with (seemingly) two to three dozen moms/dads/aunts/cousins/grandpas/monkeys/clowns, for a quick fantasy football chat and bite to eat prior to dinner.
Me: Man, I think we should have started the Saints' defense.
Brother: I'm telling you, the Browns will save us.
Aunt: If you are not part of the cooking team (team?), we ask that you exit the kitchen zone until dinner is served.
Me: Well, at least Brady had a goo...
Aunt: Also, if you are not actively eating, we (who is we?) ask that you do not stop while passing through the kitchen so any unneeded congestion is avoided.
Me: (with brother, while exiting the kitchen 'zone'): Strike one, my friend.
But there is something nice, something comforting about all the craziness and chaos that comes along with family and the holidays. You wish you didn't have to deal with it, yet it wouldn't be the same without it. Eventually you embrace it. Because it's your family, they're crazy, they've always been crazy, and something would be wrong if they weren't this crazy on Thanksgiving. It's what you know, and you're thankful for it.
(Relevant) football. This one extends well beyond Thanksgiving day football (as great as watching disgraceful and underachieving Lions and Cowboys teams play every year is). This one is about the first-place Kansas City Chiefs, whose surprising success has got this town buzzing for the first time in awhile. It's about Bo and Carl Pelini, who along with their arrogant, self-absorbed Nebraska fanbase, have helped make every intelligent and sane Big 12 football fan a Colorado Buffalo fan come Friday*. Football and Thanksgiving go hand-in-hand, and having most** of the area teams playing relevant games over the weekend is something we haven't seen in awhile. Soak it in Kansas City. This is fun.
*What could be better as we reflect on what we're thankful for this Thanksgiving weekend than a Colorado victory Friday capping what would be a monumental collapse for Husker-nation and serving some do-justice for the Pelini brothers and Nebraska, disallowing them a chance to take the Big 12 title as they turn their back on the conference for good? I'll tell you: NOTHING. Go Buffaloes!
High-definition TV. My God. Where in the world would I be right now without high-def? Probably somewhere squinting at a television. This was never more apparent than the last couple of weeks, watching early season Mizzou basketball. A couple thoughts come to mind. Firstly, can anyone explain to me what the point was for Metro Sports on Time Warner Cable to promote their new "HD" channel when none of their programming is actually in HD? And secondly... it's probably best spectators don't get such a clear glimpse of an empty Hearnes Center during home games, so nevermind.
NFL Network. Just kidding. Jets/Bengals tonight? Not for me. Still no NFL Network on Time Warner. Thanks a lot guys.
And now, without further adieu, a quick list of all the other things I'm thankful for on this Thanksgiving night in no particular order: my dog, car seat-warmers, Febreeze, my girlfriend, seconds, sports-talk radio, curious aunts, my laptop, thirds, my mom, neighborhood football games, a running vehicle, leftovers, my grandpa's wisdom, the Sunday paper, my grandma's utter genuineness and kindness toward everyone, more leftovers, my brother, this blog, the comfort of Sportscenter late at night, my employment, my beautiful niece, google, DVR, the Royals' farm system, after-Thanksgiving dinner naps, and YOU.
Thanks for reading, everyone — and HAPPY THANKSGIVING!