Plenty to give thanks about today

We interrupt the normal holiday madness for some semblance of sanity.

If you household is anything like mine during the holidays, life can get a little crazy once that turkey goes into the oven. Some of my family's best (or worst, depending on your point of view) stories usually come from a Thanksgiving Day from some year or another.

So, in the spirit of that insanity, I thought I'd give you a quick 10 minutes away from it all to reflect and give thanks for all the sports world has wrought upon us.

You'd think it'd be easy for, say, NBA millionaires to think of reasons to give thanks. But as we all know from watching one too many Roy Firestone interviews (or Jerry Maguire, for that matter), being a rich superathlete is tough.

With all that's going on in their lives, like meetings with their stockbroker or talking on their cell phone with their agent, I'd bet a lot of today's athletes don't really have time to reflect and give thanks. So I thought I'd compile a list for some of the busier athletes out there, big and small:

-- The San Francisco 49ers are thankful that this season is nearly over.

-- Tiger Woods is thankful that his day job paid him more than $6 million this year.

-- Peyton Manning is thankful for Marvin Harrison and Edgerrin James.

-- I can't believe I'm saying this, but Minnesota Vikings fans are thankful for Jeff George.

-- Lennox Lewis is thankful his latest fight wasn't scored a draw. Evander Holyfield can be thankful for that as well, because the post-bout riots would have been ugly.

-- Carson High School can give thanks that it didn't have to play any of those playoff football games in that nasty cold.

-- San Francisco's Giants are thankful for a new stadium, one where the wind doesn't have to swirl at 50 mph.

-- I think we're all thankful that the Dallas Cowboys are terrible once again this year.

-- Carson Country golfers are thankful for a beautiful summer, although that adjective doesn't necessarily describe their golf game.

-- Mike Tyson is thankful for the man who invented parole. Honorable mention to the guy who learned how to reattach bitten-off pieces of ear.

-- The San Jose Sharks are thankful for a good start, finally.

-- Ken Griffey Jr. is thankful for a family he can use as leverage to demand a trade.

-- Galena High is thankful for its newest plaque, the one that says they're the Northern 4A Zone girls' soccer champs.

-- Alleged Los Angeles Lakers star Shaquille O'Neal is thankful for every single free throw he makes, because there aren't many of them.

-- Nevada fans can be thankful that next year's Wolf Pack football team couldn't be any worse than this year's.

-- Salt Lake City is thankful that Bribegate is over, for now.

-- Shawn Estes is thankful for a strong second half, I'm sure. So was my rotisserie baseball team, not that it mattered.

-- After a season full of Rick Mirer's follies, the New York Jets are very thankful that Vinny Testaverde will be back next season.

-- Karl Malone is thankful Karl Malone can talk about Karl Malone in the third person.

-- The New York Yankees are thankful for George Steinbrenner's deep pockets.

-- Jeff Gordon is thankful that a "bad" season could be so good.

-- The NHL Hall of Fame is thankful to finally have the Great One within its walls.

-- I'm sure Carson High power forward Lee Biddlecome is thankful for Bradley University, and vice versa.

-- Celtics guard Kenny Anderson is thankful he can afford his car insurance payments again.

-- The Oakland Raiders are glad they don't play in the snow every week.

-- In a twisted sort of way, Olandis Gary is thankful for the chance he got when Denver Broncos teammate Terrell Davis went down.

-- NBC's Jim Gray can be thankful he still has a job after he raked Pete Rose over the coals during last month's World Series.

-- The Sacramento Kings are thankful for pretty much everything at this point.

-- Latrell Sprewell is thankful for short-term memories. P.J. Carlesimo can be thankful that a "choke hold" still refers to a pro wrestling move.

-- Pro wrestlers can be thankful that ... wait, that's not a sport.

-- Ryan Leaf should be thankful for a 10th chance, although we can't confirm that's the case.

And finally, I'm thankful for health, good friends, family and a job I love doing. We ought to be grateful for these things more than one day a year.

Happy Thanksgiving everybody.

Jeremy Littau is the Nevada Appeal sports editor.


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