Sports Briefs: In 2012, I'm Thankful For . . .

(Sponsored by 3 Spoons Yogurt)

Joe: I'm thankful for the Lakers not hiring Phil Jackson, so that maybe the Thunder can give the Heat a run for the money.

Chris: I’m thankful for the special times and intimate moments I shared with Twinkie the Kid, Captain Cupcake, Fruit Pie Magician and for the baseball cards Hostess included in their products in 1993.

Brad: I'm thankful for the Lakers giving Mike Brown the axe. Now who else can we trim?

Ralphie: I am thankful for my Grandpa who tells me all about sports.

Joe: I'm thankful for Jerry Jones and Mike Holmgren not talking about the Cowboys' head coaching job, out of their respect for Jason Garrett.

Chris: I’m thankful for Papa John’s persuading and convincing Jerry Jones to record the exceedingly disturbing, 30-second commercial of him rapping “5-Star Combo” and revealing that said pizza lights him up like a Roman candle.

Brad: I'm thankful for college cheerleaders.

Ralphie: I am thankful for Tim Tebow and how he is a good role model.

Joe: I'm thankful for the NFL really stepping up their concussion enforcement policy. (So are Roethlisberger, Cutler, Smith, and Vick--and that's just after Week 10.)

Chris: I’m thankful for being able to devote attention to the British Basketball League when Kobe Bryant, Dwight Howard and LeBron James (or to be safe, I’ll just say the Lakers and Heat), along with David Stern and David Stern’s referees, cause me to vomit in my mouth.

Brad: I'm thankful for the St. Louis Cardinals' new uniforms for 2013. Digging the retro-ball game look.

Ralphie: I am thankful for Cam Newton because he was great for Auburn.

Joe: I'm thankful for NHL hockey still being unwilling to negotiate a contract, so that I can go to the St. Louis Blues home arena and watch college hockey.

Chris: I’m thankful for MLS commissioner Don Garber, who could sit at his computer and play Solitaire all day and do a more satisfactory job than Roger Goodell, Bug Selig, David Stern and the NHL commissar combined.

Brad: I'm thankful for the UFC for making wrestling and fighting cool again.

Ralphie: I am thankful for Bo Jackson because he was an awesome Auburn player.

Joe: I'm thankful for Duke University taking down from its website a Halloween costume party photo of one of its female lacrosse players who was dressed up as Buckwheat (theme of party was "Little Rascals” TV characters) with a blackface. I guess the point was that Duke's team colors are blue and white.

Chris: I’m thankful for Mr. Bean playing “Chariots of Fire” and refraining from wearing jogger’s shorts at the Olympic opening ceremonies.

Brad: I'm thankful for NFL referee Tony Corrente for "spicing up the airwaves."

Ralphie: I am thankful for baseball because I love everything about it.

Joe: I'm thankful for NASCAR running such a clean operation that intentional car wrecks, crew brawls and being unable to find the word "suspension" in the rulebook turns their sport into just another redneck holiday.

Chris: I’m thankful for Manchester City providing the most satisfactorily dramatic ending to a championship game I’ve seen since birth, other than the 2006 Rose Bowl or my 1992 Super Bowl-winning season on Tecmo Super Bowl.

Brad: I'm thankful for NASCAR's Jeff Gordon. Every show needs a good villain to hate.

Ralphie: I am thankful for homeschool because it keeps me from hearing my classmates make fun of Auburn's awful season.

Joe: I'm thankful for Rory McIlroy, who was the leading money winner on both European and PGA Tours and will probably be awarded Player of Year. A special shout out to Tiger Woods, who got him to switch sponsorship to Nike--another $20M.

Chris: I’m thankful the Houston Astros did not go through with signing Roger Clemens and having him pitch on free syringe night.

Brad: I'm thankful for Michael Waltrip Racing for giving the villain a nemesis.

Ralphie: I am thankful to have ESPN on my TV in my bedroom.

Joe: I'm thankful for one of my local communities hiring a sharpshooter to kill 125 deer, because the deer are a problem. Talk about Deer Season Nirvana!

Chris: I’m thankful for the ability to eventually misremember the Cowboys and FC Dallas missing the playoffs and the Mavericks and Rangers going a combined 0-5 in the playoffs.

Brad: I'm thankful for golf's Rory McIlroy for finally getting Tiger out of the spotlight. It's about time for some new faces on the green.

Ralphie: I am thankful for the season the Atlanta Falcons are having.

Joe: I'm thankful for a St; Louis sports radio talk host being fired (or canceled, whichever is politically correct) for saying that the blacks who voted for President Obama were only racially motivated. If he's looking for a job, he might want to call Duke University.

Chris: I’m thankful for Norris Cole’s and Nerlin Noel’s barbers for either displaying incredible defiance in the follicle community or being confused as to what decade it is.

Brad: I'm thankful for US Women's Soccer's Hope Solo for looking good on the field.

Ralphie: I am thankful all of the friends I've made playing baseball for the last 5 years.

Joe: I'm thankful for a free America, where all sports at all levels are a healthy diversion and avocation. Let's keep them in perspective. Happy Thanksgiving to all our staff and readers.

Chris: I’m thankful for Joe, Brad, Ralphie, Allen, Ankur J., Ankur V., Britt, Chase, David, Joseph, Kelsey, Peter, Tim and Tyler writing for a site decorated with cartoon underwear. 

Brad: I'm thankful for college football rivalries. It makes for games played with heart and a community family feeling. 

Ralphie: I am thankful that Tim Hudson autographed a baseball for me this year and wrote "War Eagle!" on it.

Try on a new pair of Sports Briefs with the Gab Four every Friday. Find out more about Joe, Chris, Brad and Ralphie, and read their solo columns on their individual pages.

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