What am I thankful for, sportswise, this Thanksgiving?
The 2006 World Series Champions, the St. Louis Cardinals. El Hombre. Jimmy Baseball. Mighty Mouse. The Speizer. Yadi. Scotty. Carp. Soup. Weaver. Wainwright. Dunc. Don Tony. And a big, sharp stick in the eye of the east coast sports establishment.
The NFL. Peyton Manning, Tony Dungy, Kurt Warner, Dick Vermeil, Marshall Faulk, Isaac Bruce, Torry Holt. Thanksgiving Day football.
I'm thankful that Gary Pinkel has raised expectations for Mizzou football to the point that our 7-4 record is considered a disappointment. I'm thankful that Mike Anderson is teaching Mizzou basketball players how to play defense.
I'm thankful that Tuck still cares about hockey enough to keep me interested. I'm thankful for friends here at home who like to play pick-up two-hand-touch football on Friday afternoons. I'm thankful when one of my kids sits down with me to watch whatever game is on ESPN, regardless of the sport.
I'm thankful we live in a country and a time where things are still good enough that we can care about sports without feeling trivial or guilty about it. And most of all, on a Thanksgiving Day when I'm celebrating 14 years of grateful sobriety, I thank God for all he has given all of us inside and out of the sports world.
Thanksgiving Football Picks
Miami at Detroit
Miami would have been a completely different team with a different QB starting the season--this is patently obvious--but their recent resurgence has more to do with their defense (especially Jason Taylor) playing up to their potential.
Dolphins 24, Lions 14
Tampa Bay at Dallas
Sure, Romo's the real deal at QB, but the Dallas story is their defense. They beat down Indy's receivers and kept Rhodes and Addai from gaining any momentum on the ground, as well as keeping Peyton running (sort of) for his life. Dallas was my early NFC Champ pick (not on this site, though, not after I looked at the records), but in an open division with no clear favorite, I think they have to be second behind Chicago now.
Cowboys 31, Bucs 13
Denver at Kansas City
[comments unavailable to those without NFL Network]
Chiefs 27, Broncos 24
NL MVP Voting
For all the stats that tell the story of why El Hombre should have been the MVP over Philly's Ryan Howard, see Bernie Miklasz's story in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. For my take, it's just this simple: If you were a major league general manager, would you trade Albert Pujols for Ryan Howard, straight up? I didn't think so.