By Doug Halberstadt
Many people around the country will pause this week to give thanks for the blessings in their lives. I have come up with the following things for people in the sports world to be thankful about.
• The entire state of Colorado should be thankful Peyton Manning decided to become a Bronco.
• Rockford Auburn High School should be thankful Dan Appino decided to become a Knight.
• The Chicago Cubs organization would be wise to give thanks for the opportunity to play in Wrigley Field. That ensures that fans will still come to the ballpark, regardless of the talent of the team.
• Lance Armstrong should thank the millions of fans who continue to hold him in such high esteem despite the doping allegations levied against him.
• The Rockford Auburn and Rockford Jefferson High School football teams should thank the Rockford taxpayers for the brand-new artificial turf field they had to play their home games on this season.
• Chicago Bulls fans might want to thank the medical professionals who have treated Derrick Rose during his knee injury and the rehabilitation period that has followed.
• Jay Cutler and Brandon Marshall should give thanks to the Bears’ front office for getting them back together on the same team.
• The Rockford IceHogs and the BMO Harris Bank Center would be wise to send a thank-you note to the NHL owners and players for their prolonged dispute.
• The golfers I saw at Aldeen Golf Course last Sunday (Nov. 18) should be extremely grateful for the beautiful weather we have experienced.
• To the thousands of participants in the athletic programs offered by the Rockford Park District, they should thank the staff and volunteers that make it all possible.
• Drivers and the fans of short-track racing should be thankful for the lifelong commitment to their sport by the Deery family.
• Families from our area that cannot afford a $500 (or more) day at a major league game should be thankful that the Rockford RiverHawks, Foresters and the Beloit Snappers offer an affordable alternative.
• Every overpaid professional athlete should be thankful our country puts such a huge emphasis on sports. This allows them to continue to collect their exorbitant incomes and maintain their lavish lifestyles.
• I’m thankful for the opportunity to enjoy the world of sports on so many levels, as a fan, participant, parent and for the past several years, as a writer.
Those are just a few of the random things I was able to think of during my time of thankful reflection. I’m positive there are a multitude of other blessings in the world of sports that I’ve overlooked or missed entirely. The purpose of this column wasn’t intended to be a comprehensive list. My intention was to encourage all of us to count our many blessings. Happy Thanksgiving!
From the Nov. 21-27, 2012, issue