Every year my family has a tradition — we all sit around the table and rattle off what we are thankful for.
If you were to make about 18 wrong turns driving to your Thanksgiving dinner today and land at our celebration, you’ll be thrown in this mix, too. We would all judge you for getting that lost, but in the end you’ll be treated decently.
So when the time comes for you to say what you’re thankful for, don’t be boring and mention good health or family. C’mon, be bold. Take a swing at the fences and mention your favorite sports team.
Don’t have anything specific from your team? It’s all right, I’ll help you out with this cheat sheet.
Lions fans, be thankful for the Lions remaining schedule. There are seven NFC teams with at least seven wins. Of that group Detroit has the softest strength of schedule as their opponents have a collective .436 win percentage.
That’s softer than the mashed potatoes you’ll be annihilating later today. I guess you can be thankful there is no selection committee for the NFL playoffs.
Also, Jim Caldwell deserves a thankful shout-out. Long ago are the days of Jim Schwartz yelling like a tyrant but leading like an unruly toddler. Caldwell’s calm demeanor is a healthy switch for the Lions, and it’s showing with a 7-4 record.
Tigers fans, be thankful for Mike Illitch’s wallet. Because of your Hot N’ Ready addiction, the Tigers are able to spend like oil sheiks every offseason and keep the players you know and love. That sentence is even better to read when you forget the kind of contract 4.54 ERA Justin Verlander is pulling in.
Anyway, the Tigers have been in the playoff picture for the past few seasons, and that alone is enough to be thankful for.
Also, give thanks that next year’s bullpen cannot be worse than what we all just saw (it can’t get worse, right? Guys?). Your blood pressure may reach concerning levels next summer, but at least it will be for a different reason.
Red Wings fans, be thankful the injury bug has flown away (for now). Did you know last season the Red Wings had their own reserved seats at the Detroit Medical Center? OK, they didn’t, but that’s pretty believable considering the Grand Rapids Griffins pretty much played at Joe Louis Arena last year.
And when the Wings lose this year, at least they’re doing it in overtime. Hey, if you’re going to take one in the loss column, you might as well get a point out of it for the moral victory.
Pistons fans, be thankful for … Stan Van Gundy? I sat here for five minutes, and that’s all I could cough up. Bear with me.
While the Pistons are off to a rocky start, they will be in decent shape this offseason. No one will steal their draft pick and smash their dreams in this year’s NBA draft lottery. Stan the Man will start to make picks and signings that fit his system, and then life will be good(ish).
Take solace in knowing you can see an NBA game for a low, low price at The Palace too. Cheap entertainment, folks, is better than no entertainment.
UM fans, be thankful for basketball season. Long ago are the days of UM fans acting like they don’t have a basketball team and instead saving all their smack talk for the football field. Now that script has been through the paper shredder about four times, now resembling what Brady Hoke’s future looks like.
“Football season? Yeah, never heard of that sport – we’re a hoops school.”
Also, the sitcom that was “The Dave Brandon Show” has been cancelled. You can give enough thanks for that to last the next five Thanksgivings.
MSU fans, be thankful that this 9-2 football season is considered somewhat of a dud. When John LLLLLL. Smith was doing God-knows-what week in and week out, did you ever think Sparty would be bummed at just missing out on being a top-five program.
No way, but here you are a little peeved MSU is out of the inaugural College Football Playoff.
Ten years ago you would be eating Spartan Stadium’s turf just to get a shot at being considered elite. Well you can just focus on eating turkey today, because Mark Dantonio and his Rose Bowl win has brought the Spartans to that level.
Oh yeah, and Tom Izzo is still making his 500 different facial expressions per game on MSU’s bench. You get a winning basketball team and a maniac coach – doesn’t get more entertaining than that.
Contact Matt Sheehan at (810)-989-6267 or email@example.com. He’s on Twitter @Sheehan_Sports.