PLYMOUTH ROCK – It was with great relief and appreciation that I read staff leader Angry Ward’s comments yesterday in which he graciously punted the job of writing the annual “I’m thankful for…blah blah blah.” We celebrate our only unequivocal American holiday today, so in the spirit of taking a day off from the real world, there will be no mention here of Ferguson, MO; Hall of Famer Ferguson Jenkins, former Dodgers Catcher Joe Ferguson or Sir Alex Ferguson. No, as one of the “old” guys here at MtM, I am thankful that I have been able to see and watch some of the most awe-inspiring, eye-popping performances of the past 40 years. Sports or otherwise. Such as…
–The ’69 Mets. I was a Kindergartner, but I saw how happy they made my Dad and older brothers.
–Shawon Dunston making a throw from deep in the SS hole. If anyone tells you there has ever been a stronger throwing arm from SS than Dunston, walk away. They’re dumb.
–The great Chris Mullin and the sweetest shot ever. If the 3 point line was around during Mullin’s run at St.John’s he’d have averaged 50 points a game.
-Dave Parker’s arm from Right Field
-Craig Nettles at 3B in the ’77 World Series.
-Junior Griffey going gap to gap in the outfield in his first 5 years.
-Joe Montana...getting pummeled by Leonard Marshall in the 1990 NFC Championship game
-Rick Monday saving the American Flag from desecration.
-Michael Jordan’s dominance in the 1990s. Complete with getting to play by a different set of rules from everyone else.
-Al Cowlings, the world’s first Uber driver.
-Mookie Wilson going first to third with his helmet sliding off. (hon.mention to John Pacella)
-Starks ’94 and “The Dunk”
–Maturation of LeBron (unfairly criticized for years)
-’86 Mets. The sign on the Grand Central welcoming vistors to New York, “home of the world series champion Mets” was up until about 2003. This IS a Mets town-current evidence to the contrary I know.
-Earl Campbell. Toughest RB ever.
–Grant Hill. Injuries prevented him from becoming Jordan.
-Flutie to Phelan
Krueger-most underrated Seinfeld recurring character?
-George Costanza, the greatest TV character ever.
–Pat Tillman, the most selfless athlete ever.
–The original All-Madden Thanksgiving Day selections-today’s nonsense is insulting.
Finally on this day of Thanks… In May of 1995, I got a call from an old buddy of mine who happened to have been a proud NYC cop. Seems he had been fixed up on a blind date with a teacher from Long Island. He was polite to a fault, so he kept the date in spite of knowing that he would have little in common with this girl. He asked me to meet him at a pub that evening-positive that his blind date would end early, and he and I would then go for a couple of pops afterward. That teacher from Long Island and I will celebrate our 18th wedding anniversary in a couple of weeks. That buddy of mine? We lost him on 9/11.
Let’s all raise a glass to thank whomever your hero might be or was on this Thanksgiving Day. Happy Turkeys. May yours also be stuffed with sausage.
Different Matt, tomorrow.