In the spirit of Thanksgiving I suggest sports fans stop whining for a day and think about what they should be thankful for.
For example, it wasn’t that long when many people on the First Coast were willing to do almost anything to get an NFL franchise. I warned you then that you would quickly become jaded and start behaving like those fans in most NFL cities. “Never,” one fan after another told me. Well, listen to yourself now. I’m not suggesting you sit quietly and not complain about your team’s head coach, your team’s quarterback, your team’s general manager. Complaining is part of the fun of being a sports fan. But if having an NFL franchise in Jacksonville is important to you, be thankful we have one . . .
For example, Gator football fans should look back to the days when many of them were willing to sell their souls for just one SEC championship. Florida was 0-for-57 years before winning that first conference title. Did you think the great 20-year run started by Steve Spurrier in 1990 would last forever? Didn’t you realize there would be a few bumps in the road? Gator fans, who once filled Florida Field to watch an 0-10-1 team, now dismiss the current Gators as failures and act as if the season has been over for several weeks. Remember how many of you couldn’t wait for football season throughout the spring and summer? Be thankful there are still games to enjoy. Yes, Gators, you once were thankful for any bowl game.
For example, FSU football fans are disgusted their team lost to Wake Forest and Virginia. Well, there was a time – before Bobby Bowden — when your Seminoles were a laughing stock. Be thankful those days are long gone.
To area golfers I say don’t complain about the rainy days, but be thankful we can play year-round on some of the finest courses and at reasonable prices.
To area fisherman I say don’t complain about the days when the fish aren’t biting, but be thankful we live on the shores of an ocean and a river.
To all sports fans, this is a time to be thankful for that hug from your child or grandchild instead of having your day ruined because of how a football team played . . . a time to be thankful for a beautiful setting sun instead whining about the big fish that got away or a bad round of golf or a missed birdie putt . . . a time to be thankful for what we have instead of what we don’t.
Have a great Thanksgiving.