On this Thanksgiving Day we polled our staff for what they are thankful for this year in sports, ranging from a variety of viewing options to some of our favorite characters in sports on television. Make sure to click "Read More" for all the variety of responses. All of us are thankful Tony Kornheiser wears the giant turkey costume every year so we don't have to. Enjoy and have a Happy Thanksgiving!
Ken Fang: I'm thankful for Lee Corso and the joy he provides to College GameDay. Sure, he's becoming a cartoon character, but he's willing to go for the laughs. Whether he's firing off guns, dressing up as a leprechaun or wrestling with Bill Murray, Corso continues to provide fans with viral entertainment. Corso's headgear picks are a staple of the show and they're part of why GameDay is a ratings juggernaut. Long live Lee Corso and may he continue to be on College GameDay for as long as he wants.
Joe Lucia: I’m thankful that we finally have competition in the marketplace. Yes, other sports networks have existed for years, but they weren’t much of an alternative. In August, everything changed with the debut of the Premier League on NBCSN and the launch of Fox Sports 1. While ESPN is still far and away the worldwide leader, NBCSN and FS1 have at least become viable alternatives over the last few months. Competition isn’t a bad thing, and in the long run, I think this will be better for everyone – including ESPN.
Ryan Yoder: I'm thankful for more ways to watch games than ever before. From NFL Sunday Ticket on the iPad to Watch ESPN on the phone to the stellar NBC's Premier League Extra Time online, there is almost no way for a sports fan to miss the games they love. Similar to the new competition amongst networks, more choices for sports fans is always a good thing. Especially considering that sports is the final frontier of television that is almost DVR-proof.
Brad Gagnon: As I told Dan Levy, I'm thankful for the glorious dynamic that we have as a result of combining dramatic nationally-televised NFL games with Twitter. Whether we're collectively mocking replacement officials for their incompetence or wondering how the presumed juggernaut Broncos could blow a 24-point lead or just LOLing as the Cowboys do something Cowboys-like, the important part is that we're the world's best online peanut gallery. It's irresistible.
Steve Lepore: I'm thankful for all the made-for-AA stories that this year has provided us with. Never has it been a better time to be a shut-in, watch television and then critique it on the internet. Also, mashed potatoes.
David Rogers: I'm thankful for the abundance of soccer on my television. Once upon a time it was a rare treat to catch a live soccer game on television. Now it's common - and in HD too! Add in the fact Ray Hudson's glorious vocal chords are now a regular treat and you have a soccer fan who is extremely grateful.
Ben Koo: I am thankful for DirecTV's continued kerfluffle with the Pac 12 Network which allows me to get the Sunday Ticket for free among other discounted perks. As much as I would love to see Washington State take on Colorado, the $500 in savings trumps other nice things like the assured continuance of Hard Knocks, the proliferation of sports docs across more channels, and the rekindled pairing of Gus Johnson and Bill Raftery.
Reva Friedel: I'm thankful for all the highlight clips we can watch online, whether it is to watch Big Papi slam the Tigers or string together seven minutes of Sad Hawk Harrelson, it has really made being a fan all the more fun when you can relive your favorite moments whenever you want.
Josh Gold-Smith: I'm thankful there's a community of people that cares as deeply about the minutia of sports coverage as I do, whether it's how many fist pumps an anthem singer does or a pundit's seizure-inducing wardrobe. Growing up, we didn't have a place to laugh about broadcast follies or a way to capture and re-live the bizarre moments that happen during every single game. We had to rely on highlight show blooper segments for the laughs. The term "viral" didn't exist. Now, it's what the internet is all about. We don't have to yell at the TV from our couches any more. We have Twitter, we have Awful Announcing, and we have each other. Water cooler conversations used to be about scores and results, but now they're about moments. That's the way it should be. Most of all, I'm thankful there are people who actually care about the ridiculousness of sports. Without these people, I'd probably be dead or in jail.
Jonathan Biles: Can my reason just be "I'm thankful for what Gold-Smith is thankful for?" I'm thankful for sports in general because they're just better than anything else, but I guess I'm thankful for the way sports are covered in this day and age. As much as we criticize (it is part of our job description), having unlimited sporting entertainment is better than having the NBA Finals on tape delay. And the more competitive Fox, NBC, and even CBS get, the more options the consumer has.
Matt Yoder:All of these are great responses, but most of all I'm thankful for you - the reader. (Cue the Step by Step "poignant moment soundtrack.") Your support has carried one of the original cornerstones of the sports blogosphere to new heights that hopefully haven't topped out just yet. Thanks for allowing us the ridiculous privilege and great fun of being able to talk about sports on TV. AA has surpassed all of our expectations since it relaunched in 2010 and it's largely because of you. Each one of us are sports fans just like you and we hope this site can continue to be that voice of the fan moving forward.