Sports Things To Be Thankful For, And Not Thankful For

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It's that time of year when we start to look back at the events that have happened. And since it's Thanksgiving, I thought I would give a list of sports things for which I'm thankful, as well as listing a few of the turkeys of the year. So...

1. I'm thankful for the MLB Network. The network and it's commentators blow ESPN and FOX out of the water -- though Bob Costas can be a bit full of it from time to time. The network gave actual analysis and the live look-in coverage from 6 p.m. to midnight always found a way to be at the right game at the right time.  

2. Speaking of baseball, I'm thankful for Hunter Pence and Michael Bourn. They're young, they're fast, they're talented. And they actually seem to give a damn, unlike a lot of their teammates on the Astros.

3. And here's to Les Alexander. The Rockets haven't won a title since the 90s, but I always get the impression that Alexander wants his team to win, unlike the owners of the local NFL and MLB franchises.

4. It's been a blast watching UH receiver and kick returner Tyron Carrier. The guy just seems to have an extra gear that no football player on the field with him has, or could even use if he did have it.

5. Let's have some appreciation for UH football coach Kevin Sumlin. It's nice to have a head coach who actually knows what he's doing. Maybe Gary Kubiak should be taking notes.

6. I realize that hockey is a minor league sport in Houston, but anybody who didn't appreciate the Houston Aeros playoff run this past spring isn't a sports fan. The underdog team won two game sevens on the road, before losing in six games in the conference finals.

7. And here's to Charlie Pallilo for treating me and his listeners like adults. He knows his stats, and he's not afraid to offer actual analysis and criticize the local teams.  

8. Brian Cushing and Andre Johnson make the Texans worth watching. I can't wait to find out what they're going to do next. And it's a shame about the injury to Owen Daniels, because he just goes out and makes the catches that need to be made.

9. I don't care what the Houston Chronicle says, Roy Oswalt is still the best pitcher the Astros have, and he deserves a lot better than what he's gotten from his teammates and from management.

10. Finally, thanks to Case Keenum for making the national media mention a Cougar QB and the Heisman in the same sentence.

And now for the Turkeys...

1. Here's to Drayton McLane who's content to put out a lousy product as long as it doesn't hurt his profits.

2. And who knows, maybe Carlos Lee will actually decide to lose some weight at some time and actually hustle. Oh, who am I kidding?

3. Roger Clemens because, well, why not?

4. Miguel Tejada for lying to Congress and tipping pitches. Good riddance.

5. Loud music at sporting events. Whatever happened to letting us fans actually watch the game and talk about what we see. If I want to yell at the Foo Fighters, I'll go to a Foo Fighters concert, which is also probably a cheaper ticket than what it costs to go to a sporting event.

6. The Texas Longhorns are turkeys for their non-conference football schedule. The cowards wouldn't play real teams because they were afraid of losing to real non-conference teams.  

7. And here's to the Chronicle's John McClain.  The Texans beat writer -- and the only pro-football guy at the Chron -- took several days off during the middle of a non-bye week to go play a bit part in a movie. And instead of writing about football when he got back, he wrote about meeting Diane Lane. Can't help but thinking that the Chron laid off the wrong writer.

8. Speaking of the Chron, it's a turkey for decimating not just its sports department, but for decimating the entire reporting, editing, and support staff. But hey, at least the façade of the building will look nice.

9. The national press is a turkey for keeping Colt McCoy and Tim Tebow's names atop the Heisman talk despite their completely mediocre seasons.

10. And Minute Maid Park will continue to be a turkey as long as it has that stupid hill in centerfield and the choo-choo train carrying the pumpkins high atop left field.

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