Why hello again, friends! If you're like me, you're counting the hours until you get to leave your godforsaken job on one of the slowest days of the year, and you're looking forward/dreading a day with family. And, if you're like me, when you're seated at the table, asked to give thanks for some sappy thing in your life or another, you'll have a litany of other things you might want to say but know would be inappropriate. "I'm thankful Michael Vick is having a terrible season since he's a terrible human being," or "I'm thankful that college football is finally getting a playoff in 2014 so we can stop listening to pundits whine about the lack of fairness in a system that explots free athlete labor for massive profit," or "I'm thankful for my liver for saving me that one night I decided to dance with a bottle of Patron."
The things we can't bring ourselves to say in mixed company for fear that our families' idealized visions of us will shatter as they realize we are simply shallow degenerates who might actually care more about sports and drinking than we do about our parents. Of course, if our families knew us better in the first place, they would have already suspected that was true...
Mind you that this will likely be the week that my entire family chooses to read this mess of a website, so it goes without saying that I've probably said too much. Love you, momma!
In the spirit of giving thanks with the Deeg halves of ourselves - the halves that we unleash upon the interwebs in a rush of cursing and disgusting generalizations - we've all gathered on this post to share what we're thankful for this holiday season. Some of it is sappy, some of it incredibly sophomoric, but I imagine that this is no surprise and that you're all pretty much on board with what we do here.
On to the #HotTakesOfThanks!!
I started buying FIFA early in high school and my penchant for choosing the underdog in all positions made Manchester City my team. When the cesspool known as ESPN made a wise decision and picked up EPL games, suddenly I could immerse myself in the game like the soccer connoisseurs I had been friends with. Obviously Man City was who I rooted for.
I memorized their roster like I had the state capitals some 23 years earlier, lest someone accuse me of being a dreaded bandwagon fan as they chased their first title in 44 years. I watched both Manchester Derby victories on illegal streams at work, watched as they took a commanding eight point lead on second place Man United only to fall behind by eight points late in the year. I watched them storm back and need merely a win at home (where they hadn’t lost all year) against fighting-against-relegation QPR to win the title. So on a Sunday in May I emerged from my room at 9am with a massive hangover to watch this team vanquish Man U and their hold on the Premiership crown…and come the 90th minutes they were behind 2-1, on two fluky QPR goals, despite playing with an extra man for the last twenty minutes.
I could not bear it. I must admit, I turned the game off at the 80th minute, disgusted that as soon as I started ardently following this team three thousand miles away, they get infected by the dreaded losing disease my other teams have hacked all over me through the years. It was the Monday night Cowboys loss, game 7 against Carolina and game 162 in 2011 all wrapped into one and I had no interest in tuning in. Am I an idiot? Sure, but those 91st and 94th minute goals happened, my team went from crippling defeat to champions in mere moments and I’ve relived it more than enough times to feel the chills as if I hadn’t changed the channel. And thanks to modern technology we can catch a glimpse of what I still feel we will all get to experience someday. So thanks Man City, for proving that sports are not always crippling disappointment.
Hope meter: Christmas morning meets the morning of your birthday.
Hope meter: God is dead.
Game one, Bills play the *Pats in Ralph Wilson Stadium. Drew Bledsoe light of our life, led us to a 31-0 WIN over the *PATRIOTS. Travis Henry was a person who was good at football, Sam Adams was good at football and had a hilarious name, Takeo Spikes had an even better name and an even better performance, and the future Mr. Giselle Bundchen threw for 123 yards with 4 interceptions.
WOW! What a referendum on the upcoming season right? Wrong.
Bills finished a typical 6-10, including a bookend loss at *New England 0-31. Drew Bledsoe’s stat line: 12 of 29 passes for 83 yards and 1 INT and 3 sacks.
It probably can’t get any worse right? I mean the Bills clearly missed the playoffs but how much worse can it get? Oh, *Pats win the *Superbowl with a nailbiting field goal kick. Yeah that’s pretty bad. At least the Bills D was still in the “good enough to be Spygate-d” era. *Asterisk*Asterisk*Asterisk*
I am thankful for this moment because I learned again that hope is futile and that life is a constant series of disappointments and you should not look to sports to fulfill and sustain you. Maybe I am the only person who learned this lesson. Oh well, love is a battlefield y’all.
My own shitty contibution:
My baseball team is garbage. Sure, I can get on this site and wax poetic about how much I love RA Dickey and David Wright, but there is no genuinely positive spin to put on a team that consistently finishes in the basement (at least so long as I’ve cheered for them) and who is owned by an utter assbag to boot. Fred Wilpon’s financial stranglehold on this team, borne out of poor personnel decisions (see, e.g., Oliver Perez’s contract) and more recent financial commitments to Madoff investors who sued and settled with Wilpon over his role in Madoff’s fraud, makes me shudder with rage. The Mets have a loyal fanbase, play in a great (and relatively cheap) ballpark, and have players that are eminently likeable. But, they are still terrible and they’re still owned by one of the bigger villains of professional sports ownership, at least nationally.
I always liked Reyes, but his tenure in Flushing ended quite badly with him prematurely leaving the last game of the season after ensuring, via an infield hit, that he would win the batting title. This is a guy who struggled with criticisms of his hustle, often avoiding reporters’ questions by feigning a language barrier which was curiously absent during good stretches of play, and he ends the season with an illustration of how much he cares about his own accolades over the success of his franchise. To top it off, he shirked a fanbase that typically adored him and made it abundantly clear that he was going to cash in with a big payday that the Wilpons, due to their Madoff-related finacial commitments, could hever afford.
Completely understandable, mind you, but fuck him anyway. Go Mets.
Of course, the big draw of Reyes’s move to Miami was his role in attracting and interacting with a Hispanic fanbase with a new Hispanic manager, but the whole thing just stunk of a shoddy production job – a glitzy stadium that bordered on comical, what with its gaudy art in the outfield and fish tanks flanking home, and a roster of seeming stars who just never put it together. And as a hated NL East rival, to see the whole thing crumble under the weight of their hubris is simply delicious.
Thank you, Marlins. You really did me a solid there.
Besides friends and family which I’m thankful for everyday, and my farting dog... as far as the site/sports are concerned, I’m not thankful for a goddamned thing.
What do I have to be thankful for? A shitass Bills squad cruising to another 6-10 season? No.
A locked-out hockey season that would have just been another Lindy Ruff voyage to mediocrity? No.
A ball-less Mets squad that will have to unload their brightest star RA Dickey for yet another maddeningly awful rebuilding season? No.
A surging Knicks squad built with has-beens and me-first players that will surely implode by February? No.
A striker-less Liverpool squad fighting to stay mid-table and burdened by yet another group of out-of-their-league American owners? No.
So, in the immortal words of my dear friend Jazz Hands, “Fuck all y’all.” Enjoy the turkey.
From the Apologist:
I've had a difficult time picking any one thing I'm thankful for in sports these days. When I tried to think about it, it was mostly the little things that popped into my mind. I'm thankful for close plays at home plate and dunks that start at the free throw line. I'm thankful for 4th quarter comeback drives and overtime hockey.
But most of all, I'm thankful for you, my companions in misery. For years, we've known all too well how crappy our teams are, but it's never stopped us from enjoying it as much as humanly possible. Whether it's taking a Party Bus to Nassau Coliseum or piling into a dark, crowded bar on any given Bills Sunday, we've managed to pull joy from the jaws of sadness. The most recent example was when my O's amazing run at the playoffs ended against those damn Yankees. Without the company that shared my misery, and a whole lot of booze, I would simply remember those games as gut-wrenching pain (FUCK YOU, RAUL!). Instead, I had a blast with my friends for four glorious nights and watched some really exciting baseball along the way.
This all sounds really sappy, I know. But that doesn't stop it from being true. The only reason any of us are going to be able to stomach the rest of the Bills season is because of the people we're going to share the experience with. So thank you, all of you, who make this constant torture we call fandom tolerable.
What am I thankful for? Well first of all, I'm thankful for my brethren at DGWU Sports. The Yachtman of course rescued me from Hurricane Sandy and opened his home to me for several nights, and has also took on the terrifying responsibility of being one of my co-best men for upcoming wedding. On top of this, I can always count on him making me feel better about myself when I go on an unhealthy streak of booze and food like I have the past three weeks, because that's how the guy lives his life daily with a confidence that borders on complete narcissism. He doesn't know how much that both impresses and enrages me all at once. Compliment-Insult combo FTW!
The Barrister of course also rescued me during the hurricane fiasco. Without him I probably would have been stuck, sick on Yachter's floor for another few nights before I'd have had the awesome three hour trek back to my apartment in Hoboken while wearing the same Knicks t-shirt for three straight days. I'm also thankful for the Barrister running this blog the majority of the time. Before he got here I use to have panic attacks over posting/editing/content and all that other fun stuff, but not only has he helped with the workload, he has pretty much taken over as the head guy here. Keep in mind, all while working a full-time job that is in no way easy and also having a baby. Kudos, dear friend. Have I also mentioned that my fiancee and I have asked him to officiate our wedding? That's right, the Barrister will pronounce us man and wife. How jealous are you that you're missing this wedding??
I'm thankful that the Apologist still calls me to talk about the Bills on Sundays, which is really the only time we ever talk on the phone. I'm also thankful he opened his home to "the Pants" and I on Halloween for a costume-less hurricane refugee party when we were at the height of our stress. I'm not sure if he really knows how relaxing that night was for us. I'm also very thankful and excited he will be joining us at my future in-law's home for Thanksgiving this year. Aps is a big family guy, and when I heard he couldn't make it home for turkey day for the first time ever, I had to get him to the awesome eating/drinking fest that is my gal's family Thanksgiving. The Crown Royal shots start around 12:30 in the afternoon and I will be tweeting the insane details.
I'm also thankful for my newer partners here, Outlander and Continental. Both have brought their own style to the Deeg and have been amazing additions with fantastic content. I'm thankful Outlander is here to share my pain of PSU, as well as his ability to get into Sabres PR events in order to make fun of Mike Harrington's greasy mullet. I'm also thankful the Continental has become that lady touch we so desperately needed. Her weekly mailbag column makes me spit-take every time I read it, and after meeting her in person and confirming the coolness, I'm glad she has joined the fray of futility we call Dear God, Why Us? Sports. Her ability to meet deadlines and stay on top of posting really makes me beyond thankful because I'm anal like that, which the rest of the Deeg makes fun of me for constantly.
Oh yeah! I'm also thankful for the 8 - 2 Motha Fuckin' New York Knicks because they are my only sports franchise showing any glimpse of success in that moment. Of course, that is until Amare Stoudemire returns from injury and throws off the balance of the team, sending them on a downward spiral of 12 straight losses that will send me on my own spiral of alcoholism and eventual obesity. #Becauseallofmyteamsaregarbagebagsfullofaids