So many sports, friends, family to be thankful about


It is Thanksgiving morning, crisp and bright, I hope, the type of day that lifts spirits before the snow starts drifting, a day that demands reflection, that begs for family and food and football.

I have so much for which to be thankful. I hope you do, too.

Family first, always.

I will break bread today with my in-laws, both in their 90s. A couple years ago my father-in-law called to say they’d sold their house and could use a little help with the move. A nice senior community, I figured, not necessarily assisted living because they were (and are) in no need of assistance. But a step in that direction, most likely. No. They moved into a newer, larger home. Three months ago they got a puppy. Thus, here’s their secret to not getting old — living young. These are special people.

Let’s move from the oldest, chronologically, to the youngest. Regular readers know Sue and I are enjoying our first grandchild. Ian Russell Walker is our greatest blessing and there is nothing for which, or whom, I am more thankful. If I’d known how great grandkids are, I would have skipped the kids part and proceeded right to this. Just kidding, kids. I think.

And, speaking of them, they are both married now, both happy, and have merged our family with so many other wonderful people, for which I’m thankful beyond words. And just as we’re paying off the final bills from the final nuptials …

A beautiful downy woodpecker has decided to see if he/she/it can eat our entire house. Well, maybe not eat it; merely destroy it. Can’t say I’m all that thankful about this turn of events.

I am thankful for another kind of bird, the kind that will take center stage on the dining room table today. And for stuffing and spuds and gravy and tomato pudding, the very best part of the holiday meal. And for that cranberry salad, or whatever it’s called, from the Kroger deli. I could eat that 365 days a year. In fact, I think I will.

Did I mention pumpkin pie swimming in whipped cream? Or is it whipped cream swimming in pumpkin pie?

I didn’t think there could ever be another Maggie. And then we found Elsie and I’m so thankful. Nobody gives better kisses than my wacko golden retriever.

I’m thankful for Ohio State vs. Michigan and can’t wait until Saturday. Just an opinion, but it’s better than the BCS championship game. For sure, it’ll put the Big Ten championship game to shame.

Isn’t college football better in our region when Toledo and Bowling Green both have good seasons?

And good luck to Central Catholic, Liberty-Benton, McComb, and Whitmer teams.

I’m thankful the elections are over.

Now, when my phone rings, the possibility exists I might just answer it.

Is it just me or has Veterans Day become bigger, better, and more reverential? Credit various sports leagues, the NFL in particular, for a lot of that. There is no group of people, living and dead, who are more worthy of our respect and thanks. Son-in-law Alex can take a bow.

Anything else? Oh, yeah, Facebook. I’m about the last to the party, but it’s a blast.

What’s next, Twitter? Heavens, no.

And, finally, although the business many of us signed on for has changed in myriad of ways, I am still very thankful for this job. Truthfully, it’s not the sports.

It’s about people and the readers and their amazing level of interest. Writing a column, to me, is just a means of chatting with friends.

So, I hope all my friends have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

Contact Blade sports columnist Dave Hackenberg at: or 419-724-6398.