As I reach middle age, I've learned to appreciate Thanksgiving. As a kid, the last Thursday in November was nothing more than a speed bump on the way to Christmas morning. Like Auburn's season, Thanksgiving just keeps getting better and better with time.
I hope you will stop for a moment this week and give thanks for the blessings in your life. Times have been tough for many in recent years, maybe even for you. But let's not forget that as long as we have a roof over our heads and food on the table, we're better off than many in this world.
I hope you'll oblige me this moment to share with you all that I'm thankful for this holiday season...
- I'm thankful that after more than 18 years of marriage the key to the house still works each evening. Lord, my wife is a treasure.
- I'm thankful for all of you who visit Track'em Tigers throughout the year. While most of us have never met, I feel like we are all friends. Reading your comments is the highlight of my day.
- I'm thankful for my rational Alabama friends. We can still be civil with each other and even make a congratulatory phone call after the game. You can't put a price on that kind of friend.
- I'm thankful that my 15 year-old daughter still wants to be with me during the Iron Bowl and not with her friends. How many years of that do I have left?
- I'm thankful for a good cigar and a cold beer on the porch after a long week.
- I'm thankful for athletic director Jay Jacobs. Few endured the ridicule he did after the hiring of Gene Chizik. He believed in himself and stuck with his decision. I've reflected on that lesson more than once.
- I'm thankful for the best in-laws in the world. They are the two most selfless people on earth. Our family literally couldn't function without them.
- I'm thankful to have been given the chance to watch Cam Newton play in person. After Bo Jackson, I never thought I'd see another one like him in orange and blue. This season has truly been a gift.
- I'm thankful for great barbeque. Whether it's Byron's, The Barbeque House, Mike and Ed's or 13th Street, life wouldn't be worth living without a pork sandwich and sweet tea.
- I'm thankful for sweatpants during the holidays. Wear them every day in December and you'll never know you're gaining weight.
- I'm thankful for the group of guys here at Track'em Tigers. Like me, they love Auburn football more than they should. This gig is a labor of love, especially in April when nothing is happening.
- I'm thankful for high school football on Friday night. It's the way the game should be played.
- I'm thankful for gameday in Auburn. Every school has its traditions, but none can beat Tiger Walk followed by Nova flying into the stadium before the team takes the field. After more than 35 years of attending games, I still get goose bumps. It never fails.
- I'm thankful for stories like Zac Etheridge. How he made it back on the field in under a year is beyond me. Personally, I'd be sitting home watching from the recliner.
- I'm thankful for Auburn radio announcer Rod Bramlett. Following the late Jim Fyffe was no easy task. After eight seasons, we can now say he's the true voice of Auburn football. I know Jim would be proud.
- I'm thankful for the first morning chill each fall. It's my favorite morning of the year.
- I'm thankful for great seafood on the Gulf Coast each summer. We are blessed to have largely been spared from the BP disaster. It looks like those white beaches are here for a little longer.
- I'm thankful for the turnaround in Auburn baseball. There are few things better in the spring than a Tiger baseball game.
- I'm thankful for the wisdom of my 89 year-old grandfather. He gave me the best piece of advice in life. Whenever I worry, he always says, "Don't borrow trouble." How true.
- I'm thankful for the guys who paint their faces orange and blue and park their Auburn Volkswagon van down from the Athletic Department on gameday. It may sound stupid, but the sight of them gets me ready for Auburn football.
- I'm thankful for my yard guy, Scott. He's the biggest Alabama fan I know. Talking trash with him always makes my week. They don't make'em better than him.
- I'm thankful for the 10 year-old boy wearing Auburn eye-blacks sitting next to me each Saturday. I'm the luckiest guy in the world.
I hope you and your family have a wonderful Thanksgiving!