By Aaron Jackson
As the holiday season approaches, now is an appropriate time to stop and reflect on what you’re thankful for in life…and in sports. With Thanksgiving on the mind, now seems like the right time to tell you the five sports figures that I’m most thankful for this year.
- Tom Brady: If you think about it, the entirety of New England owes this man more than they can ever repay. While we’re out stuffing our faces on Thanksgiving Day, this man will be getting in another workout and preparing for another week of playing at the highest level of his career at age 40. We can sit enjoy pie, turkey, gravy, stuffing and everything else we want, while he’ll be eating a quinoa salad and avocado ice cream in the quest for a greatness he’s already achieved. We all should be thankful for Tom Brady.
- David Ortiz: He may be retired now, but he hasn’t been gone long enough for me to stop being thankful. Big Papi was a hero to a franchise badly in need of one. Ortiz accomplished feats of clutch hitting that little kids dream about in their backyard, only #34 did it on the biggest stage possible. He rallied millions at a time when one of America’s biggest cities was under attack. At a point a few years ago when many considered his career to be over, he turned back the clock, delivering greatness once again. We should all be thankful for David Ortiz.
- Kyrie Irving and Chris Sale: Both newcomers to the Boston sports scene, they’ve thrived under a spotlight that causes many talented athletes to crumble. They’ve succeeded in situations that many before them have struggled in. Despite the harsh Boston media, they’ve shown fans that big name free agents can fit in, if only they ignore those that try to bring them down. We should all be thankful for Chris Sale and Kyrie Irving.
- Brad Stevens: I’d pump the brakes on saying Stevens is the best coach in the NBA, as there are others currently out there that have much more accomplished career. That isn’t to degrade him, only to say that he will hopefully be in 20 years what some of these coaches are today. I’m thankful for the fact that he has gotten the best out of his teams, and that he clearly knows how to manage player’s egos to get them to buy into his systems. We should all be thankful for Brad Stevens.
- Giancarlo Stanton: We may not get the biggest name in the major league baseball offseason and NL MVP to join the Red Sox, but the rumors around him will certainly keep us entertained. Sox fans always need that big name to latch on to, to dream about during the winter months. This year Stanton is that guy. I’m also using this as a plea to Giancarlo. We want you in Boston…no, we NEED you in Boston. You’re the missing piece. With you, this team is a World Series favorite. Sure, it’s a little bit colder, and most of the media is incredibly over critical, but just think of what happens when you succeed. We should all HOPEFULLY be thankful for Giancarlo Stanton.
Aaron Jackson (@AaronRJackson on Twitter) is a co-host of The Drive, weekdays 4pm to 6pm on 92.9fm The Ticket and streaming live at DriveShowMaine.com. Follow us on Twitter, @DriveShowMaine. “Like Us” on Facebook, Drive Show Maine.