Frank's Thanks


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In this week for giving thanks, I’ll help set the table with a few appetizers from the world of sports. In no particular order, I’m grateful for:


• 63 minutes of NBA playoff basketball on a Monday night in May ... in Memphis.

• Joe Jackson at the free-throw line with the game in the balance.

• Stan Musial’s 91st birthday (look it up).

• Christabel Oduro with a soccer ball at her feet.

• David Freese with two outs and two strikes.

• Someone beating the Heat.

• That someone being the Dallas Mavericks.

• NFL labor peacemakers. Fall Sundays without football? May as well make it a 6-day week.

• The gritty Gasol brother.

• Albert Pujols channeling the Babe for one World Series game.

• Twilight at AutoZone Park.

• The theme from 2001: A Space Odyssey at FedExForum. And this season’s Tiger intro video.

• Charlie Lea’s infectious love of baseball.

• Larry Finch at full strength on a court beyond the clouds.

• Living in SEC country and hearing discussion of BCS “scenarios.”

• Adonis Thomas as an extra.

• Lance Berkman with two outs and two strikes.

• Wolo and Stats.

• Bob Forsch throwing out the first pitch before Game 7 of the World Series.

• Bob Costas conducting the interview. Anyone, anywhere.

• Dirk Nowitzki to his left, with an injured finger.

• Roger Federer looking human.

• Tiger Woods reminding us that Jack Nicklaus was superhuman.

• Adron Chambers reaching the bluff at AutoZone Park.

• Adron Chambers reaching the Cardinals’ active roster for Game 7 of the World Series.

• The Lady Tiger soccer team cheering the fans after another victory.

• Chris Herrington breaking down the Grizzlies.

• Shane Battier’s timely return.

• Shane Battier from downtown for a playoff winner ... just the second biggest event of his day.

• Josh Pastner’s insistence that “winning is hard.” Ask Larry Porter.

• Jim Harbaugh’s handshakes.

• Hardwood Classics on NBA-TV. Especially any game featuring Rick Barry.

• Rick Barry from the free-throw line.

• The new Tiger sports Hall of Fame. (Wish that Lorenzen Wright jersey were of the Grizzlies variety.)

• The St. Louis Cardinals going with their gut (instead of a track record) and hiring Mike Matheny.

• The new skate park. Wonderful to see skaters actually doing their thing, and not on a video screen.

• Tiger football fans in the stands at the Liberty Bowl. This kind of loyalty knows no bounds. Hang in there.

• The Pastner/Calipari contrast.

• Televisions on the tables at Dan McGuinness Pub. Death to conversation, maybe. But great with a pint of Guinness at game time.

• Soccer-playing daughters. Thought I knew what rooting interest was before.

• Softball-playing daughters. Thought I loved baseball when I played.

• Penny Hardaway, Elliot Perry, and giving back.

• Every last one of my readers. I appreciate the loyalty. Happy Thanksgiving.


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