Writer: Caleb Akpan

Thanksgiving Day is upon us and you hopefully have a lot to be thankful for this year. As you sit around the dinner table with family and friends, don’t forget to be thankful for the things in your world, including the sports world. Here is five things to get you started:

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The NFL is Competitive

Football is a mainstay in the American Thanksgiving. Every year, the NFL puts some of its best teams on display for the whole country to watch as they wait for, and eventually eat their Thanksgiving dinner. Some years, a less than stellar team sneaks into the lineup, and while this year holds to that with the New York Giants apart of the night game, for the most part on Thanksgiving and for this entire season, the league has been extremely competitive. 17 of 32 teams sit at .500 or better and 26 of 32 have at least 4 wins in what has been a 10-game season so far for most. It’s anybody’s guess where most teams will finish in the standings, and fans wouldn’t have it any other way, as long as there team is able to squeeze into the playoffs.

The NBA is Competitive Too

Not a big football fan? That’s fine, the NBA is almost just as competitive early in their season. Teams like the Thunder and Cavaliers have surprisingly struggled out of the gate, but no one doubts they’ll bounce back. Predicted lottery teams like the Lakers, Knicks, Suns, and Pacers have been at the very least competitive and the Eastern Conference teams currently sit comfortably in their playoff race. It’s extremely early in a much longer basketball season, but so far, it’s looking like a year where playoff spots won’t be secured so quickly or easily. Teams will have to compete every night and that’s a league people can get behind. If the title of “America’s Favorite Sport” is up for the taking, now is the time for the NBA to be as competitive as possible.

There’s a Great NBA Rookie Class

Part of the reason why pro basketball is doing so well is the latest batch of rookies. A team like the Sixers can be thankful for Ben Simmons, who looks like a seasoned veteran alongside beast Joel Embiid; his play looks like it will finally have Philidelphia back in the playoffs by season’s end. The Lakers can be thankful for Lonzo Ball, who has shown flashes of greatness amidst less than stellar performances. Ball may not be the day one ready pro people including his own father hoped he would be, but one thing is true, the Lakers are a lot more competitive with him now than they were without him before. Even teams not doing so well like the Kings, Mavericks, and Bulls have great rookies to look forward to developing, and those teams just scratch the surface of those with great young potential. A new batch of stars truly seems to be waiting in the wings of the NBA.

Your Team is Doing Well

With basketball and football competitive, there’s a big chance your team is doing well. As football season winds down, your aspirations for a Super Bowl appearance rise as you realize your team is a legitimate contender. As basketball season begins, you can say your team looks ready to make “the jump” this year and compete with the likes of Golden State and Cleveland as new pieces mesh together. Or maybe that streak of missing the playoffs seems to finally be almost over as your favorite squad defies preseason expectations and is shocking the world. Anyway you flip it, you have a lot to be thankful for and a lot to look forward to as the season continues.

There’s Always Next Year

So your favorite team isn’t doing too well. Maybe you’re a Browns fan and they never do well. Maybe you’re a Giants fan and you’re shocked by how bad this year has been. Maybe you’re a Clippers fan and are now realizing how important Chris Paul really was. Whatever it may be, just remember, there’s always next year. There will always be a new batch of rookies to get excited for, another off-season for your players to train and get better, and eventually, a start of a new season where everybody gets going with the exact same record: 0-0. That’s what’s beautiful about sports. Every year there’s another opportunity to have new things to be thankful for.

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