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Pianow Unplugged: What I'm thankful for

Scott Pianowski
·6-min read

I’m probably forgetting a few things, but on this week of all weeks, let’s make a list.

• I’m thankful for Justin Tucker. You could narrow the goal posts by 80 percent and he’d be the same guy.

• I’m thankful for the Steelers and the Jets. Historical things might happen, and we are all witnesses.

• I’m thankful for the Cleveland Browns. We need a few teams trying to party like it’s 1977.

• I’m thankful for the 2-point conversion. Life would be a lot more boring without it.

• I’m thankful for every punt eschewed, especially when it’s in the middle of the field. Fortune favors the brave.

• I’m thankful for music.

• I’m thankful for cheese. I’m thankful for salami. I’m thankful for salami and cheese.

• I’m thankful for Deshaun Watson. He had every reason to have a lousy year, and instead, with such little help, he’s having his best year.

• I’m thankful for Jim Nantz and Tony Romo.

• I’m thankful I’ll have pasta again on Thanksgiving.

• I’m thankful for Al Michaels and Cris Collinsworth. I’m thankful for every time Michaels winks at the audience and mentions the point spread.

• I’m thankful for Scott Van Pelt and for Bad Beats, the best 3-5 minute segment on television.

• I’m thankful for the Chesterfield Club.

• I’m thankful for Patrick Mahomes. Such a talent, such a dreamer. He’s better than everyone else, but never acts like it.

• I’m thankful for Pro Football Reference. Every day.

• I’m thankful for Justin Herbert. Not even a bad haircut could stop him. Not every star quarterback has to be an extrovert.

• I’m thankful for Pittsburgh wideouts. The draft is impossible for most teams, but not for those guys.

• I’m thankful for Twitter. It’s a snake pit every so often, but it’s still far more good than bad. I’ve made friends there. I’ve learned so much there.

• I’m thankful for James Robinson. Not for one second have you disappointed me.

• I’m thankful for Terry McLaurin and Allen Robinson. May you both play with great quarterbacks someday.

• I’m thankful for the Sports Illustrated Vault, even through the redesigns. My childhood is stored in that place. When I can’t sleep, I wander around the archives until I’m tired.

• I’m thankful for inclusive celebrations. I love to see communal joy, camaraderie.

• I’m thankful for Dorothy Parker and Oscar Wilde.

• I’m thankful for the people I work with.

• I’m thankful for subtlety.

• I’m thankful for Rushmore, and every perfect song from Rushmore.

• I’m thankful for a well-designed screen.

• I’m thankful for Brian Flores. Hope is a good thing.

• I’m thankful for A.J. Brown after the catch, and Derrick Henry in the fourth quarter.

• I’m thankful for Radiohead.

• I’m thankful for Josh Allen. I’m thankful for the Buffalo fanbase.

Nov 24, 2019; Orchard Park, NY, USA; Buffalo Bills defensive end Shaq Lawson (90) reacts to his sack towards the fans against the Denver Broncos during the third quarter at New Era Field. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports
Best fans in the NFL. (Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports)

• I’m thankful for teams that aren’t afraid to lose.

• I’m thankful for Rodgers-to-Davante.

• I’m thankful for Kyle Shanahan, who thinks he could turn you into a 900-yard rusher.

• I’m thankful for Andy Reid’s play sheet.

• I’m thankful for rain. I wouldn’t want to live in a city where the weather was the same every day.

• I’m thankful for curveballs. I’m thankful for hanging curves, too.

• I’m thankful for live scoring, even as I try to ignore it for as long as I can every Sunday. You have to try to let things breathe.

• I’m thankful for Johan Cruyff, and the idea that winning without style is an empty experience.

• I’m thankful for Bill Belichick’s wisdom, and wardrobe.

• I’m thankful for Lost in Translation.

• I’m thankful for fake punts and surprise onside kicks.

• I’m thankful for pepper.

• I’m thankful for being wrong. It’s good for the soul. It keeps you balanced, hungry. Taysom Hill, I was wrong, man.

• I’m thankful for golf, and never more so than in 2020. And I’m thankful for golf sounds, which are the most relaxing sounds.

• I’m thankful that every NFL week is weird, and every NFL season is weird, in its own weird way.

• I’m thankful for Led Zeppelin. You cannot pick a favorite Led Zeppelin song, because it’s different tomorrow.

• I’m thankful for every soccer goal that’s scored in the flow of the game.

• I’m thankful for garbage time, and for backdoor covers.

• I’m thankful for George Kittle’s passion, and Raheem Mostert’s dedication.

• I’m thankful for podcasts, especially in the car.

• I’m thankful for football in the snow.

• I’m thankful for Mike Damone.

• I’m thankful for symmetry, and asymmetry.

• I’m thankful for Chris Wesseling. If you ever need something good to read, send him a note.

• I’m thankful to anyone who’s ever suggested an edit in a graceful manner.

• I’m thankful for my Dad, still the nicest person I’ve ever met.

• I’m thankful for Bloc Party.

• I’m thankful for Jackie Brown. I’m thankful for True Romance.

• I’m thankful for chess. I’m thankful for poker. I’m thankful for Scrabble.

Men play chess in Washington Square Park taking advantage of good weather in New York May 4, 2007. REUTERS/Eric Thayer (UNITED STATES)
Washington Square Park, still one of the chess epicenters of the universe. (Reuters)

• I’m thankful for natural grass.

• I’m thankful for Aaron Donald.

• I’m thankful for mustard. All kinds of mustard. Mean Mr. Mustard.

• I’m thankful for Russell Wilson. I’m thankful for every strange Seahawks game.

• I’m thankful for dogs, and for underdogs.

• I’m thankful for headphones.

• I’m thankful for every tight end from Iowa.

• I’m thankful for Cameron Crowe.

• I’m thankful for Marshawn Lynch, and for Warrick Dunn.

• I’m thankful for helmets with numbers on them.

• I’m thankful for passing. I’m thankful for the extra pass.

• I’m thankful for empathy.

• I’m thankful for hockey sweaters, especially with the string tie in the front.

• I’m thankful to NFL Game Pass. Grab any device and voila, your own film room in five seconds.

• I’m thankful for hybrids. I’m thankful for wedges.

• I’m thankful for my friends. I’m thankful for my brothers. I’m thankful for my cousins.

• I’m thankful for prime numbers.

• I’m thankful for Tanya Donelly.

• I’m thankful I can do this for a living. And I’m thankful, so grateful and appreciative, that you’re a part in it.

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