What I'm thankful for
Justin Schuver, Sports Editor
I know it's a little late for Thanksgiving, but I still felt I should talk about the 10 things I'm most thankful for in sports this year.
10. I'm thankful for the Atlanta Hawks, whose sheer ineptitude makes even my Thrashers look respectable.
9. I'm thankful for Dennis Franchione, who has all but proven his one good season at TCU was a fluke. I could be wrong, but LaDainian Tomlinson might have had something to do with his success there. Coach Fran deserves whatever he gets.
8. I'm thankful for the Winter Olympics, by far the better of the two international sports festivals. Where else do you get the chance to watch luge and curling?
7. I'm thankful for the national sports media, who will cry and moan and whine about how Notre Dame doesn't deserve its BCS spot and will get clobbered by its opponent. Just like they said the Irish couldn't beat Pittsburgh and Michigan on the road, couldn't compete with USC and couldn't score on Tennessee's defense.
6. I'm thankful for Atlanta Falcons tight end Alge Crumpler, who is the team's receiving corps.
5. I'm thankful for Division I-AA playoff games in the snow like last Saturday's blizzard bowl pitting Colgate against New Hampshire. Now that's football.
4. I'm thankful for Terrell Owens, who might have finally crossed the line between being cocky and being a complete jerk. Hopefully professional athletes will see what's happened to him and tone down their arrogance.
3. I'm thankful for the family of Montana Mazurkiewicz, who made the words "pass right" a household name and gave my alma mater more positive press than a national championship could ever achieve.
2. I'm thankful for Bobby Cox and John Schuerholz, who have only done the best job of managing a team in professional sports. In a world of Phil Garner throwing his players under the bus in the World Series and Theo Epstein bailing on the Red Sox, the Braves' stability is a model that all professional sports teams only wish they could have.
1. Finally, I'm thankful for a certain speech and drama major of the Class of 1978 at Notre Dame. Charlie Weis has not accepted any excuses and has helped orchestrate one of the best offenses in Irish history, out of a bunch of players who could barely break the top 100 in offense last season.
He's made a Biletnikoff (best wide receiver in college) candidate out of Jeff Samardzija, a player who barely saw the field last season. He's taken a 50-percent completion rate quarterback in Brady Quinn and turned him into a Heisman candidate. His team has two 1,000-yard receivers (Samardzija and Maurice Stovall), a 1,000-yard rusher (Darius Walker) and a 3,000-yard passer (Quinn). Weis has done it all with nobody believing he could do it – with players who were 11-13 the past two seasons.
And the best part is he's just getting started.