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Sports column: Some things to be unthankful for on Thanksgiving

This is the weekend where we stop, reflect, and give thanks for all of the blessings in our lives. We all have plenty of those things, whether it’s friends and family, some good personal fortune, or just things that make us happy.

A lot of columnists with a deadline and other things to do are hammering out articles about that this weekend. But, I reckon, that can easily sway into boring content and I’m a bit of a contrarian, so I figured I’d tell you about some of the things I’m not particularly thankful for — as always, some having to do with sports and some not:

• Extended TV timeouts during games. The older I get, the more annoyed I get when a game stretches past 2 ½ or 3 hours in length. TV timeouts that last forever are, more often than not, the culprit. Seeing the official in the red hat kicking rocks at the yard marker, or seeing Lilly from AT&T for the 300th time this afternoon, makes my blood boil. And don’t even get me started on the touchdown-timeout-kickoff-timeout sequence.

• Drivers who wait until the last possible second to merge into a lane. Yeah, mistakes happen and sometimes you get caught in the wrong lane. But when you’ve seen signs for the past three miles warning you of an impending lane closure and you don’t take advantage of an opening until you’re almost plowing into construction barrels, don’t get mad at me for honking at you.

• Debates about an active athlete’s “legacy.” When did every single game become a sports talk radio and TV referendum on whether a pro athlete is among the greatest ever or not? There comes a point in every athlete’s career where it’s worth talking about. Guys like Tom Brady and Drew Brees are there. But when it filters down to players who are only in their second or third season, it’s just moronic. Let them play some games, please.

• NBA free agent talk. In a similar vein as the legacy debates, there seems to be more discussion in the NBA about where a player will sign next than there is about where they’re playing right now. That league has become a reality show about athletes, where the games are practically secondary.

• COVID-19. Does this one really need an explanation?

• Pecan pie. I know this one will be controversial here in the South, but I’m just not a big fan. It’s a sticky, gooey mess. In a pinch, I think you can use it as a substitute for Super Glue. It’s like someone coated a piece of duct tape in sugar and syrup, and then rolled it around on the ground under a pecan tree. God bless you if you like it, but I much prefer a softer piece of pumpkin or lemon icebox pie for dessert.

That seems like a good place to leave it. I’m getting hungry and there are Thanksgiving leftovers in the fridge — including some pumpkin pie. Enjoy the holiday, everyone, and remember that we can’t fully appreciate the blessings in life without the annoyances.

Ernest Bowker is the sports editor of The Vicksburg Post. He can be reached at ernest.bowker@vicksburgpost.com

About Ernest Bowker

Ernest Bowker is The Vicksburg Post's sports editor. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post's sports staff since 1998, making him one of the longest-tenured sports reporters in the paper's 137-year history. The New Jersey native is a graduate of LSU. In his career, he has won more than 50 awards from the Mississippi Press Association and Associated Press for his coverage of local sports in Vicksburg.

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