Commentary | Here's what sports greats should be thankful for, and which ones we should thank

adell@bradenton.comNovember 28, 2013 

For those sports figures who don't quite see what they should be thankful for on this day of giving thanks, here is a little help.

• Georgia Southern: To Will Muschamp for coaching Florida. You allowed us to make history, and we will be forever grateful. May the triple option bless you.

• Rutgers football player: To Greg Schiano for not forgetting us and making the Bucs the place to come when all other NFL teams tell us no.

• Mike Glennon: To Josh Freeman for giving me my chance and thank you, Leslie Frazier, for allowing Josh to prove I was the right choice.

• Greg Schiano: To Glazer family for hiring me, for paying me $15 million, for getting me Darrelle and Dashon and not firing me when you should have, and thanks, Josh, for making all this possible.

• All those guys who had to stand on a stool to switch off their bedroom lights until they were old enough to drive: Thank you, Bobby Rainey.

• Marcus Shaw: To Coach Taggart for not allowing me to become college football's Mr. Irrelevant.

• Willie Taggart: To Mike White for showing us the end zone. Now can you please lead us back there? We lost it again.

• Urban Meyer: To BCS voters who helped me win two national titles, but I am mad at you now.

• Manatee County football fan: To Joe Kinnan for beating St. Thomas Aquinas and showing good can triumph over evil, even with Cris Carter riding shotgun for a football team that has a bigger recruiting budget than Alabama's.

• Greg Schiano: To Gerald McCoy for keep

ing the Bucs locker room from imploding while I was learning how to coach in the NFL.

• Tiquan Underwood: To my barber for giving me the best high-top fade in the NFL and to coach Schiano, who has made me feel better than a cat with nine lives.

• Bobby Rainey: To Glazer family for hiring Greg Schiano, who saw me as the person I am and did not judge me by my size.

• Every male in his 40s: To Mike Gundy for telling me I am a man.

And here is what every sports fan around these parts should be thankful for:

• Joe Maddon: For making us believe we could beat our mother-in-law in an argument.

• Eugene Hart: The galloping ghost of Manatee County football. He was arguably the best to tote a football around these parts; he ran for more than 6,000 yards, legend tells us.

• Ray Bellamy: The Jackie Robinson of college football in the South. He put Manatee County on the map and into the history books.

• Ed Dick: Paved the way for Bellamy and others who were being shunned by the big schools in the '60s because of race. He is the silent giant in this community.

• Dick Vitale: You taught us never to forget or ignore those cancer-fighting kids whose courage was off the charts.

• Jon Gruden: For that Super Bowl and admitting those were Tony Dungy's players who won it for you.

• Tony Dungy: Teaching us how to win with grace and dignity and proving nice guys don't finish last.

• Eddie Shannon: The little general who conquered a world of prejudice.

• Peter Warrick: For putting Bradenton on the map and taking folks here on a Heisman ride they should've won.

• Henry Lawrence: Manatee County's most successful NFL player who never lost his composure at Manatee in 1969 when he was area's best player and rarely got on the field.

Alan Dell, Herald sports writer, can be reached at 941-745-7056. Follow him on Twitter at @ADellSports.

Bradenton Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service