Shanoff's WUC: Reasons Fans Can Give Thanks

Today's Calls: Thanksgiving vs. Black Friday, Lions vs. Cowboys, Texas vs. Texas A&M, Kevin Durant vs. Brandon Jennings, Albert Pujols vs. Immortality, Joe Mauer vs. Miguel Cabrera, Mike Shanahan vs. Bill Cowher, Tim Tebow vs. Jimmy Johnson and More. ↵

↵The Opening Pitch: What do you give thanks for, as a sports fan? I know a few things that make my list: ↵

↵

↵• That the Arizona Cardinals defied their pitiful history. ↵

↵

↵• That A-Rod was busted for cheating -- then entirely redeemed his rep. ↵

↵

↵• That Zack Greinke made following the Royals a national pastime. ↵

↵

↵• That Brandon Jennings became an NBA star, by way of Europe not college. ↵

↵

↵• That the Magic shot both the Celtics and the Cavs out of the playoffs. ↵

↵

↵• That Tyler Hansbrough fulfilled his college basketball destiny. ↵

↵

↵• That after this year's NCAA bracket picks, I have nowhere to go but up. ↵

↵

↵• That USC football was irrelevant -- and Notre Dame was typically mediocre. ↵

↵

↵• That Twitter became a big deal -- and Dan Jenkins joined in the fun. ↵

↵

↵• That we inaugurated a President who is as big of a sports nut as you are. ↵

↵

↵• That Tim Tebow decided to return to college for one final year. ↵

↵

↵• That every morning, there is a never-ending flow of news to talk about. ↵

↵

↵After the jump: Thanksgiving NFL! Texas trap game! Most intriguing NBA matchup of the year! Pujols' baseball immortality! More! ↵

↵

↵NFL Week 12 Story Lines ↵

↵

↵• Best NFL tradition: Lions on T'giving ↵

↵

↵• Big Ben to play? (Bah: I want Dennis Dixon!) ↵

↵

↵• Feels like make-or-break for Broncos (home vs. NYG). ↵

↵

↵• Same with the 5-5 Texans (home vs. IND). ↵

↵

↵• Too early to start talking Saints-Pats? No way. ↵

↵

↵NFL Week 12 Picks: Packers, Cowboys, Giants, Falcons, Dolphins, Bengals, Jets, Eagles, Colts, Seahawks, Chargers, Jaguars, Titans, Vikings, Steelers, Saints. (Last week: 14-2, year-to-date: 113-48.) ↵

↵

↵CFB (Long) Weekend Story Lines ↵

↵

↵• T'giving trap game for Texas at A&M? ↵

↵

↵• Emotion: Tebow finale at The Swamp. ↵

↵

↵• Boise Watch: vs. Nevada (7-0 in WAC). ↵

↵

↵• OK State wraps up BCS at-large w/ W over OU? ↵

↵

↵• Rivalries: Pitt/WVU, Utah/BYU, Miss/MissSt, more. ↵

↵

↵NBA Talking Points: Kevin Durant vs. Brandon Jennings on Friday night on ESPN is not just the most intriguing NBA game of the weekend -- it might be the most intriguing game of the season. You know LeBron and Wade. Meet the best players you've never really watched live. (Durant and the Thunder had a huge win last night, over the Jazz.) ↵

↵

↵Nets futility watch: 0-14. Only 4 games to go to break the NBA record for worst start to the season. ↵

↵

↵MLB Awards Season: Albert Pujols wins NL MVP in style -- not just back-to-back, but unanimously. There is no question: He is the greatest player of this decade. When his career is over, we will realize we were watching an all-time Top 10 player. ↵

↵

↵MLB Hot Stove: ↵

↵

↵• If Joe Mauer wants to win championships, he better not sign a long-term deal with the Twins. Here's the question: Does he care more about loyalty to Minnesota or winning titles? If it's the latter, why wouldn't he go to New York or Boston? … ↵

↵

↵• Is Miguel Cabrera available? ... ↵

↵

↵• Roy Halladay to the Angels? That's one way to keep up with the Yankees. ... ↵

↵

↵• This delay in Mark McGwire's first press conference as a Cardinals coach is SO sketchy. ... ↵

↵

↵CBB Mania: Cincinnati is this week's Syracuse -- the unranked team that should be ranked (great test tonight vs. Gonzaga in Maui). ... John Wall Watch: 15 pts, 6 ast. ... Another game, another triple-double for Evan Turner (16 pts, 11 ast, 10 reb). ... Syracuse affirms ranking, blowing out normally fiesty Cornell. ↵

↵

↵Games to Watch this long weekend: LSU-UConn (Wed), Minnesota-Butler (Thu), Florida-Michigan St. (Fri) ... it all really depends on how the "Feast Week" tournaments play out. (Eh: Admit it. You're watching more football this weekend than hoops.) ↵

↵

↵NFL Coaching Carousel: The Bills seem to REALLY like Mike Shanahan. Will he quickly take them up on it or will he hold out for a job he perceives as better? Perhaps the Bills are hot-n-heavy for Shanahan because Bill Cowher rejected them. ↵

↵

↵NFL Draft: Tebow Watch. Jimmy Johnson weighs in that he doesn't think Tim Tebow is an NFL QB in a pro-style offense. And? That was never the point; Tebow's NFL career at QB was always going to come down to matching with a coach who would be able to use him innovatively as a spot QB in key situations: Short-yardage, red-zone. Troy Aikman, he ain't. But he doesn't need to be. ↵

↵

↵Interesting Read: The NFL's Top 10 QBs in 5 key categories: Accuracy, arm strength, 2-minute drill, buying time to throw and leadership. Expect to see the names you think you'd see near the top. ↵

↵

↵RIP, Abe Pollin. As a Bullets/Wizards fan who grew up in D.C., it is hard to capture what a kind-hearted, generous person Pollin was. He brought a title to DC. He built an arena on his own dime, revitalizing an entire section of the city. He was a pillar of the community. ↵

↵

↵Did Pollin show too much loyalty to execs not up to the job of running the team? Probably, but without that essential quality, you don't get the good stuff that made him one of the city's most meaningful people of the last half-century. ↵

↵

↵The Last Word: Happy Thanksgiving, everyone. No column here tomorrow or Friday, but I will be back here bright and early Monday morning. In the meantime, visit me over at DanShanoff.com all weekend long for more. ↵

↵

↵Dan Shanoff writes The Wake-Up Call every weekday morning for SportingNews.com and blogs daily at DanShanoff.com. Got any comments, questions or feedback? Email Dan at shanofftsn-[at]-gmail-[dot]-com. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/danshanoff. ↵

↵

This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.