Things this sports fan is thankful for this holiday season

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This Thursday before I sit down to dig into that deliciously juicy piece of all white-meat turkey sitting in a neat little nest of dirty rice, I’ll take a little bit of time to reflect on the things I’m thankful for in my life.

Each year, there are the obvious answers: friends, family, faith, happiness, etc.

Then there are also the more subliminal ones for me like Walker Texas Ranger, Cane’s dipping sauce, Wade Barrett, crawfish and Slush Puppies.

But you guys and gals aren’t here to listen to my idea of the finer things in life and I understand that, so I’ll shift the topic to my specialty: sports.

It’s a great time to be a sports fan n it always is.

And likewise, I have a long list of things I’m thankful for there, as well.

So here goes: I’ll type as fast I can. I have a big piece of pumpkin pie waiting. Nothing keeps me from pumpkin pie for too long.

After all, I better eat now while I’m hungry. Depending on the outcome of this Cowboys/Saints game in just a minute, I might not have an appetite for too much longer.

What Casey’s thankful for in the world of sports this Thanksgiving:

• Nicholls State senior forward Anatoly Bose and sophomore forward Alisha Allen n If you guys don’t know who Bose and Allen are by now, you really need to save up a few bucks and go watch the Colonels’ men and women’s teams play. Bose is the best pure scorer for a small school since Adam Morrison and he, alone, is worth the price of admission. On the women’s side, Allen is one of the most versatile players in the Southland Conference and will wow opponents and spectators all season. When you throw a little Fred Hunter into the mix and some Ricshanda Bickham on the side, I’m truly excited for Nicholls basketball n men and women both.

• LSU defensive coordinator John Chavis n LSU’s offense is pretty miserable, and most of the time football teams do not win when they do not score. That seems like pretty basic math in a game where one’s objective is to score more points than his opponent 12 Saturdays out of the year. But the Tigers are currently among the upper echelon in America thanks to Chavis’ defense, which has allowed less than 15 points per game this season.

• Miami Heat forward LeBron James n I’m not a big fan of LeBron. At this point, is there anyone outside of Miami who is? But that’s exactly why I’m so thankful for the guy. His cowardice has been the source of so much YouTube humor for me in the past three months. Not to mention, sports are always better when there’s a villain involved. It’s so fun watching the Heat lose and watching the ringless King stay ringless.

• Former United States vice president Al Gore n OK, OK. I hope I didn’t lose too many readers here. But Gore invented the Internet, or so I’m told. And through that neat little invention (you guys really should check it out if you haven’t already), I’ve been able to purchase MLB and NBA League Passes through my laptop. That means every MLB and NBA game in the world for approximately $20 a month. That’s like a quarter per game. Thanks Mr. Gore for your clever intuition and/or your shameless ability to take credit for everything successful in life.

• Former Mississippi State player and coach John Bond n Corruption in college athletics is running wild. From agents to these pay-for-play scenarios, it’s just simply ridiculous. People tell me all of the time that college athletes should be paid. What exactly do we call the full tuition, meals and room and board they receive? That’s not even talking about the watered down admissions they get that other students don’t receive, as well. I didn’t get “paid” that well by LSU when I went there. I’m not saying Auburn quarterback Cameron Newton is guilty. I’ll let the story play out. But I am saying more people like Bond need to stand up and shout when the rules get broken because these kids are not above the law n no matter what they believe.

• CBS announcer Gus Johnson n I’m a big believer that all parts of a sporting event work in unison to make the whole experience a success. If the Saints are winning, but the hot dog in your right hand is awful, it’s not as fun. Likewise, a football game could be the most exciting game ever, but if the TV announcers stink, the game will lose its luster. That’s because we’ll be yelling at the TV for all the wrong reasons. Johnson is the best in the world at what he does and with each day that goes by and each game he calls, the gap between first and second place widens by quite a bit. Don’t believe me? Check out to see some of the best this brilliant man has to offer. He’s the best thing since stuffed crust pizza.

• The BCS n I literally might be the only person on the earth who likes the BCS. It’s not perfect, it’s not politically correct and at times, it’s absolutely downright not fair. But college football is what it is because unlike in the NFL, every single game and every single play matters. If you lose once, you’re pretty much out. It’s as simple as that. If we were to create a postseason tournament like everyone seems to want, teams would be able to relax toward the back end of the season if they have a spot clinched. Can you imagine watching a big rivalry game like LSU/Arkansas game and the disappointment that would accompany it when the Tigers pull their starters in the second quarter to rest for the playoffs? The BCS is lame. But changing the entire structure of college football n that’s even lamer.

That’s it for me, my friends. It’s time to get me some pumpkin pie. Go Cowboys.

All ribbing aside, Happy Thanksgiving to you and your families. Aside from the above, I’m thankful for your spending 10 minutes or so with me each week.