Thursday, November 26, 2009

Giving Thanks...

Lots to be thankful for in the world of sports this Thanksgiving...such as...

  • The NFL. Need I say more?
  • Jerry Richardson and the Carolina Panthers. The NFL in my backyard. One of, it not the, most respected owners in the league. In my backyard. Thank you.
  • Tony Stewart and Juan Pablo Montoya for showing us all that racing hard isn't a crime, and that if you trade paint, or spin someone out, it's part of the deal. Hard feelings may result, but in the end, drivers running hard for checkered flags makes racing worth watching.
  • Jimmie Johnson. Love him or hate, the dominance of the #48 team is something that demands your respect. He's got mine.
  • The college football season. Nothing better, or more moving, than seeing stadiums packed with students, alumni and fans. First college game I ever attended actually choked me up, as I missed out on that experience in college.
  • Roy Williams and Mike Krzyzewski. 2 legends battling on Tobacco Road for ACC supremacy, as well as the right to wear the bullseye (usually) at season's end.
  • A perfectly struck drive off my Ping G-10. The sensation of crushing the golf ball off that club makes every round of golf feel like Turkey Day. Incidentally, no money changed hands in the writing of this line--I bought the thing, and simply mash it.
  • The Quail Hollow Championship, for bringing such stout fields to a wonderful golf course, and allowing me inside-the-ropes access. Being 20 feet from Tiger Woods, and watching him at work is some of the most scintillating stuff every golfer should enjoy at least once. Generally, I see it for 4 rounds in one week. Blessed.
  • My Chicago Blackhawks. In all the years that I have been a fan of this team (roughly 35), I have never said this about them: They have a legitimate shot of winning the Stanley Cup. Mind you, I didn't say that about them when they WENT to the Stanley Cup Finals in the early 90's (they lost to the Pittsburgh Penguins).
  • The Charlotte Bobcats for showing everyone that working harder than your opponent means something in the NBA, considering many teams use their talents to "get by" in the regular season, then play hard in the playoffs. The Bobcats can't do that-they have to use their talent, and outwork opponents. Admirable to see them busting it every night. Hope it pays off at season's end with a playoff shot.
  • My tremendous co-workers that slug it out with me each and every day to bring you the best ion news, weather and sports from across the state. These are good people, solid journalists, and folks I am proud to call friends.
  • The folks that check out this blog, watch News 14 Carolina, and follow me on Twitter. Thanks so much for wanting to share your day-to-day with me. I hope you get as much out of my input as I get from yours.
  • and last, but not least, my wonderful family. My wife Tracie, daughter Shana, sons CJ and Spencer, our dogs Annie and Dot, birds Tiger and Mario, and the fish Ninja Red (the kids named the pets). It's a zoo, but it's the happiest place on earth.

All the best to you this holiday season,

Mike Solarte

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