Thanksgiving break is right around the corner, and for many of us it couldn’t come at a better time. Between the endless final projects, nagging illnesses and increasingly terrible weather that comes to Ithaca in November, the comforts of home can be just what the doctor ordered.
Aside from the joy of seeing family and the delicious taste of my aunt’s pumpkin cheesecake, I’m taking this year’s Thanksgiving break to express my gratitude for a number of things in the sports world as well. Here are a few examples:
I’m thankful that researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles and TauMark brain diagnostics are now able to identify signs of chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a degenerative brain disease linked to repeated concussions. I’m also thankful these researchers have been overwhelmed with requests from former collegiate and professional football players to have their brains tested for the proteins most commonly found in CTE. Current and former players are finally recognizing the inherent dangers of playing such a violent sport.
I’m thankful that I finally get to see the college’s men’s and women’s basketball teams play on the renovated courts in Ben Light Gymnasium. With all those fancy new lights, I may finally be able to read the numbers on the players’ uniforms.
I’m thankful that Ricky Rubio and Kevin Love have avoided injury and are back playing on the court. Seeing their incredible skills flourish in Minnesota Timberwolves head coach Rick Adelman’s intricate offensive schemes has helped me get through a mediocre rebuilding season for my beloved Boston Celtics.
While it might not have garnered the fanfare of the Cortaca game at Butterfield Stadium, I’m thankful that the college’s women’s soccer team was able to pack the stands for its two NCAA Tournament games at Carp Wood Field last weekend. It’s unfortunate, however, that the football team’s tournament game this Saturday on campus will overlap once again with the women’s third-round matchup — which will be just an hour down the road in Geneva, N.Y.
I’m thankful that the stories involving the Washington, D.C., football team’s name and the Jonathan Martin–hazing scandal have turned into national debates. Professional sports often leave much to be desired when it comes to remembering basic human rights, but at least fans are now talking about these issues.
Finally, I’m thankful that I’m a Buffalo Bills fan because it better prepared me for heartbreaking losses, such as this year’s Cortaca game. I already knew to expect the worst and then pretend like I never really cared about the outcome anyway.