Thanksgiving sports column: I say ‘Stuff It!’

My old boss at ESPN, who is a golfing buddy and all-around good guy, loves to rant about the idiocy and laziness of Thanksgiving sports columns. You know the ones: “In the spirit of the day, I’m thankful for our great pitcher/quarterback/power forward/blah, blah, blah.”

Nobody is ever thankful for the poor pig who gave his life to make your football. Or the jock strap and cup — very useful sports items.

My old boss says that the Thanksgiving column “is a shitty device for lazy writers who can’t actually write a column.” He’s got a point. So how about a Thanksgiving themed, anti-Thanksgiving column?

The holiday is about food, specifically the turkey. All the beautiful Thanksgiving pictures you see show the golden brown bird sitting on a table surrounded by delicious side dishes. So American. Norman Rockwell did not paint the pregame, which is a dirty mess: Husbands and wives bickering over who’s going to pull the innards out of the uncooked turkey and who’s going to stuff the poor bastard. It ends up being my job.

So … in the spirit of the day, here’s my list of Chicago sports people/things/whatever that can just go Stuff It.

1. Jay Cutler: There is a very good chance that I will have indigestion well before eating my Thanksgiving feast this year. Cutler will do something stupendously stupid against the Lions, I’ll rant about how we’ll never win a Super Bowl with this clown and then say screw it and get another beer. So Happy Thanksgiving Jay, and Stuff It!

2. Derrick Rose’s body: Or maybe it’s his mind. Is he physically or mentally weak? I don’t really know and that bugs me. I’m going to assume he really wants to play and his body keeps letting him down. For that reason, I say “Hey Derrick’s knees, hamstring, ankles, Stuff It!”

3. Wrigley rooftop owners: Hope you like your turkey dry because the gravy train is going away. I’d feel bad about siding with a corporation over the little man, except that the rooftop owners are more corporate than the Cubs. Contract or no contract, there’s something fundamentally wrong about being able to sell the right to peer over the wall and watch someone else’s production. When I was a kid I stood on those rooftops and watched some baseball, and it was cool. I didn’t nurse a martini at the second-floor bar before heading out to the rooftop grandstands to catch a few innings of the game before making my pitch to the client I brought to impress. C’mon man. I’m happy the city sided with the team and they can do whatever the hell they want to improve Wrigley and maximize profits. So Stuff It rooftop owners!

4. The Red Sox: I’m going to proactively condemn Boston for stealing Jon Lester out from under the Cubs. It would be one thing if he was the only big signing the Red Sox made this offseason. But Hanley Ramirez, Pablo Sandoval and Jon Lester. Why don’t you just go and trade for Cole Hamels while you’re at it? Oh yeah, they might do that too. I’m still hopeful that the Cubs will get Lester. This is the new and improved Cubs after all, but the old and shitty Cubs part of me is still fearful. In the spirit of that fear, and Thanksgiving, I say “Stuff It, Red Sox!”

5. The NHL’s Western Conference: Why couldn’t the Blackhawks have been switched to the East instead of the Red Wings? They’d be happily skipping into the Stanley Cup finals for the next five years. The West is brutal and appears to be more brutal every year. In spite of that, the Hawks were a few plays away from making the finals last year, where they would have dispatched the Rangers as quickly as the Kings did. So Western Conference, Stuff It!

6. Everyone associated with the Bears defense: We can start with GM Phil Emery for putting this mess together. Mel Gibson would do as well as defensive coordinator Mel Tucker. Lance Briggs is talking about leaving after this year when most of us don’t even know he’s on the field this year since they rarely call his name. Jared Allen’s picture is on milk cartons. They suck, and it’s not real clear how they get better anytime soon. So Stuff It!

In true Thanksgiving fashion, I’m going to push back my chair and end this feast. I’m sure I could go on, but that’s the big stuff. I’ve successfully avoided the lame Thanksgiving column in which I say I’m SO thankful for Anthony Rizzo and all the Cubs young talent, Jimmy Butler, Pau Gasol, almost all the Blackhawks, Theo Epstein’s plan … oh wait, sorry.

I’ll leave you with the words of wisdom from my 4-year-old son that his teacher put on a card for me and his mom:

“I’m thankful for the whole world — except for the bad guys.”

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