Happy Thanksgiving to everyone.
I hope you ate a light breakfast. Today is a marathon of eating, not a sprint. Pace yourselves.
So is it the tryptophan in the turkey that makes you drowsy, or the carbohydrates in the potatoes and stuffing?
Or maybe it's the boxed wine.
That's my theory.
I always eat too much and then collapse on the couch. My sister volunteers to turn me over every 30 minutes so I don't get bed sores. One of her priceless quips.
I'm thankful for my warm and wonderful family. A son and brother couldn't have a better support system and feel more loved. I'm truly blessed.
I'm also thankful for:
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ My daughter, who is my single greatest accomplishment - and largely responsible for every gray hair in my head.
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ MASN and MASNsports.com, which gave me a tremendous opportunity and all the freedom I desired to take full advantage of it. Professionally, this is the best time of my life.
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ A press box and warehouse full of friends. They're like my extended family. And they don't borrow money unless they're a little short at meal time. (They're usually pretty good about paying me back the next day).
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ The gradual realization that I'll probably never find the right woman, but I can still have a lot of fun with the wrong ones.
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Mark Hendrickson's professionalism. He was bothered by some comments I made during an in-game hit with MASN's Amber Theoharis, but he couldn't have been nicer or more accommodating during our phone conversation earlier this week.
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ The "cavalry." And not just because of their talent and potential, and how they mean so much to the future of the Orioles organization. They're a great group of kids - polite, respectful, devoted to their craft. They get it, unlike some other hyped prospects who have passed through town.
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Matt Wieters, who provided a much-needed distraction over the summer as the Orioles were headed toward their 12th straight losing season. The buzz he created was sweet music to my ears.
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Dave Trembley's patience as he fielded the same questions without chucking his post-game pink lemonade at my head. I always slouched, just in case.
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Anyone with a memory short enough that they forgot how I picked Brad Hennessey as my darkhorse to make the team out of spring training.
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Cesar Izturis, who allowed me to put away my calculator when tracking all the shortstops used by the Orioles this season. I ran out of batteries for it last year.
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ How the NFL has waited to convert to two-hand touch, though it's coming soon. And not above the shoulders or around the knees!
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ The chance to sit down for a one-on-one interview with Brooks Robinson, and how quickly it turned into a relaxed, informal chat. Me and the greatest third baseman of all time. There can't be a nicer man in this world. (Brooks and Johnny U. in the same city. How did we get so lucky?)
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ The men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice in order to preserve our freedom. You are most certainly remembered on this day. God bless.
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ And finally, all of you. Thanks so much for allowing the doors at the School of Roch to remain open seven days a week, rain or shine, no matter the time of year. I'm here because of you - so you have nobody to blame but yourselves.
Have a happy and safe Thanksgiving.