Thankful for a few things including one football team

A very happy Thanksgiving to everyone, and I'm sure many of you are like me in that you have a lot to be thankful for. That list always starts for me with my family and friends, and I am thankful for them every day, not just today.

I'm thankful to get to cover my hometown team, the team I grew up loving as young kid in Baltimore. Even after 14 straight losing seasons, it's the only major league team I've ever wanted to report about.

I am thankful I have this wonderful forum at MASNsports.com and so many loyal readers that check out just about every posting and comment on many of them to keep a great dialogue going here daily. We are lucky we get to talk baseball basically 365 days a year.

Now, a story about a team that is not a baseball team, but the one that stunned a lot of people this fall and maybe provides a message to Oriole fans in that what you may think is totally impossible can actually happen.

I am very thankful this year to support my school's football team. It has been an amazing season for the Towson University Tigers and, as someone who seldom gets to take in a game as an actual fan, I have been happily cheering on my Tigers every step of the way this year.

Like the Orioles, the Tigers have done a lot of losing in recent years and at times, were a doormat for other squads. But now they are 9-2 and finished the regular season as Colonial Athletic Association champions, going 7-1 in a league known as the SEC of Football Championship Subdivision college football.

Towson has made the biggest turnaround by any Division I college football team in the country this year. After going 1-10 last year (and 2-9 before that), Towson has picked up eight more wins. No other team in the nation made a bigger than five-win improvement this season.

Towson had lost 17 straight games against ranked opponents coming into this season, then went 7-1 this year. Towson was 2-26 in its last 28 league games before taking home the title this year at 7-1. By the way, the Tigers were picked to finish 11th and last in the league's preseason poll.

I won't bore you with many more details but it's been an amazing ride and Towson students and fans (and alums) are as excited and energized about this team than just about any Tiger team ever.

After years of sitting through 41-7 league losses, wondering if my team would ever even be competitive at some point, Towson skipped the competitive step and went right to the championship step. They moved to the top so fast that we got nosebleeds.

If Orioles fans wonder what it would feel like when your team goes from the bottom to the top, I can tell you how this feels with Towson. Damn good, that's how it feels.

If Towson can go from worst to first in a league like the CAA after being a perennial dormat, maybe there is hope for a struggling franchise like the Orioles after all.

I haven't been able to always say this before, but this year, I am sure thankful to be a fan of Towson University football. You can find me in section 210 at Towson's playoff game against Lehigh on Dec. 3.

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