The day after Thanksgiving is aways a mix of a hangover/food coma that sometimes makes me forget all the things I said I was thankful for yesterday. This thanksgiving I was able to add a mild concussion and incredible soreness to the post Thanksgiving blues thanks to an overly competitive Turkey Bowl with my old college buddies.
In order to keep the spirit of Thanksgiving from fleeting so quickly I’m going to tell you what I’m thankful for in the 2012 Heisman race.
–I’m thankful the Heisman preseason front runners graciously stepped aside to allow the dark horses (and invisible horses) to emerge and make this one of the most intriguing races in years.
–I’m thankful that for four months a year HP and I get to argue about college football and who we think is going to win the most prestigious individual award in sports.
–I’m thankful for Geno Smith, even if his season is a tale of two halves. Smith’s start to the season was absolutely thrilling and the Baylor-West Virginia game is still my favorite game of the year. Smith may be the best example that you don’t win the Heisman in September but damn was he fun to watch.
–I’m thankful for Manti Te’o and the Notre Dame defense. Te’o may be the household name but the whole defense has been the reason for the Irish success. Nothing embodies College football better than late season BCS chaos and Notre Dame. Put them together and college football fans should have enough fodder to argue about until next August.
–I’m thankful for Braxton Miller and his ability to win games by putting the Buckeyes on his back. Miller may be playing for 2013 but it’s sad to see his 2012 season overlooked and overshadowed by self imposed sanctions.
–I’m very thankful for Kain Colter and Venric Mark, my two favorite players on my adopted favorite team (to watch) this season. Colter and Mark made meeting up with HP and our group of buddies at 8:45 am every Saturday morning to watch the early games worth it. I’d also like to thank the staff at the bar we frequent for putting up with us and blasting the Northwestern sound at 9am.
–I’m thankful for Collin Klein, my dark horse to win the Heisman. While he still needs help to pull off the feat, he has been exciting to watch and follow. A true do-everything kind of guy, Klein reminds me what I love about college football; hard nosed, gritty football where the best player determines the outcome of the game.
–I’m thankful for Marqise Lee, Matt Barkley and Robert Woods. Sure only one of them is having a Heisman caliber season and they have lost four games this season including three of their last four but they’ve kept me on the edge of my seat all season with the possibility of explosive plays and 80 yard touchdown passes and catches.
–I’m thankful to have a beautiful fiancé who puts up with me from August to January. Not only does she watch the games with me all day on Saturdays, she genuinely enjoys listening to me, HP and all the guys talk non-stop football for 8 hours… At least I think she does.
–Finally, I’m thankful for Johnny Manziel aka Johnny Football. It’s not every year you get to see a freshman take a legitimate shot at the Heisman. Rules are meant to be broken but Heismandments are supposed to stand the test of time. Johnny Football is poised to break one Heismandment and put himself in position to break another next year.
Enjoy the rest of your weekend of college football and time with family.
The HeismanPundit team in NYC for the 2011 Heisman