WE are truly thankful by Bob Ryan

tgiving 2015As the Thanksgiving Holiday weekend dawns on us, there are many who are truly thankful for the many blessings that each of us have received. In the sports world there are also many giving thanks…some knowingly and some unknowingly…


….Aaron Rodgers (GB) is thankful that he doesn’t have to “double check” his football stats for the last month….living through them once was enough


…..Nick Foles is REALLY grateful that he signed a 2 year contract that would cause the Rams to take a significant “hit” in the salary cap if they cut him prior to next year


…John Lackey is grateful that he can be pissed about being offered only $15mil for next year by the Cardinals ….which of us wouldn’t be jumping for joy? does he ever smile?


…speaking of curmudgeons….Bill Belichick is grateful that the NFL doesn’t have…or doesn’t enforce.. any sideline dress code…..I think he shops at Goodwill…..boy I can’t remember the last time that I actually used his real name …it’s been Bill Belicheat to me for so long


…the Oklahoma Sooners are grateful that Bud Wilkinson was “looking down” with favor on them as they survive a tremendous rally by TCU …trailing 30-13 in the 4th quarter, the Horned Frogs scored with just 51 sec left to bring them to just a 1 point deficit 30-29..TCU goes for the game winning 2 point conversion and fails…with all the momentum …it’s easy to 2nd guess…do you want to force OT?…btw …for all of you who’ve forgotton…Bud Wilkinson Coached Oklahoma from 1947-1963 had a record of 145-29-4. His teams had 47 game winning streak AND another 31 game winning streak during his tenure..they finished the polls ranked #1 in three different years…sadly he finished his coaching career with a two year stint as head coach of the Football Cardinals in 1978-79 with an 11-21 record.


…Ned Yost is grateful that the Royals won the Series…maybe now …fans will “get off of him” for his laid-back style of managing…but I doubt it….actually…I think he is very close to the style of Red Schoendienst in his handling of players on & off the field.


…Jeff Fisher is grateful that he’s not paid by the win!


…after the huge win over Ohio State how grateful must the Spartans of Michigan State be for the last play of the Mich-Mich St game where Michigan’s punter dropped..fumbled.. or lost the ball …literally handing the Spartans the win …now they are in the Final 4 hunt.

….The Cubs are thankful for the influence of the powerful Chicago press as they sweep just about every baseball award…including the one for “hosting the worst opening day”


….Tom Brady is grateful for the “discussions” about… and around…. him pertaining to the unbeaten Pats and not his game balls


….since the season ended, Kevin Seagrist is grateful that he uses his right hand to eat as he tries to preserve any movement that’s remaining in his left arm


…Florida Football team is shockingly grateful that their defense shut down Florida Atlantic on four downs from the 9 yard line to pull out a surprisingly close victory 20-14 over the Owls despite missing ”gimme” FG attempts from 33 and 34 yard line AND missing the PAT in overtime. This razor thin win probably doesn’t do Florida much good in bowl picture.


….Cardinal batboy is thankful for not having to find the seat cushion to be used in the dugout every game by Pete Kozma


…all the 5-7 collegiate teams of the world (maybe Mizzou)…..smile…and come back to life..and are very grateful since there are now 40 bowls (requiring 80 teams)….the NCAA has realized that there may NOT be 80 teams with a .500+ record (previous requirement to get in bowls) so….now….the pool of teams may include 5-7 teams….oh…goodie….can you hear the promo…make sure to watch the Garbage Bowl as Football Power Team suffers through a 5-7 team but they’re ALWAYS good and they’ll face a no-name with 2 or 3 directions in their name(e.g Northwest-Southern Bethlehem) that’s on the verge of having a winning record for the 1st time in decades with another sizzling 5-7 record. Really….did u get the tone….I’ll really make sure to watch that one J Do u think there might be too many bowls?


…I’m sure Wes Welker is thankful for being back in the NFL….but he must wonder if it actually IS in the same NFL league as he moves from the highly tuned Pats to the backyard-style of offense of the Rams


…Dallas Cowboys at 3-7 are really grateful that they are in the NLF-East division…with their pitiful record…the “Boys” are just 2 games out of 1st place in their weak division


…The Northwestern football record of 8-2 has sent the fans and alums into a state of grateful hysteria…remember this was a program that won THREE games total from 1976 through 1981. Instead of spending all their time studying for exams in December….they’ll now be able to attend a bowl someplace….and bring their books along….right …let’s be real


…the Rams receivers are grateful that they’ll now be permitted to wear mittens to keep their hands warm…they don’t use their hands for anything else anyway


….Mizzou and Gary Pinkel are extremely grateful that they came out of the “week” with a win over BYU….emotions have lowered on campus (apparently) and the hopes of a bowl still flicker…speaking of Pinkel…here’s list of coaches with most wins in D-1 football—only Bill Snyder will be the only active coach still left in the top 30 all-time. Couple names that surprise me in the top 10—LaVell Edwards (transformed BYU program into a national powerhouse) & Mack Brow..(he was @ Tulane (another career killer)-left after 3 years- with 11-23 record..smart move if you want to stay in coaching for a career… moved to N. Carolina for 10 years and was 69-46 and completed his coaching career @ Texas for 16 years with a 158-48 mark with a bowl every year except 2010…Texas has really tumbled since his 2013 departure.


Highlighted coaches are still on the sidelines-win total was at the start of this year

Rank Coach W School w/ most W Notes
1. Joe Paterno 409 Penn State
2. Bobby Bowden 357 Florida State
3. Bear Bryant 323 Alabama
4. Pop Warner 311 Carlisle
5. Amos Alonzo Stagg 282 Chicago
6. LaVell Edwards 257 Brigham Young
7. Tom Osborne 255 Nebraska
8. Lou Holtz 249 Notre Dame
9. Mack Brown 238 Texas
10. Frank Beamer 236 Virginia Tech  Retiring this year
11. Bo Schembechler 234 Michigan
12. Hayden Fry 230 Iowa .
13. Steve Spurrier 228 Florida  Retired this year
14. Woody Hayes 205 Ohio State
15. Don Nehlen 202 West Virginia
16. Vince Dooley 201 Georgia
17. Dan McGugin 197 Vanderbilt
18. John Cooper 192 Ohio State
19. Gary Pinkel 191 Missouri  Retiring this year
Nick Saban 191 Alabama
21. Dana Bible 190 Texas A&M
Bill Snyder 190 Kansas State
John Vaught 190 Mississippi
24. George Welsh 189 Virginia
25. Howard Jones 188 Southern California
26. Jess Neely 187 Rice
27. Johnny Majors 185 Tennessee
28. Darrell Royal 184 Texas
29. Dick Tomey 183 Arizona
30. Jerry Claiborne 179 Maryland
Jackie Sherrill 179 Mississippi State
32. Bob Stoops 177 Oklahoma
33. Frank Kush 176 Arizona State
34. Don James 175 Washington
Ralph Jordan 175 Auburn
36. Bob Neyland 173 Tennessee
37. Dan Devine 172 Missouri
George Woodruff 172 Pennsylvania
39. Wallace Wade 171 Duke
40. Fisher DeBerry 169 Air Force  
Jim Sweeney 169 Fresno State
42. Ken Hatfield 168 Arkansas
43. Bill Mallory 167 Indiana
44. Red Blaik 166 Army
45. Bobby Dodd 165 Georgia Tech
Frank Howard 165 Clemson
Fielding Yost 165 Michigan
48. Bob Blackman 164 Dartmouth
49. Bill Dooley 161 North Carolina
50. Bill Yeoman 160 Houston
51. Barry Switzer 157 Oklahoma
Pappy Waldorf 157 California
53. Tommy Tuberville 154 Auburn
54. Pat Dye 153 Auburn
Ben Schwartzwalder 153 Syracuse
56. Urban Meyer 152 Florida  


…while I’m thinking of it….I’m grateful for the former college football coaches who are now TV analysts…Lou Holtz & Mack Brown for example…really know the game…they don’t have the pretty boy looks, the crisp delivery, the plethora of stats, the current “hot” vocabulary but they know football so at pre-game and halftime they can analyze the game, players and play… as a coach…not a fan like these other non-football people


…I’m thankful that you made it this far…have a Great Holiday Week!




  1. Dennis Simon says:

    Have a great Holiday!! Keep the print coming!

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