Thanksgiving, Sports and Growing up in Plymouth
There is something about American holidays that has always appealed to the patriot in me. I was a kid that grew up obsessed with the American Revolution. I often told people that I was a descendant of Paul Revere; making myself the dorkiest white liar of all time. I was raised in Plymouth, Massachusetts, where annual field trips to the Plimoth Plantation and various mentions of my hometown in text books and documentaries were commonplace.
Of course, as with most hometowns, it never felt exceedingly special to me. It was just home.
Thanksgiving and the 4th of July are not just celebrated in Plymouth, they are woven into the fabric of the lifestyle. I suppose it’s probably historically tied to some level of self-importance as “America’s Hometown”, but it’s more intrinsic that it is arrogant. Even now that I am older and moved away, those holidays are better when I get to spend them there.
Yet they are also days that have become increasingly difficult to celebrate as I have been lucky enough to get a shot at earning my keep in the sports broadcasting biz. The industry has taken a toll on my time off and my holidays, as it does with most of my esteemed colleagues.
I never realized the direct intersection of American holiday tradition and sports until I became a part of it, and although it means most of us work weekends and choose our holiday time wisely, there is an air of warmth and community about it that reminds me why I chose to pursue a career in sports in the first place.
Sports, just like the holidays, bring people together. They are entertainment. They are conversation starters. They are a spectacle that can be enjoyed across the world or across the living room. They offer people the chance to be part of a community. Sports fans are all linked by a common interest and love for their game. Anything that can bring people together through mutual passion is a blessing.
It’s only natural that we embrace our ubiquitous love affair with sports even more during the times that we gather with friends and family for food and celebration. Holidays and sports were a match made in heaven.
So this Thanksgiving, I am grateful to be blessed with a rare day off to be with my family in Plymouth. I am appreciative of all the ways in which I get to enjoy my life and my career on a daily basis. Most of all, I am thankful that I have the great fortune to, contribute to and participate in, the joy that sports bring us all.
Here’s to family, friends, food…and football. Happy Thanksgiving.