It's that time of year again, when we all pretend to be thankful for a day just so we can eat a bunch of delicious food before going out way too early to purchase things we don't really need.
So ,in recognition of Thanksgiving Day, I would like to go over just a few things I'm thankful for this year...
First of all, for my wife, who puts up with my ridiculous obsession to sports, especially considering that my teams never win and their games generally just make me grumpy. And I'm thankful that she allows me to spend so much time writing about sports when I could/should be doing more important things like grad school homework, laundry or raising our child.
For whoever invented Twitter, that marvelous creation that allowed me to find out about a D-III basketball player who scored 138 points Tuesday night.
For Jack Taylor, who will allow me to show my son when he's older that despite being a short little white kid (which, judging by his gene pool, he will almost certainly be) that anything is possible...if you take 108 shots, don't play any defense and your teammates keep feeding you the ball.
For Jimmy Haslam and the hope that he isn't an absolutely sucky owner like the last guy.
For Pat Shurmur, not because he's a good football coach (obviously), but because he's supplied us with an endless number of golden soundbites in his two years as the Browns coach.
For the next head coach of the Browns, for simply not being Pat Shurmur.
For Kyrie Irving, a Cleveland sports athlete who's actually good enough for me to be legitimately upset when he gets injured.
For Dan Gilbert, an owner who really understands how to connect with the fans and who doesn't give a crap what the national media thinks about him.
For Anderson Varejao being everything that you could ever want out of a professional athlete in this town.
For Anderson Varejao's hair.
For the Cleveland Indians...because...uh...give me a second...I'll come up with something...got it...so we can have baseball in Cleveland to teach our kids about the game we loved so much as a child.
For Jason Kipnis playing baseball the way it's supposed to be played.
For Fausto Carmona really being named Roberto Hernandez.
For Chris Perez's mouth.
For the fact that I'm not Chris Perez's barber.
That Disney bought Lucasfilm and is bringing us even more Star Wars movies, because you can never have too much of a good thing.
For Joshua Cribbs' play on the field, not his mouth in the locker room.
That I haven't heard Colt McCoy's name in weeks.
For Tony Rizzo, Aaron Goldhammer and the ESPN Radio iPhone app keeping me in touch with everything going on back home whether it be sports, politics, bus driver assaults, high school football or deep-fried turkey.
For Urban Meyer and the very bright future of Ohio State football.
That I don't live in Michigan.
For Bill Simmons giving me a reason to believe that I can write as myself and people will actually want to read it.
For the "6 AM Special" at Michael Symon's Lola Bistro. (Easily one of the best things I've ever eaten.)
For Charlie Batch starting for the Steelers when I go to the Browns game this Sunday.
That I can spend a Sunday afternoon with my little brother in the Dawg Pound cheering on the team that we both love so much.
For Cleveland sports and the continual hope that we will win someday.
For "next year."
For the Week 12 NFL Lines.
For my readers responsibly gambling.
For the home team being in CAPS.
And for SportsBook.com for bringing us the lines.
BROWNS (+1) over Steelers
It was tough to find a line on this week's game, but Steelers minus one is out there in various places, so we'll go with that. Either way, it's a small line, and let's face it, I'm taking the Browns no matter what at this point...especially against Charlie Batch.
Texans (-3.5) over LIONS
Ah, the Lions on Thanksgiving Day, a tradition unlike any other. It's also tradition for the Lions to lose on Thanksgiving Day (33-37-2). And they're playing the Texans, so it feels like a pretty safe bet.
COWBOYS (-3) over Redskins
On the other hand, the Cowboys are very good in the Turkey Game, 28-15-1. They also had a home game last week (very nice on a short week) and are going up against a division rival who plays no defense.
Robert Griffin III hasn't gone off like crazy the past several weeks, and that Dallas defense could give him fits.
JETS (+7) over Patriots
It's just way too big of a line for a Thursday night game. Also, I'm selling my Patriots stock right now. They just don't look like a championship team to me.
Raiders (+8) over BENGALS
When will they learn that some teams just aren't good enough to be favored by this many points no matter how bad their opponent is?
(I view this more as picking against the Bengals rather than for the Raiders.)
COLTS (-3) over Bills
Broncos (-10.5) over CHIEFS
Peyton Manning eats up crappy football teams like they're leftover turkey.
JAGUARS (+3) over Titans
Vikings (+2.5) over BEARS
BUCCANEERS (+1.5) over Falcons
I keep trying to tell you, the Bucs are good.
DOLPHINS (+3) over Seahawks
Seattle is due for a letdown going on the road here.
Ravens (-1) over CHARGERS
CARDINALS (-2.5) over Rams
Packers (+3) over GIANTS
You mean I can get points with Aaron Rodgers and the Packers?
EAGLES (-2.5) over Panthers
Time to eat turkey!!!
Last week: 9-5
Browns picks: 5-4-1
You can follow Benjamin Flack on Twitter @ClevelandFlack.
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