Jacksonville Sports News, Sam Kouvaris - SamSportsline.com


Boy, to I have a lot to be thankful for.

A wife who has tolerated me for more than 20 years, three beautiful children who are wonderful people, parents whose counsel I still seek, friends I can count on, and a career that is more fulfilling each day.

Thanksgiving is usually a work day for me. It’s a preview Thursday for a big college football game, something’s going on with the NFL, it’s part of the television rating period and it just seemed natural to be “on the air” that day.

Today I’m at home for the first time in 23 years. I’ll watch some football, have some friends over, eat a traditional meal, and spend time with my family. And there will be a little part of me wondering what’s going on at work. And I’m thankful for that.

Thankful that after 23 years of sports reporting I am still glad to go to work everyday. Glad that I am inspired by the very act of doing my job. Everyday, no matter whether I’m anchoring the sportscast, hosting a show, or reporting from the field, I report on people who are striving to be the best they can be. They’re measuring themselves against a standard of excellence that they know is out there, but can’t quantify. Kids, college players, professional athletes, Olympians, all have a common thread. They’re putting themselves on the line, testing themselves, and it inspires me to do the same. Stretch my capabilities, look for a way to be better in every situation.

Sometimes Thanksgiving is just another day for sports fans to sit in front of the TV and watch football. It is the perfect situation for that, but we should also reflect on the things that we are thankful for, even in a superficial way. The competition we watch. The school and teams we root for, even the opponents. Would it really be any fun for Florida or Florida State fans if one team was horrible, always?

There are a lot of things wrong with the sports world, but there are a lot of things right about it, and I’m thankful for that. The good work Leon Searcy does over the holidays for the community, the hospital visits Mark Brunell makes, the quiet encouragement Steve Spurrier and Bobby Bowden give to those who need it. I know a lot of bad guys in sports, but I know an awful lot of good ones too.

They’ve made me a better person.

They should make you better too.

Boy, do I have a lot to be thankful for.