It is Thanksgiving in Miami, and so, it’s time to say gracias por…
The enduring sacrifice of the Detroit Lions, who have played on the holiday since 1934, except for World WarII years, thus sating voracious fans’ desire to watch football every day if they could.
Giancarlo Stanton’s reflexes. Jeffrey Loria’s wallet.
Duke Johnson’s second step. And third, and fourth, and50th.
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T.Y. Hilton “rocking the baby” in the end zone and crying on camera while recalling the birth of his daughter.
British soccer songs.
Die Mannschaft in control.
Robin van Persie’s head.
Lionel Messi’s feet.
David Beckham’s affection for Miami, which could eventually mean an underwear concession stand at MLS games.
Master of understatement Joe Philbin, who would scream in a monotone on a roller-coaster.
Zen master Erik Spoelstra, who would have to be played by David Carradine in any Miami Heat movie.
The return of Dwyane Wade’s smile.
Chris Bosh’s intellect.
Four unforgettable years of LeBron James in our midst.
Lauryn Williams, wearing ice spikes, pushing a bobsled and winning another Olympic medal. In the Winter Olympics, that is.
Silver medalist Eddy Alvarez, slamming into the pads, shrugging: “That’s short track.”
The Ukrainian Olympic cross-country team’s triumph in Vladimir Putin’s Russia.
The view of the Caucasus Mountains from the Black Sea.
Ice dancing legitimized by Meryl Davis and Charlie White.
The Bryan brothers turning sibling rivalry inside out.
High school sports. Pure. Passion.
Daydreaming you were Odell Beckham Jr. and made that catch.
Karma catching up with Tiger Woods.
Lies catching up with Alex Rodriguez.
The NCAA Final Four, even if it’s usually the Final Three plus Kentucky.
Donald Trump’s unabashed love of golf and vision for dowdy Doral.
Roger Federer’s je ne sais quoi.
Novak Djokovic’s impossibly lean body.
Ted Ligety’s impossible angles.
Biscayne Bay during Miami Sailing Week. Or any day.
Michael Phelps, getting help.
Jose Fernandez, getting healthy.
Ryan Tannehill, getting better.
A clean(er) Tour de France.
Andrew Talansky’s heart.
Aaron Cohen’s legacy.
Bode Miller’s weirdness: Could you repeat that so it’s comprehensible?
Robert Is Here milkshakes halfway through a long ride.
Fika in Sweden after a bracing swim.
Against Football: One Fan’s Reluctant Manifesto by Steve Almond.
Raging Bull, watch it again. The Sportswriter and all other Frank Bascombe novels, read them again.
The elegant efficiency of Dennis Kimetto’s 4:41-pace stride in his record-setting marathon.
Barack Obama’s crossover dribble.
Charles Barkley’s honesty.
Ray Hudson’s oratory.
Danell Leyva back on — and flying above — the high bar.
Lance “Crazy Eyes” Stephenson’s antics. What will he do next?
The synchronicity of the San Antonio Spurs.
Michael Sam coming out of the closet.
Randy Ableman’s divers.
Dolphins leaping in the water along the Venetian Causeway during the Miami Marathon.
The unpretentiousness of race car drivers.
Stan Van Gundy coaching again.
The NFC North.
The velvet texture of a thoroughbred’s nose.
Triathlon’s growth since the days of bananas duct-taped to handlebars.
Riding a ski lift to my hotel at the Sochi Olympics (except when it stalled midway).
The 2022 Winter Olympics in Lillehammer. Anywhere but Beijing or Kazakhstan. Please.
Fewer cross-country meets at the mercilessly hot and viciously rocky Larry and Penny Thompson Park. Please.
A moratorium on the word “stout,” particularly in reference to defenses. Please.
The sight of zillionaire athletes serving turkey to the working-stiff fans who make it possible for them to play for a living.