By Tim Baffoe-
(CBS) The overly syrupy annual late November “what I’m thankful for” pieces need to be combated with an acknowledgment of what we’re unthankful for, because we’re Americans and yelling about what we ain’t got is our thing. I have a lot of beefs with a lot of turkeys in the sports world, and as we take this week to appreciate all that we have, the hell if we shouldn’t set aside some time to point out what’s sticking in our snoods, especially in the life-sustaining realm of sports, the most important thing in life.
The Derrick Rose debates
The face of the Bulls franchise, Rose wants to win a championship this season. He wants to win multiple championships in the future. That anyone would take his waxing on his future after basketball as a sign that he’s anything less than committed to winning is mind-boggling. Athletes — with the gladiator personas they are so demanded to have — recognizing their own professional mortalities is refreshing, and too damn bad if it makes you uncomfortable.
Fans wearing eyesore outfits in the front row
George Jacobs, get off my TV. The jacket isn’t cute, and you’re a troll who likes the negative attention. You’re an eyesore, you get off on being benignly controversial and having people asking every so often “Who’s the jag in the M&M coat?” And plus, NASCAR is bad.
And, Marlins Man, you suck, too. People who wear apparel of teams not participating in the sporting even they are at are bad. Doing so while being on camera for the whole game makes you the worst.
Ronnie Woo Woo
It’s past the point of kitsch. Diehard Cubs fan Ronnie Woo Woo obviously doesn’t understand his own inappropriateness. At some point the Cubs need to have a chat with him, a la the Billy Cub losers, and let him know he’s not helping.
Theo Epstein haters
There’s a significant number of baseball watchers demanding to know why the Cubs haven’t won a title since Epstein took over of the team’s baseball operations, in the way I demanded to know why the seeds I planted in the dirt-filled milk carton hadn’t sprouted the next day when I was 5.
This despite the Cubs following basically every step, including being self-aware of not being ready to contend yet, in the plan that Epstein blatantly spelled out years ago. These people are cousins to the morons who, whenever the Cubs make any move like, say, hiring one of the game’s best manager’s, are compelled to yell “DERP CURSE DERP DOESN’T MATTER DERP DEY’LL NEVER WIN ANYWAY DERP WRIGLEY IS A DUMP DERP.” Go back in your sewers.
The lack of appreciation for the careers of Adam Dunn and Alfonso Soriano
So hated by the Flat Earth Society of strikeouts-equal-everything, Dunn and Soriano were good players for a long time — neither a Hall of Famer, but both more productive than usually given credit for. Also, both were notably good guys who never let the booing of their teams’ own fans cause any Todd Hundley antics or lashing out via the media. Lots of fans will talk about how much they want the players on their favorite teams to be good guys, yet Dunn and Soriano never got appropriate credit for that while in Chicago.
Adrian Peterson’s Twitter account
The GRAND JURY DECIDED NOT TO INDICT ME TOO! But that changed a week LATER! MAYBE,BUT NOT LIKELY N THIS CASE #PUTyourTrustNGODnotINtheWORLD!— Adrian Peterson (@AdrianPeterson) November 25, 2014
Dude, no. Just no.
Thursday NFL football
This isn’t cool anymore. The matchups are rarely good. All but three Thursday games in 2014 have been won by two or more scores. Even the most conditioned bodies can’t recover from a Sunday game in four days, so the quality of play suffers.
If the Bulls or Blackhawks are playing on Thursday night, my TV favors them over the NFL. Go ahead and keep Thanksgiving games — I used to hate that the diseased Lions gave me three hours of suck every holiday, but now I realize the way those games make the participants suffer helps the division rival Bears in at least a small way. Even moving games from Thursday to Friday would show the league cares about its players’ well-being a little bit. Otherwise I’m content with Sundays and Monday nights.
This football program is a flaming bag of leprechaun hair. For some of you, that’s some tender, all-white meat schadenfreude. For masochistic fans like me, we can no longer defend the hubris of “college football’s most storied program” when the story has become something Mitch Albom would write in crayon.
Peter King’s Twitter account
Besides having a banner year reporting on the slimy underbelly of the NFL, Sports Illustrated’s NFL bigfootinmouth, Peter King, is really bad with Twitter. He needed a follow up single to his August “look at me hamfisting toward gravitas” Robin Williams ballad…
MILWAUKEE-Asked restaurant host: "God, did you hear about Robin Williams?"— Peter King (@peter_king) August 12, 2014
Me: "Died. He killed himself."
Thought he would cry.
…and hit us with a righteous jam alluding to the situation in Ferguson, Mo.
This is the biggest indictment of all: The Jets' special teams are worse than the offense.— Peter King (@peter_king) November 25, 2014
Uggggghhhhhh. Would he maybe realize what a tone deaf bit of wordplay that is and sincerely apologize?
Pardon the use of the word "indictment." My fault. Referring only to football. Not watching the news now.— Peter King (@peter_king) November 25, 2014
You were wondering when I’d get here, weren’t you? Not any individual member of the Bears gets my wrath, because it’s all been a collective failure so far. This team was supposed to contend but at almost no point has shown it’s ready for the top teams in the league.
On the field and off, the franchise has suffered multiple embarrassments, and it’s now at the point where when watching games I do that hysterical giggling thing because my frustration short-circuits my brain into improper emotional reflexes. Sure, the Bears have won two in a row, and a valid case can be made for them beating the Lions on Thanksgiving (and one for them losing by 30), but that doesn’t change the fact that watching a Bears game feels like work rather than a respite from work.
Have a safe and happy Thanksgiving, everybody, if the Bears even allow for that to happen.
Tim Baffoe is a columnist for CBSChicago.com. Follow him on Twitter @TimBaffoe.