Tag Archives: THanksgiving

Good News Friday: My first-ever hosting of Thanksgiving was a success! The best hockey player in the world does something awesome for charity. And a Vietnamese chef in California’s heartwarming story of parental devotion

And a Happy Friday to you out there, sleeping off the L-tryptophan and wondering why you had that third piece of pecan pie (it was worth it). Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving, didn’t argue politics at the table, and left the night happy and healthy. (That photo above is a giant balloon of Chase from “Paw Patrol” on the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade broadcast, and if you don’t think that was BY FAR the favorite thing my 4-year-old saw Thursday, you don’t have a toddler. Man was he excited!)

Every Thanksgiving is special to me, because it’s my favorite holiday of the year. But this year was a little extra-special, because as I mentioned the other day, it was the first-time in my four-decades plus of life that I hosted a Thanksgiving dinner.

My amazing wife and I had 15 relatives over on Thursday, everybody made a dish, we got the turkey from Whole Foods (look, we could’ve tried to make the bird ourselves but for our first-ever hosting gig, we didn’t want to screw it up and send our loved ones home sick), and it was fabulous.

It has always seemed like such a grown-up thing to do, hosting Thanksgiving, and something I’ve always, always wanted to do. But growing up we always went to my aunt’s house, and over the years as an adult I’ve always found myself there, or at another relative, or at my mom and stepdad’s.

But this year, after we bought a house, I was determined to host. There’s something so warm about having people come to where you live and enjoy the holiday (plus for the first time I didn’t have to drive anywhere, which in NYC on Thanksgiving is a nightmare).

It was really a fabulous day, and for me, a dream realized.

**Next up, Connor McDavid is the greatest hockey player in the world, and more people would know who he is if he didn’t play all the way up in Edmonton, if his team was any good, and if hockey wasn’t the niche sport it is here in America.

But McDavid is a really amazing talent, and a great guy as well. Check out this story about him from a recent Edmonton Oilers’ charity night event, as recounted by ex-NHL’er and broadcaster Cam Connor.

At the Edmonton Oilers Gala last week, there was a fishing trip up for auction (in support of the Down Syndrome Society). Connor McDavid immediately bid $50,000 for the trip.

Connor’s bid obviously was the highest. He paid the $50,000 for the bid and promptly gave the trip back to the charity so someone else could bid and enjoy the trip, and the charity could make even more money.”

Very, very cool gesture. And as Cam concluded, “Hockey’s future is in great hands with stars like this.”

**Finally today, my friend Catherine Pearlman has written a tremendously beautiful story for the Today show website on a man she’s gotten to know named Dee Nguyen, a Vietnamese-American chef in California who had his life turned upside down when his son, Berlin, suffered a devastating accident during a surgery when he was only a year old. Berlin suffered a severe brain injury that rendered him quadriplegic with significant cognitive impairment.

Since then, Dee and his wife, Linh have had their whole lives turned upside down caring for Berlin, and this beautifully-told story shows just how far they’ve gone, and how much they have to do, to keep their son alive and healthy.

Catherine clearly spent hours with the family and adores them as much as you will after reading this story. Really inspirational stuff.

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A TV reporter is fed up with Black Friday and he’s not afraid to tell you. 3 on 5 in college basketball was awesome, and the 3 almost won. And a touching response to a volleyball team winning a title

Happy Monday and I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving; apologies for there being no blog on Friday, I had lots of stuff to write about but the new Lewis wouldn’t sleep until 2:30 a.m. Thursday night and, well, he kinda takes precedence at the moment. This kid is going to be a rock and roll singer or an overnight shift dude; he loves to stay up late.

Anyway, had a great four-day weekend with all the family and friends, and as I do every year, I avoided Black Friday like it was an algebra exam. Such a ridiculous, overrated event, and I feel bad for any poor sap in my former profession who had to cover it. Can’t be fun.

If you don’t believe me, may I introduce Joshua Short of News Center 16 in South Bend, Ind. My man Josh woke up at 3 a.m. to go cover the long lines at the local mall, and, well, he didn’t quite get what he expected.

The beauty of live television… this is awesome. I hope Josh still has a job today.

**Next up today, I rarely write about college basketball this early in the season (though I am ridiculously excited about the potential of my beloved Duke team this year, Marvin Bagley III I think I love you) but something happened Saturday that was kind of awesome and amazing. A ho-hum game between Minnesota and Alabama here in Brooklyn’s Barclays Center turned crazy. After a wild brawl in the second half saw everyone on the Crimson Tide’s bench get ejected for leaving the bench during a fight, and after injuries and guys fouling out further depleted their roster, Alabama played the final minutes of the game with three players.

Against five from the Golden Gophers. Yep, 3-on-5, one fewer than Norman Dale tried with the Hickory Huskers in Hoosiers. So many nuts things about this game, but just two to point out. First, Alabama nearly WON the game, losing by only 5, 89-84.

Second, this video of Alabama star Collin Sexton at the foul line, high-fiving imaginary teammates because, well, he’s used to them being there and dammit he’s not going to change his routine, slayed me every time I watched it.

**Finally today, big hat tip to my e-migo and fabulous friend of the blog Matthew Laurance (yes, the same dude who played David Silver’s dad on “Beverly Hills, 90210”) who pointed me toward this clip. I don’t say many nice things about the University of Kentucky or their fans in this space, because their men’s basketball team (and fan base) drives me crazy.

But their passion for all the Wildcats teams is honorable, and this clip was fabulous. It’s routine for fans to greet football and basketball teams that have just won a title at the airport to welcome them home. It’s very, very FAR from routine to see this happen for a college volleyball team. But this is what Kentucky fans did last week for their returning women’s volleyball squad, which just won a conference title.

The surprise and delight on the player’s faces, with a highlight being one woman saying “I’m crying!” to a teammate (at the :24 mark), is beautiful to see.

Great job, Kentucky fans. And that is certainly a phrase never typed by me in eight years of doing this blog.

A Happy Thanksgiving to all. The guy who was arrested twice at the exact same time. And Larry David’s family Thanksgiving

Today is my favorite day of the year, just about every year.
I love everything about Thanksgiving: the great food, the good football, the family and friends all being together, no matter what the religion. And of course, one of the funniest movies of all time, “Planes, Trains and Automobiles,” being on TV somewhere (Seriously, if you don’t like PTA, I don’t think we can be friends. Every scene in that movie is perfect, including the one above).
Most of all, I love that it reminds us to count our blessings, and be grateful for all that we have.
I know that’ s hard for a lot of people in my neck of the woods this year, in New York, where Hurricane Sandy devastated so many lives.
Still, I hope everyone has plenty to be thankful for this year. For me, this Thanksgiving will be a first, location-wise, as I’m at my wonderful soon-to-be-in laws for my first Turkey Day. As I write this, the aromas coming from the kitchen Wednesday night are enough to tempt any human, but alas, I must wait until tomorrow.

When it will be Thanksgiving.  Wishing all of you a wonderful day, and wishing the Jets a win over the Patriots (yeah, like that will happen. But a man can dream.)

**Been meaning to post about this story for a week and I keep forgetting. I’d say it’s probably never happened before.
So on Nov. 5, the night we all turned our clocks back an hour for Daylight Savings Time, 22-year-old Ohio man Niles Gammons was arrested for driving under the influence. Gammon was going the wrong way up a one-way alley and was stopped at 1:08 a.m., and when he failed the Breathalyzer test, he was arrested and brought to the police station.
The officer gave him a citation, suspended his drivers license, and then released him into the custody of another adult.

Exactly one hour after the first stop, when the clocks had turned back and it was again 1:08 a.m., Gammons got behind the wheel again and nearly rammed into a police cruiser. He was again cited for a DUI and his arrest time read 1:08 a.m.

I mean, what are the odds? DUI is a serious charge and I’m not at all trying to make light of it, but seriously, what are the odds of being arrested twice at the exact same time?

That’s some cosmic time-machine stuff right there.

**Speaking of Thanksgiving, let’s leave it to one of the funniest TV people alive, Larry David, to tell us what it was like at his house on Turkey Day growing up.

My favorite holiday of the year: Thanksgiving. And a poem to make you think.

God I love today. Always have, always will. You can have Christmas or New Year’s or the Fourth of July, but I will always take Turkey Day ahead of all of them.

So many reasons I love Thanksgiving, but here are just a few. It’s the best eating day of the year. Between turkey and stuffing and gravy and sweet potatoes and desserts, I gorge more on this day than on any other. I love the feeling of positively stuffing myself, realizing I’m full, then plowing ahead anyway, just because it’s the fourth Thursday of November.

I love being with family, some of whom now I only see once or twice a year. I love catching up with their lives, the good, the bad, and the strange. With all this Facebooking and IM’ing and emailing and cell phones, there’s something to be said for looking right into a person’s eyes and seeing their hurt or joy. I love Thanksgiving traditions, which in my family growing up meant the four of us cousins jumping up and down on my grandparents’ bed, and yelling the time out loud, (Don’t ask. I have no idea why we did that), predicting when my Grandma would finally come out of the kitchen and sit down and join us, and guessing which relative would fall asleep first (My money was always on my cousin Marni.)

I love watching football on Thanksgiving with relatives who never watch it the rest of the year. I love watching the Macy’s Parade and wondering just how freakin’ long it took to blow up those balloons (Fortunately, this year I ‘ll get an answer. My sister-in-law Lauren is dating a guy who has an apartment overlooking the spot where they blow up Snoopy and Shrek and Spongebob, and she spent Wednesday night watching the whole thing in rapt attention. I can’t wait to get the scoop.)

Most of all, though, I love the whole idea of Thanksgiving. We take a day out of our lives and stop and say to our loved ones and friends: I’m thankful for you. I appreciate having you in my life.

I think I’m pretty grateful guy; I say “please” and “thank you” as much as anyone I know. But on this day of all days, I think I should take some time to be grateful for all that I have: A job I love. A wife I love even more. Amazing and supportive friends and relative. And lots more stuff.

Happy Thanksgiving to all, and go ahead, have that extra helping of cranberry sauce: You deserve it.

On a final note, I wanted to reprint my favorite poem of all time, one I feel is a credo of mine: Never forget your friends, and always make the time for them. It’s called “Around the Corner,” and it’s by Charles Hanson Towne:

Around the corner I have a friend,

in this great city that has no end;
Yet days go by, and weeks rush on,
And before I know it, a year is gone,

And I never see my old friend’s face,
For life is a swift and terrible race.
He knows I like him just as well
As in the days when I rang his bell

And he rang mine.

We were younger then,
And now we are busy, tired men;
Tired with trying to make a name
Tired with playing a foolish game.

“Tomorrow,” I say, “I will call on Jim,
Just to show that I’m thinking of him.
But tomorrow comes and tomorrow goes,
And the distance between us grows and grows.

Around the corner! Yet miles away …
“Here’s a telegram, sir.
Jim died today.”

And that’s what we get and deserve in the end
Around the corner, a vanished friend.

A fun flight home, the NFL gets serious about concussions, and a classic TV food fight

Greetings from the state of my birth.

Julie and I flew home to New York from the Fla. tonight. And boy are our arms tired (Ba-dum-bum). This is without a doubt my favorite time of the year, because Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday of the year. It contains three of my favorite things (eating, football, and family), so how could it not be great?

More on why I love Thanksgiving in Thursday’s post. Tonight, a few quick thoughts before I fall asleep at the keyboard:

**So we’re on the Southwest flight from Orlando, a route we now know so well we could direct the pilot if needed. And there’s a little kid, maybe 3 years old, sitting behind Julie, kicking the seat and crying hysterically for a good, I don’t know, 45 minutes.

And not once, not once, does the adult sitting next to this little terror pick the kid up, walk him around, move his seat, anything, to acknowledge the disturbance and try to rectify it.

Look, I know traveling with small children is extremely hard, and I have the utmost respect for parents. But isn’t there some societal obligation that kicks in there, that the person who paid a couple hundred bucks for a seat doesn’t deserve to get kicked for 45 minutes? Just wondering.

**I have bashed the NFL for a while for what I feel is their refusal to take the issue of concussions and their symptoms seriously.

But I was very happy to see that the league is actually working to rectify one of the biggest problems: NFL team doctors, under pressure from management and the team that pays their salary, putting players back in before they’re ready.

This week, though, came a big breakthrough: It was announced that teams will now be required to consult with independent neurologists while treating players with brain injuries, the New York Times reported.

Comissioner Roger Goodell and his execs were humiliated by Congress last month, which pointed out that the NFL clearly wasn’t doing enough to protect its players.

Now, with outside doctors who don’t care if Brian Westbrook or Tom Brady or anyone gets back on the field to help win the game, there’s a much better chance the players’ brains will be truly looked after.

Good step, NFL.

**Finally, this cracks me up every time I see it. The classic Thanksgiving food fight from “Cheers.” The good stuff starts at the 5:20 mark.