For us yanks, the final Thursday in November is more or less the official kick off party for the holidays....and hey it also works as a "hype man" for insane stampeding shoppers, but that's another story. Now for the most part, the day will consist of stressed out families, American football, a table full of food that would make Brazilian Ronaldo (Circa 2006) blush, as well as prayers that your jeans will spontaneously turn into sweat pants.
With all that going on, sometimes it's easy to forget what the holiday is about. No I am not talking about the historically disputed origins of the day, but rather the simple sentiment of recognizing what you are actually thankful for. Now I do realize it is only those of us in the United States that celebrate this particular version of the holiday, but since I doubt you actually care what I am thankful for, I decided it would be a good time for me to speculate what some of your favorite teams and/or personalities might be thankful for this year. With all that said.....Happy Thanksgiving and here we go.
What is Bayern Munich Thankful For? Answer: Borussia Dortmund
12 games into the Bundesliga season and as expected, Bayern Munich leads the league by seven points. Two of Bayern Munich's standout players just happen to be former BVB players, Mario Goetze and Robert Lewandowski. In their last meeting on November 1st, Lewandowski popped in a goal against his former club which most certainly was a cruel reminder to Dortmund fans of the offensive powerhouse they lost to the biggest name in German football.
Much like Lewandowski's path to Bayern Munich, Dortmund star, Marco Reus is also looking for a new team and it's no shock that Bayern Munich has been mentioned as a potential suitor. It's kind of sad really that a team like Dortmund who at times - especially in Champion's League - has shown to be quite the exciting squad in in many ways starting to look like Bayern Munich's feeder team to most of the world. Borussia Dortmund's CEO, Hans-Joachim Watzke was even recently quoted as saying "Bayern Munich wants to destroy us..."
So as Bayern Munich search for their third straight league title, this Thanksgiving they have the team that they stopped from winning their third straight to thank.....Borussia Dortmund.
What is Manchester United thankful for? Answer: A crazy Premier League Season so far.
It's hard to believe that with only five wins that Manchester United FC is actually in the Top 4 of the Premier League standings. With all the high hopes that the team had before the season started regarding new Manager, Louis Van Gaal, it's safe to say that their record as it stands would be somewhat disappointing any other season.
2014 is a tad bit different though. With teams like Southampton in second place and teams like Arsenal, Everton, Tottenham and Liverpool in 8th, 9th, 10th and 12th respectively, the battle for the top isn't full of the names we are used to seeing. Now don't get me wrong, there is a lot of soccer to be played yet, but while Manchester United's shaky start would in most season's put them in a precarious position, this season they find themselves right in the hunt regardless.
I am not sure what the rest of the season holds or if anyone will be able to catch a streaking Chelsea side who currently holds a 13 point lead over the Red Devils, but if the boys from Old Trafford have anything to be thankful for this year....it's the fact that the Premier League has been completely unpredictable so far.
What is Jurgen Klinsmann thankful for? Answer: Landon Donovan's retirement....and low expectations.
It's kind of incredible that we view Jurgen Klinsmann's time with the USMNT as a success so far. I mean even myself, who just so happens to be a critic, still views the last World Cup campaign as a success. I mean really!? Our boys showed a ton of heart and damn if it didn't feel good seeing cities across the Nation go bonkers for the beautiful game, but the fact that one win in the tournament constitutes as a success in a country who is all about winning and dominating at everything they do seems absolutely mind boggling to me.
One of the hot button topics during the year for Klinsmann happened to be his leaving Landon Donovan off the squad. It's one of those subjects that finds itself in the realm of politics and religion....if you are around other sports fans......don't bring it up. I am not sure if it was strictly business or if there were some personal elements to the decision, but Klinsmann's son's infamous tweet didn't make things any better. When Klinsmann added Donovan to the squad for a post-World Cup friendly against Ecuador, watching the two of them interact was like watching a divorced couple at......well Thanksgiving dinner actually, even though it was Donovan's final match in Red, White and Blue.
To be fair, Donovan doesn't always make things easy on himself. His soccer-less sabbaticals and snarky comments certainly made it easier on Klinsmann to leave him off the team. However, when you go back to that 1-0 loss to Germany or the Chris Wondolowski whiff against Belgium, one can't help, but wonder if things had been different if Landon Donovan had been on the squad. Thankfully for Jurgen.....he won't have to worry about that anymore.
What does Chelsea have to be thankful for? Answer: Diego Costa.
Diego Costa has been dare I say.....en fuego this season and Chelsea is reaping the rewards. The Brazilian has scored 11 goals already and his closest teammates, fellow Brazilian, Oscar and Belgian, Eden Hazard both sit seven goals behind him.
Chelsea has been a perennial contender for quite some time now, but for a good part of this season so far, it feels like Chelsea is on a whole.....'nother.......level. Perhaps it is because we've gotten to use to seeing them "park the bus", but bringing Diego Costa in was a gigantic game changer and their six point lead at the top of the table is evidence of that.
Sure Costa is surrounded by a good squad and yeah maybe he should feel a little thankful he ended up being signed by Chelsea, but let's not forget, he did score 27 goals for Atletico Madrid last year in La Liga play, so it really does feel like Costa finds a way to work his magic no matter where he goes.
There may be no "I" in team, but I would be willing to bet that most everyone involved with Chelsea is pretty thankful that Costa is wearing blue this season.
What are millions of traumatized USMNT fans of all ages thankful for? Answer: Mix Diskerud's razor.
Ok, so I think it's pretty awesome Mix was trying to get involved with the whole Movember trend, obviously charity of any kind is awesome, but DUDE.....it's also called "No Shave November" and I would hazard to guess that a full beard would have been a little less on the creepy side than that lip caterpillar.
In the USA's second to last match of the year against Columbia, fans on twitter immediately reacted to Mix's facial decoration, some joked, others screamed, but most agreed that it had to go. Can't say I didn't feel a little bad for the happy-go-lucky youngster who has shown a lot of promise in being the future of the USMNT's offense, I mean he grew it out with all the best intentions, but I think we can all agree that we were thankful for the fact he shaved it off. It will no longer haunt our nightmares.
I hope everyone has a fun and safe holiday! On behalf of everyone at Who Are Ya Designs.....Happy Thanksgiving!