Thanksgiving. It's the kickoff to the holiday season and the day we gather around tables overflowing with food to give thanks for all we have. For some, Thanksgiving means cramming food into their faces before jetting off to the Black Friday sales. But in many cases, it's a day to spend bonding with our loves ones, a time to get together to watch some football, stuff our faces silly, completely overindulge, and argue with our relatives about this or that – but mostly, we say that Thanksgiving is a day to give thanks and show our appreciation for those things and people we have in our lives.
Pro athletes are no different from you or I, in that regard. Except that some of them will actually be suiting up and spend the day putting in some work for our entertainment. But for most pro athletes, like us, they'll be spending the day with their friends and loved ones, doing exactly what we're doing – eating and drinking way, way too much.
It's always interesting to go around the room and listen to people sharing what they're most thankful for in their lives. It gives you a little insight into their life, their personality, and their character, doesn't it? Some are thankful for their health. Some for their jobs. Others for their friends and families. All of us have something to be thankful for in our lives.
Pro athletes perhaps have even more to be thankful for. They're rich, powerful, influential, and seem to have the world by the short hairs. But what are they really thankful for? Glad you asked because we went around through the four major sports leagues and asked some of these players what they were most thankful for this year. It was a lot of time away from home, terrible gas station coffee, even more terrible fast food stands, and an appalling lack of sleep. But we did it all for you. And some of their answers might surprise you!
So without further ado, let's take a look at what some professional athletes are most thankful for this year...
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25 Robert Griffin III – Washington's Football Team
“I'm thankful for team owner Dan Snyder, my BFF. I know that no matter how bad I stink up the joint, I'll always have a job. Yeah, coach may bench me for a game or two here and there, but we all know who's going to win if Dan has to choose between me and a coach.”
24 Adrian Peterson – Minnesota Vikings
“I'm seriously thankful for a legal system that caters to us rich guys and gives us all the breaks you regular people don't get. I mean, I don't know what would have happened if I'd been some Joe Schmoe earning minimum wage instead of the millions I pull in and couldn't afford the top shelf attorney I had. Anyway, Happy Thanksgiving, everybody!”
23 Ray Rice – Unemployed
“I'm thankful for everything Adrian Peterson just said he was thankful for.”
22 Tony Romo – Dallas Cowboys
“This year, I'm thankful for DeMarco Murray. If he weren't busting his tail and playing as well as he is, and all of the pressure was on me to carry this team again, who knows where this team would be. Probably not 8-3, I can tell you that. But with Murray lighting it up, we may finish above .500! We only need one more win!”
21 Peyton Manning – Denver Broncos
“Well, I'm really grateful this year – OMAHA – for my friends, family – OMAHA – my wonderful teammates, and the opportunity to play for this – OMAHA – organization.”
20 Michael Jordan – Charlotte Hornets
“This year, I'm thankful for my Charlotte Hornets. We may not be winning much, but we're at least covering the spread more times than not. Silver linings, man. Silver linings.”
19 Steve Nash – Los Angeles Lakers
“I'm Canadian and we don't celebrate Thanksgiving like you Americans, eh? But whatever. This year, I'm thankful for the fact that since my suitcase ended my career, I don't have to play on a crap squad and will have the time to post videos of myself hiking and golfing. And of course, cashing those paychecks from the Lakers.”
18 Jameis Winston – Florida State University Seminoles
“Yeah man, I'm like really thankful for the fact that I'm never held accountable for my actions. I can shoplift, shove officials, get paid to sign autographs, shoot small animals on campus, and do pretty much whatever I want and never have to worry about it because people got my back. And I'm also thankful for crab legs. Love those things, man.”
17 Alex Rodriguez – New York Yankees
“I'm totally thankful for Anthony Bosch, HGH and other performance enhancing drugs. Without them, I may have been just another dude with a lot of unfulfilled potential. But those things – wow, man – they turned me into a beast. Not unlike those paintings of me as a centaur I have in my house.”
16 Pablo Sandoval – Boston Red Sox
“This year, I'm very thankful for my time with the Giants, and even more thankful for my future with the Red Sox. I am looking forward to the challenges here and living up to the contract they gave me. I'm also incredibly thankful for the fact that I may be switching coasts, but I can still get my Krispy Kreme donuts.”
15 Barry Bonds – Unemployed
“I'm thankful for Alex Rodriguez. He looks like an even bigger a**hole than I ever did!”
14 Josh Gordon – Cleveland Browns
“I'm thankful for the fact that the league changed the pot policy. I wish it'd come a few months earlier, but it is what it is.”
13 Jay Cutler – Chicago Bears
“I'm really thankful for Jimmy Clausen. As long as he's the backup quarterback, I'm always going to have a job.”
12 James Harden – Houston Rockets
“Man, I'm thankful for the sweet deal I got going on down here in Houston. They're paying me eighty million bucks and I don't even have to play a lick of defense. I'm like the designated hitter of the NBA. It's awesome!”
11 Marshawn Lynch – Seattle Seahawks
“Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Thanks.”
10 Hanley Ramirez – Boston Red Sox
“I got eighty-eight million reasons to be thankful this year. It's like the Red Sox didn't realize that I've got the defensive range of fresh roadkill, as well as the attitude and maturity of your average six-year old. I don't understand it, but I like it!”
9 Dwight Howard – Houston Rockets
“I'm grateful for the fact that I don't have to play with Kobe anymore, man. Dude was just mean. Ruthless. And he always hurt my feelings. I just want to have fun, you know? Kobe was no fun, so I'm thankful he ain't my teammate anymore.”
8 Josh McCown – Tampa Bay Buccaneers
“I'm thankful that Lovie Smith had obviously been on something when he picked me to come run his offense down in Tampa. Yeah, we had a couple of good games together in Chicago, but what else had I ever done in my career? I'm glad a few good games were enough for Lovie. Sorry about turning back into Josh McCown this season though.”
7 Mark Sanchez – Philadelphia Eagles
“I'd like, you know, never wish ill upon anybody. I'm too nice of a guy to do that, you know? But this year, I'm really thankful for big hits and brittle bones. Without those two things, I'd be getting as much playing time as Matt Barkley. And no matter how many times I butt fumble, I should still be getting more time in than Barkley.”
6 Jack Johnson – Columbus Blue Jackets
I'm thankful to my teammates who let me come over for Thanksgiving dinner this year. And for letting me crash on their couch, and giving me some walking around money. It's tough when your parents completely wipe you out financially, so I'm thankful to have teammates who will help me out.”
5 Anthony Davis – New Orleans Pelicans
“I'm really thankful to be as good as I am. If I weren't such a dominant force in this league, this huge, dark unibrow I'm rockin' might look a little silly. Instead, because I'm so damn good, it's a fashion accessory.”
4 Nick Saban – Alabama Crimson Tide
“I'm thankful for teams like Western Carolina and Florida Atlantic. Without running up the score on creampuff teams like that, we wouldn't be able to fatten up our record and look like college football's most dominant team.”
3 Colt McCoy – Washington's Football Team
“I don't want to like rub salt in the wounds or anything, but I'm very thankful to get a chance to start some football games. It's unfortunate that RGIII has been a bit of a bust in the NFL – and don't tell him I said that – but at least it gives me a chance to step in and make some plays. Plus, RGIII's play has set the bar so low here in DC, there aren't many expectations being put on me!”
2 Richard Sherman – Seattle Seahawks
“This year, I'm thankful for me. I'm thankful that I am without a doubt, the best corner in the league. Hell, I may be the best corner in the history of the league. And the prettiest one too. So yeah, this year, I'm thankful for me.”
1 Kobe Bryant – Los Angeles Lakers
“I don't have anything to be thankful for this year. Have you seen my team? These guys couldn't beat a high school team. They can't defend, can't score, can't do anything right. That's why I have to jack up forty shots a night – somebody on this team actually has to put the ball in the basket. This bunch of stiffs is tarnishing my legacy and I won't win ten games, let alone a title with these losers.
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