Schwartz: Why I Am Thankful To Be A Sports Fan

From a sports perspective, 2018 hasn’t been a particularly great one for the teams that I root for.  After getting to within a game of going to the World Series, the Yankees took a step backwards falling to the eventual World Champion Red Sox in the American League Division Series.  The Islanders didn’t make the playoffs for the second straight season but I’m feeling better about them and I’ll get to that later.  The Jets are 3-7 and mired in a four game losing streak heading into this Sunday’s game with the Patriots.  And the Knicks are….well….they’re the Knicks so nothing else needs to be written there.

But as I get set to sit down with my family for Thanksgiving dinner, I can’t help but think about all the reasons that I have to be thankful for as a sports fan as the calendar is getting closer to flipping to 2019.  But before I get to why I’m thankful for being a sports fan, I have to start with something a little more personal.  It’s the single biggest reason that I’m thankful on this Thanksgiving and there is a bit of a sports connection to it.

This past July 15th, just one day after my 51st birthday, I was playing football with my kids at Jones Beach and suffered a broken right hip.  It’s been a rough journey for my family and I over the last four months or so but things are getting back to normal.  The hip has healed, my rehab is going well, I’ve been walking for about a month and this week I was cleared to start driving again.  I can say that there’s no way that I could have made my way through this ordeal without the love and support of my wife Sheryl and my sons Bradley and Jared.

There were milestones and goals along the way including being able to walk into Bradley’s Bar Mitzvah a week and a half ago without any aid.  There is more rehab to go through but considering where I was four months ago, I can’t really complain.  A big milestone will be going back to Jones Beach at some point and finishing the play that I started in July.  I told my kids that they will give me a football and I’ll walk and not run across the goal line.

I’m thankful for my family and they’re a big reason why I’ve been able to perse

From a sports standpoint, I have plenty to be thankful for.

I’m thankful that the Yankees don’t stand pat and continue to make moves to try and win a championship.  I’m not happy about $40 to park my car at Yankee Stadium but a winning team is a winning team!

I’m thankful that the Islanders are finally going in the right direction after hiring Lou Lamiorello as General Manager and Barry Trotz as Head Coach.  I’m also thankful that the Islanders are coming home to Long Island, temporarily at the Nassau Coliseum and eventually to the new arena at Belmont Park. 

I’m thankful that the Knicks….wait a minute I can’t really come up with anything there.

I’m thankful that the Jets finally appear to have a franchise quarterback in Sam Darnold.  I’ll be even more thankful if a regime was in place that could direct the team towards the Super Bowl but beggars can’t be choosers. 

I’m thankful that the Red Bulls continue to put a great product on the field and are in a great position to capture their first MLS Cup.   They have arguably the best sports facility in the area in Red Bull Arena and it would be great to see the team win it all on their home field come December 8th

I’m thankful that the Cosmos are part of a brand new league and will be back on the pitch in 2019.  Being the PA announcer for a team I rooted for as a child has been special. 

I’m thankful that my sons love to play sports and it gives me great pride to watch them have fun.   Seeing Bradley representing his country on the football field at the U.S. National Team Middle School in Canton this past summer was awesome and watching Jared crushing a baseball in little league was outstanding!

I’m thankful to have had the opportunity to join New York Sports Day this year!

That’s just what I’m thankful for.  Fans of other teams have a reason to be thankful as well. 

The Mets have a terrific pitching staff and we’ll see if new General Manager Brodie Van Wagenen can make some deals to improve the lineup.  The Giants may have taken the best player in the draft in Saquon Barkley and it looks like Eli Manning may have just a bit more left in the tank.  I think the Nets have a great future under General Manager Sean Marks and Head Coach Kenny Atkinson.  The Rangers are in rebuilding mode, but they have a chance to win every night with Henrik Lundquist between the pipes.  Devils fans should be thankful for NHL MVP Taylor Hall, a playoff caliber team and a great facility the Prudential Center. 

Sorry NYCFC fans…I can’t say you have anything to be thankful for until you have a soccer stadium!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone and cherish the time to spend with family and friends!



About the Author

Peter Schwartz

Peter Schwartz is a contributor covering the Islanders for NY Sports Day while also writing about general sports in the New York/New Jersey area. In addition to his column, Peter also hosts his “Schwartz On Sports” podcast as he interviews players, coaches, and other sports personalities. He is also currently a sports anchor for WFAN Radio, CBS Sports Radio, and WCBS 880 radio while also serving as the public address announcer for the New York Cosmos soccer club.

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