Game On…with Rob Kriete – NOVEMBER 24

Buccaneers Cheerleader

A common tradition in America is for families to watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade on Thanksgiving morning. The annual celebration parade in Manhattan usually draws more than three million curbside viewers. I have been in NYC to see the preparation of the floats and balloons on the Upper West Side of Central Park on Thanksgiving Eve, but I have never seen the parade live. Truth be told, I’m not much of a parade guy, but they do draw many people. The parade will not attract many this year as Macy’s will broadcast a truncated parade route and will highly discourage crowds for safety measures. Things have been much different in 2020, and this holiday season will be as well. Professional sports have been modified throughout the pandemic, but we can be thankful for sports fans this season of thanks.

Tampa Bay Buccanneer Fans

-We can all be thankful for our ability to enjoy our teams. Sure, it may not be live, but we get the competition. After differing degrees of pauses, all professional sports made their way back in some capacity.

Wuhan Revolution Museum

-Lebron James and Lakers fans are thankful the NBA bubble worked. There was some drama around players “outing” each other for busting out of the bubble here or there. But the Lakers were able to win the 2020 NBA Championship in a unique postseason tournament.

NBA Logo

-Tampa is thankful the NHL found a way to bring back quality hockey. Keeping the player in a bubble, a la the NBA, hockey was physical and passionate upon its return. The Tampa Bay Lightning currently swap Lord Stanley’s Cup around the Bay area after winning it in 2020.

Tampa Bay Lightning

-The MLB 60 game sprint was intense and fun. It brought us the universal Designated Hitter and a thankful Dodgers team that no longer had to contend with sign-stealing to win their first World Series since 1988. The increased number of playoff teams was a nice touch in a short season as well.

Dodgers Playoff

-The NFL continues to play, well, always it seems. There have been some games postponed, and another postponed on Thanksgiving, but so far, the league is on schedule for a February Super Bowl in Tampa. The Steelers look poised in the AFC and Tampa Bay is the most intriguing team in the NFC.

The Steelers at AFC

-Tampa Bay announced a new team, with the Tampa Tornadoes set to kickoff arena football sometime in the spring.

Tampa Tornadoes Logo

-Golf fans are thankful that the PGA, after a break, even got the sticks-a-swinging. The Masters was finally played, and Dustin Johnson won his first green jacket.

The Masters Logo

As crazy as 2020 has been so far, we can be thankful that we got the highly needed distractions and entertainment we so love as sports fans. Perhaps we are creating new traditions in our sports and our lives this Thanksgiving. My wife and I will be in our “bubble” this Thanksgiving and will be sharing a candlelit dinner for two; a new tradition? (And, come to think of it, I was actually at the Super Bowl Parade downtown Tampa after the Bucs won Super Bowl 37).

Whatever your traditions are this Thanksgiving, old or new, I hope you and your loved ones remain safe.