It’s that time of year again when we pause as a nation to give thanks for what we have in our respective lives. On the surface, it seems quick and easy, but as I get older, I generally forget to acknowledge someone or something that enhances my life and gives me great joy. It’s not that I overlook things as much as simply having so much to be thankful for. I honestly have to stop when it comes to listing the reasons I’m so fortunate, so here comes my best shot at it.
First and foremost, I’m thankful to be alive. To my oncologist and the many nurses who’ve nurtured me and healed me, I cannot begin to find the words to properly thank you for turning back my cancer, not once, but three times. I will admit I struggle with the reality that, while I was given a new lease on life, there is a child somewhere that didn’t win their battle, and I never lose sight of that fact. It’s also great to have a roof over my head and a shirt on my back. You all know how I love to eat, so I’m thankful for being financially able to fill the refrigerator and visit the numerous restaurants I frequent, as well. Sadly, many people in this country are without food and shelter, and I’m so grateful to be able to support myself.
As many of you know, I’m a dog lover, and my two guys are truly special and bring me great joy. They’ve comforted me when I am sick, and in exchange I share the bed and my ice cream with them for all that unconditional love. I am fortunate to have these lovable misfits in my home, and I learn more about myself through them every day.
I’d certainly be remiss if I didn’t proclaim the good fortune I’ve experienced from what I do to make a living. As a marginal athlete on my best day, I’ve been on the sidelines of nearly every major sporting event in the world and still cannot figure out how it happened. I’ve met superstars, malcontents, high school phenoms, great coaches and arrogant owners, and the one thing I continue to ask is, why me? How did I get so lucky? Again, I’m so grateful.
Recognizing all that and then some, I have a ton of people to thank for what they do for me every year.
To all the good people at all the television networks that put up with me and actually pay me to boot, I thank you.
My sincere gratitude to IndyCar, NASCAR, the NBA and, of course, the NFL. Naturally, that includes the Pacers and the Colts, along with all those at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Can’t forget the good people at both Indiana and Purdue University, and certainly the Indianapolis Indians and the IHSAA as well. There are a number of fine journalists and some sports radio talking heads who deserve thanks as well, and you all know who you are. This Jimmy Olsen wannabe thanks you and looks forward to aggravating you all more than ever in the future.
To those who’ve ever read anything I’ve written, or listened to what I’ve talked about on television or radio, I know you sometimes shake your head and ask what is wrong with me, and I thank you for that. Special thanks to those who read the Indianapolis Recorder. You’ve called me compassionate, crazy, politically incorrect, sarcastic, annoying, funny and misinformed. For all that, I’m indebted to you. Finally, I’d like to recognize and truly thank all those at the Indianapolis Recorder Media Group who tolerate me for reasons I will never figure out or understand.
Shannon, for all the times someone has called you about what I wrote about them, I thank you for not getting rid of me. Ebony, thanks for allowing me to miss deadlines and for being supportive. Kelly, thank goodness for your proofreading skills and your patience. And to all the photographers, layout personnel and business office staff, I salute your tolerance of me, as well. You folks are the best, and you give me a platform that is both special and cherished. I will try to grow up soon and alleviate the pain in your backside that I create. Yes, I have a lot to be thankful for, and I encourage all of you to stop and reflect on your good fortune as well. Feel free to overeat in my honor on Thanksgiving Day, and remember that I do realize it’s a privilege to connect with you via this great newspaper. I hope to see you soon, be it on the sidelines or in the cheap seats. Thanks for all you given me.
Danny Bridges, the luckiest stiff on the planet, wishes all of you a great Thanksgiving and can be reached at Bridgeshd@aol.com or at (317) 370-8447.