Thanksgiving is coming up this week, and you know what that means: we have the watch the Dallas Cowboys play the Oakland Raiders.
No, I’m totally just kidding! Well, not about the Cowboys-Raiders part. That really is happening. But I’m kidding when I say that’s all Thanksgiving means. Obviously, Thanksgiving really means pausing from the hustle and bustle of everyday life and reminding ourselves of all the good things—however small—we’ve got going for us. Or at least, that’s what it really means for most of us.
For some people in the world of sports, giving thanks is not going to be all that easy because they’ve had a pretty rough go of it recently. For every championship team or MVP-winner on top of the world there is a perennial loser or guy who got snubbed down in the dumps. And while they, too, ultimately have things they ought to feel thankful for (like millions upon millions of dollars), it might be hard for them to see it.
So who is going to have a tough time giving thanks on Thursday? Well, let’s take a look…
Mike Trout is a good-looking 21-year-old professional baseball player. What on earth would leave him feeling a little thankless this week?
Well, how about the fact that, for the last two season—his first two seasons in the big leagues—the kid has been the best all-around player in baseball, but has not won the AL MVP award. Instead, he had to watch Miguel Cabrera take home the trophy both times.
Now, okay, the first time maybe. Trout was better all-around (saving runs with defense is good, right?), but Cabrera became the first person to win the Triple Crown in forever, so sure, give him the MVP. But this season? It was Trout's turn. The guy's WAR was 9.2 compared to Miggy's 7.2. I know a lot of people don't buy in to those advanced stats, but that's a big gap.
So yeah, I'd forgive Trout if he was feeling just a little bit annoyed about all this—especially since he is not making crazy money yet. (His 2013 salary was $510,000, which is more than I'll make this decade, but a paltry some for the best player in baseball.)
13. Mike Trout
I'm not saying anybody should feel sorry for A-Rod, since he got himself into the PED-suspension predicament by being an arrogant douchebag. However, he's still getting the shaft a bit here.
Did he cheat? Obviously. He's admitted it. (Or at least, he admitted to it perviously. Now he expects us to believe he had nothing to do with that Biogenesis place 'cause he done learned his lesson.) However, MLB has set up a framework for suspending players who take PEDs—50 games for the first violation, 100 for the second, and a lifetime ban for the third— and they are pretty much throwing that framework out the window by trying to suspend A-Rod for 211 games.
So while I hate to take A-Rod's side on any issue, I have to say he is being treated a little unfairly under the rules.
12. Alex Rodriguez
Why isn't Tim Tebow thankful this year? Maybe it's because the 2x college football National Champion and 2007 Heisman Trophy-winner can't even get a job as a third-stringer in the NFL, despite having a somewhat respectable 75.3 passer rating (Ryan Fitzpatrick's is 77.0) and a pretty huge playoff victory on his resume.
Now, I'm not saying Tebow is really great or that he should be a starting quarterback in the NFL. But it seems kind of crazy to me that he can't even get a shot from anybody. And I imagine he's pretty bummed out about that.
11. Tim Tebow
Speaking of Tebow, how thankful do you think the Jacksonville Jaguars fans are this year? Despite having two wins now, the Jaguars are still the worst team in the NFL, with their -182 point differential is 81 points worse than any other team.
Jags fans aren't hoping for more wins at this point. They're not unreasonable. All they want is for the Jags to give hometown hero Tim Tebow a chance to play quarterback. Just a chance. If nothing else, it would be fun.
But no. Team owner Shahid Khan says it aint gonna happen.
10. Jaguars Fans
What have the Jets got to be so bummed out about? Well, last season they were in the weakest division of the weakest conference in hockey—the Easter Conference's Southeast Division. If they were still there today, their 24 points would have them tied for 8th place. But they're not in that division or that conference. Today, the Jets find themselves in the toughest division in hockey—the Western Conference's Central Division. Now they have to face the Blackhawks, Blues, and Avalanche all the time (not to mention the Ducks, Sharks, and Kings), and their 24 points has them third last in the conference.
Needless to say, they're not very thankful about this.
9. Winnipeg Jets
The Nets owner embarked on a major mission to overhaul and rebrand the organization a few years ago. They moved to the hip capital of the world, Brooklyn, got Jay-Z on board as a part-owner, spent a ton of money on a bunch of aging superstars (like Kevin Garnett), and then hired franchise legend Jason Kidd to be the head coach.
How is all that working out? Well, the Nets did make the playoffs last year. However, their new old players look old, Jay-Z has sold his share so he can become the next great sports agent, and the team is currently 3-10. So, um, it's not going well.
I guess it's a good thing Mikhail is Russian and (presumably) doesn't observe American Thanksgiving.
8. Mikhail Prokhorov
The Packers may not have been Super Bowl favorites this year, but with Aaron Rodgers at QB they were certainly favorites to win the NFC North. And once you're in the playoffs, you never know.
Well, that all went to crap when Aaron Rodgers broke his collarbone a few weeks ago. Now, on any given night, a sports bar in central Wisconsin is just about the most depressing place in America. And what's worse, the Packers actually have to play another Aaron Rodgers-less game against the Lions on Thanksgiving.
Talk about rubbing it in.
7. Packers Fans
Lindsey Vonn has already accomplished a lot in her career—Olympic gold, World Cup championships, fame, fortune—but I imagine she's still pretty bummed out about re-injuring the same knee that she blew out last winter. It hasn't ended her season (and chances of more Olympic gold in Sochi), but it has made those things a long shot.
But hey, at least she's got Tiger Woods (and his private jet) to comfort her, right?
6. Lindsey Vonn
It's bad enough having the kind of terrible year Matt Schaub is having in Houston and losing his job as starter and designation as the "franchise quarterback." But having the home fans boo you when you get injured or even warm up on the sidelines? Yeah, that's going to take an emotional toll.
I suspect the only turkey Schaub is going to be enjoying this Thursday is of the Wild variety...if you know what I'm saying.
5. Matt Schaub
Sure, GSP "won" his fight against Johny Hendricks at UFC 167, retaining his welterweight title. So you might think he would be thankful. However with all the backlash this guy received—most notably from UFC president Dana White—maybe he would just rather the judges had given Hendricks the win. It's probably easy being the loser than the winner who didn't earn it, don't you think?
It's a good thing GSP is Canadian and he already celebrated Thanksgiving back in October.
4. Georges St-Pierre
Of course, if you think Georges St-Pierre is not feeling very thankful right now, imagine what it's like to be Johny Hendricks. Not only did he out-fight a UFC legend only to get stiffed by the judges, but, if the rumors are true that GSP might be retiring, he won't even get a shot at a rematch.
Thanks for nothing, everybody.
3. Johny Hendricks
Oh, poor Will Muschamp. When we proclaimed him one of the most overpaid coaches in college football earlier this month, we didn't know we were that right. After starting his third season with the Gators 4-1 with their only loss coming against a good-looking Miami, things were great. But then they lost to #10 LSU. Then they lost to #14 Missouri. And then Georgia, Vanderbilt, South Carolina, and—incredibly—Division I-AA Georgia Southern.
Now...well, now we have to imagine this guy is not anticipating being employed come December. So that's probably got him pretty down.
2. Will Muschamp
If you follow the NBA at all, you probably saw this one coming. Bulls superstar Derrick Rose missed all of last season after tearing the ACL in his left knee. That sucked, but the Bulls and their fans weathered the storm, got him back on the court this season, and were thinking about possible parade routes.
Now that's all gone. On Friday against Portland, Rose tore the meniscus in his right knee, and today it was officially announced that he's done for the year. Again.
Obviously, hardcore Bulls fans have lost their minds, so you have to feel for them, too. But really, Rose has it the worst. He's got another whole year of rehab to look forward to. Fun!
1. Derrick Rose
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