Wednesday November 26th, 2014

Since it's Thanksgiving, I'm going to stray from the usual Hot Clicks format and present 10 Things I'm Thankful For this holiday season. Please eat heavily and drive safely. 


1. Minor League Theme Nights and The Accompanying Jerseys

The owners of minor league sports teams have a tough job attracting fans to see mostly anonymous athletes. The solution: theme nights. And judging by some of the themes from this past year, anything is fair game. Among my favorites were 'Win a Used Car Night' (Rock Round Express), 'Speed-Dating Night' (Albuquerque Isotopes​) and 'Peanut Allergy Awareness Night' (Louisville Bats). Some theme nights even incorporate a custom jersey, and those are among the best ones, too.

Bakersfield Condors, Gettysburg Address Jerseys

Durham Bulls, Star Wars Night

 
Fresno Grizzlies, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Night
 


2. Creative College Students

Whether dressing up for games, making cheesy tribute videos or creating funny signs, college students bring a level of fun and levity not often seen in pro sports.
 

Missouri fans :: Icon Sportswire

Ole Miss fans :: Jason Parkhurst/SI



All About That State, Mississippi State



 

Harvard-Yale Trash Talk

 

3. Taiwanese Animation

To be honest, I'm not sure when this started or if the animators are actually Taiwanese. But any time something interesting or noteworthy happens in the world of sports, there is a Taiwanese animation video not far behind. The group TomoNews are behind all these and they are not just contained to sports. Here are a few of my favorites.

NFL bans goalpost dunk celebration

Kevin Love traded to Cavs

Luis Suarez bites opponent during World Cup


4. On-Field Microphones

I love announcers as much as the next guy (see Jeff Van Gundy item below) but being able to hear the actual sounds of the game gives viewers a whole different perspective. 

Tom Brady vs. Peyton Manning

Kevin Durant and DeAndre Jordan

NHL Trash Talk Compilation

Home Plate umpire Hunter Wendelstedt at World Series


5. Christina Applegate (and other Throwback LLODs)

Although most visit Hot Clicks for my clever writing and funny anecdotes, some actually come just to look at the Lovely Ladies of the Day. Every Thursday afternoon, I pay tribute to a hottie from my youth with a Throwback LLOD. This is my favorite item of the week and what receives the most feedback from you. Here's a quick tribute to some babes from yesteryear.

Christina Applegate

Tiffani Thiessen

Nicole Eggert and Pam Anderson

Alyssa Milano

 

6. Lane Stewart Photos

Sports Illustrated has employed dozens of talented photographers over the years. Some of my favorites include Manny Millan, Walter Iooss, Neil Leifer and V.J. Lovero. But Lane Stewart, who mostly shot in the late '70s, has a special place in my heart. 

Julius and Turquoise Erving :: Lane Stewart

Jim Kelly :: Lane Stewart

Larry Bird :: Lane Stewart

Mario Lemieux :: Lane Stewart/SI

Magic Johnson :: Lane Stewart


7. Jeff Van Gundy

Sports broadcasting is a tough gig. Everyone is a critic and few are good enough to receive universal praise. But I barely, if ever, hear a bad word about Jeff Van Gundy, who's been calling NBA games for ESPN/ABC since 2007. And he's not afraid to rant.

Anti-flopping rant

Technical foul rant

NBA All-Star rules rant

Just because...


8. Twitter Interactions With Athletes

In addition to writing Hot Clicks, I manage the SI Vault Twitter account and comb through our photo archives every day mining for gold. There is no better feeling than posting a great old photo and having the actual athlete in the photo respond (even an angry Gary Payton). 


9. College Marching Bands

Once upon a time, being in a marching band was considered lame and made you the punchline of many jokes. Those days are long gone, thanks to some creativity and a lot of talent. Ohio State especially deserves props for all of its great halftime shows. 

Ohio State's Michael Jackson tribute

Washington's KISS tribute

Ohio State's video game tribute


10. Rob the Original

I didn't even know someone's hair could be a work of art until the past few months, when Rob the Original's work started showing up everywhere. If you're not familiar with his work, check out Rob's Instagram feed. Here are my favorites.
 
LeBron James
 

Oldschool picture! #themajestic #robtheoriginal #Lebron

A photo posted by Rob Ferrel (@robtheoriginal) on

Mike Trout
 

A photo posted by Rob Ferrel (@robtheoriginal) on

Bret "Hitman" Hart
 

Throwback! Bret the Hitman Hart. #wwf #wrestling #legend #portrait #gifted #hair #artist #robtheoriginal

A photo posted by Rob Ferrel (@robtheoriginal) on

Walter White
 

My name is Heisenberg! #Heisenberg #breakingBad #themajestic #robtheoriginal

A photo posted by Rob Ferrel (@robtheoriginal) on

 

Click here for previous versions of Hot Clicks and here to stay abreast of the latest breaking news with our video team.

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