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
2. Creative College Students
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.
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.
On the archive SI cover photo: "I spent the whole day taking pictures around Boston, then he calls me and says 'I have to do it again.'"— Celtics on NBCSB (@NBCSCeltics) November 30, 2013