Column: What I’m thankful for

In this Nov. 15, 2015, file photo, New England Patriots' Rob Gronkowski (87) scores a touchdown in front of New York Giants' Jayron Hosley (28) during the second half of an NFL football game in East Rutherford, N.J. (Julio Cortez/AP)

Since my column did not run last week due to the holiday break, I figured I’d use my space this time around to take a moment to say thank you to the things that deserve it.

First and foremost, I’m most thankful for the pitching staff of the New York Mets. For the foreseeable future, I get to flip on SNY and see a stable of young arms that throw 95+ M.P.H.’ Matt Harvey, Jacob de Grom, Noah Syndergaard, Steven Matz and Zack Wheeler. These players all have the potential to make the Mets a perennial World Series contender, which is a phrase I never expected in my lifetime.

Not only do they dominate, they’re cocky, exciting and have personality. We have the Dark Knight, Thor, the best hair in baseball and a local kid from Long Island. What a group.

NBA League Pass

Easily the best investment I make every year. The NBA is truly the league of the internet generation. Scroll through Twitter on a random Wednesday and you’ll see your whole timeline melting down over Steph Curry making some poor sap look like a fool or Anthony Davis’ latest soul crushing dunk or another abysmal Kobe Bryant pull-up jumper.

When I see these alerts, I’ll fire up League Pass, and follow along live. Being able to jump in and out of every game that night is a privilege that I relish every night. The real kicker comes the next day when League Pass uploads a condensed version of the game, so when I’m drifting in class, I’m really just watching last night’s Kings-Suns game. League Pass is a must have for any true hoops fan.

College crowds

I’ve been to NBA games at Madison Square Garden, NHL games at TD Garden in Boston, baseball games at Fenway, Citi and Yankee Stadium, and have seen the Giants in the Meadowlands. Well, there’s no comparison. College crowds blow pro crowds out of the water. Even here at little Gampel Pavilion. The UConn faithful rock the 25-year-old building and get louder than any NBA crowd I’ve been a part of.

This past week, I was visiting Ohio State and saw the Buckeyes lose to Michigan State in the Horseshoe. And let me tell you, that was one of the most electric environments I’ve ever experienced. It was announced as the largest attendance in school history. Even in a driving rainstorm, the student section was loud and involved. From the pre-game parties to the tailgate to the sight of the Michigan State kicker drilling a game winner as time expired, that whole day is something I’ll never forget. It was a uniquely “college” event.

Gronk

Simply the greatest and most dominant tight end football has ever seen. No one enjoys anything as much as Rob Gronkowski enjoys spiking a football post touchdown.

Fan interaction

We’re lucky to live in a generation that gives us such great access. Fans have access to their favorite players via social media, readers can connect with their favorite bloggers or beat writers. That connectedness, to me, has improved the quality of life of a sports fan. Being able to get up to the second information and feedback is an invaluable tool for modern fandom.

Of course, this is only a snippet. I could rant and rave for thousands of words about things I’m thankful for. Hopefully, everyone had a nice Thanksgiving. We’ll get back to more hot takes and fun arguments that usually inhabit this space next week.


Elan-Paolo DeCarlo is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at elan-paolo.decarlo@uconn.edu. He tweets @ElanDeCarlo.