Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

24 Nov 2016

Thanksgiving Proclamation: Hope, Healing, Unity, Acceptance ... and Football

Whenever possible, I try to assemble something special for Thanksgiving. Longtime readers know that our family celebrates not just Thanksgiving, but my oldest son's (and my) birthday. The holiday has always taken on a special significance to me, as I have always been a firm believer in our nation's civic spirit, a belief that has gotten rather rickety in the last few weeks.

Bleacher report gave me the opportunity to enlist some old friends (Lions QB turned depression counselor and activist Eric Hipple)and new to deliver this year's "proclamation." Happy Thanksgiving to everyone, and remember that today's the day we celebrate people of color rescuing undocumented refugee immigrants escaping religious oppression. Sometimes, the message is so obvious that it escapes us.

Posted by: Mike Tanier on 24 Nov 2016

3 comments, Last at 05 Dec 2016, 11:54am by at


by ammek :: Thu, 11/24/2016 - 11:36am

Thanks for that, Mike, and for thinking to post a link on here. One wouldn't necessarily expect retired footballers to go into social care and advocacy work, but there are a good few, and it's important to hear their voices, not least on this day, because so much football media centers around ideas of ruthlessness and the competitive spirit. There is more to playing on a team, to making a living, to being a man.

It's kind of hard to discuss your piece without breaking rule #1, but I would support your discreet argument that, in the face of a giant immovable force, it's tempting to want to respond using the same exorbitant scale. Yet because each of us is only little and powerless, too often that leads us to inflate our rhetoric and sharpen our teeth. We lose sight of the smaller, proximate ways we can give help and show support – in the same way that 2016-version Aaron Rodgers keeps looking for the mega-bomb to Jordy Nelson while ignoring his wide-open slot receiver in the flat. There's an allegory for the occasion.

As for Thanksgiving, I am a foreigner (and a herbivore) so I don't completely get it. As such, I worry I'm not entering into the spirit by stating how much I hate pop-ups and other autoplay crap on Bleacher Report, while hoping that the site is paying you handsomely for your continually original and entertaining work.

Happy birthday(s)!

by GoDog :: Thu, 11/24/2016 - 5:51pm

Wow, Mike. Just wow. I'm thankful for having fine writers stepping out of the narrow framework of their normal writings and challenge us with something richer than the finer points of a game we passionately follow. Anybody that says "shut up and just talk about football" deserves the shallow existence they are probably living. Life is too important to shut out everything except the pleasure points. This article deserves a wide distribution and I'm promoting it as much as possible.

by at :: Mon, 12/05/2016 - 11:54am

That whole diversity thing worked out well for the indians, didn't it? Sometimes the lessons of history are so obvious they're only missed by brainwashed fools.