Fans can be thankful for ...

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. It's a day full of family, food and football (put them in any order you want), what could be better than that? In honor of Thanksgiving, I have made a list of some of the things that Packer fans have to be thankful for this year.<p>

I am thankful that the Packers did not give up when they were 1-4. This shows the character of the team. Vince Lombardi once said, "It's not whether you get knocked down; it's whether you get back up." The Packers got back up and are now tied for first in the NFC North. There's still a lot of season left and the Packers have a good chance to win their third straight NFC North title, but it should be entertaining regardless of the outcome.

I am thankful that the Packers play in the greatest stadium in the NFL. Lambeau Field is a unique place to watch pro football with a storied history, great sight lines and a special atmosphere. John Madden called Lambeau a "shrine to pro football." He's right. There is no place in the NFL quite like Lambeau Field. And now that it's been remodeled, it's here for the long haul.

I am thankful for Brett Favre and for the simple joy of watching him play quarterback over the past 13 seasons. His talent, courage and durability are wonderful to watch, but the best part about Brett Favre is the simple joy he has for the game. Football is supposed to be fun and when you see Brett Favre having fun on the field, you enjoy the game that much more. Plus with Brett in the huddle, you feel like your team always has a chance. He may play the rest of this year, he may play five more years, but when he's gone, I'll miss him. I want to enjoy the moment, so I'm thankful for Brett.

I am thankful for the Packers offensive line. Offensive linemen are all guts and almost no glory yet the Green Bay offensive line is something special. Why has Brett Favre started 199 consecutive games? A large part of it is that he spends less time on his back than almost any quarterback in the league. It's a joy to watch a unit like the Packers offensive line play so well together for so long, something we don't get to see much in the modern NFL.

I'm thankful for players like Grady Jackson and Antonio Chatman who remind us that athletes come in all shapes and sizes.

I am thankful for the Packers' glorious history...12 World Championships, the most of any NFL franchise...and for names like Lambeau, Blood, Hutson, Canadeo, Starr, Lombardi, Davis, Nitschke, Hornung, Taylor, Adderley, Brockington, Carr, Lofton, Coffman, Dickey, Sharpe, Favre, McCarren, Green, White, Butler and Sharper (to name a few).

I am thankful for NFL Sunday Ticket so I can watch the Packers in my own home every week or any other NFL game for that matter. Isn't technology great?

I am thankful for tailgating and all the brave souls who stand out in the cold and eat and drink to their heart's content. The smell of brats, onions, steaks and beer as you walk across the parking lots at Lambeau Field an hour or two before (and after) game time is enough to get anyone psyched for football.

I am thankful that Packer football is still played in the snow, the rain, the wind and the mud. Have the Vikings been the same since they went indoors? The Lions? Football was meant to be played in the elements, not in somebody's living room…And the tundra will soon be frozen… I am also thankful that more teams are returning to natural grass surfaces instead of playing on artificial turf. It cuts down on player injuries and a football game just doesn't look right if the players don't have some grass and dirt stains on their uniforms.

I am thankful for the Bears, the Vikings and the Lions. Sure, I don't like these teams, but rivalries make the game more fun (especially when the Packers win). What's better than beating the Vikings, Lions or Bears? What's more gut wrenching than losing to them? Bring it on in the black and blue division.

I am thankful that the Packers are owned by the fans and not by some egomaniac meddler like Jerry Jones or Daniel Snyder who put their individual team before the sport itself or who thinks they know more about coaching than their coaches and more about personnel decisions than their GM's.

And I am thankful to spend another Thanksgiving Day with my family, food and football and for my good health. Enjoy the day and Happy Thanksgiving to all.


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