things like good health, having family that loves us, and the right of every American to turn on a television each morning and see just how much makeup Katie Couric has caked on that day.
And of course Thanksgiving is also the time of the year when your old Pal Tino gets all mushy and runny like Queen of the Palace's scrambled eggs and releases the annual list of Things I Am Thankful For. So without further ... oh forget it, here's the list:
I can't believe I am thankful for anything having to do with the despised, cheating Chicago Fire, but I am indeed thankful for the groundbreaking ceremony that will take place next week on their new stadium in Bridgeview. Even bad teams need good soccer stadiums, so good for them.
I am thankful for the amount of MLS coverage we are getting on the tube these days. From Fox Sports World to ESPNews to live streams on this website, there ain't much I have to miss -- despite keeping the Palace Posterior on the Palace Couch more often than not. On that note, I am thankful for elastic waistbands.
I am thankful for long check-out lines at the grocery store this time of year -- giving me ample time to page through the sheer literary brilliance that are magazines like Us Weekly and In Touch. C'mon, you know you look, too.
I am thankful that not all sports writers and broadcasters are as blatantly stupid as the ones that feel the need to bring up English soccer fans when writing about the NBA's humiliating weekend. Speaking of, credit to David Stern, although TCS would've frankly made the suspensions longer and punished the Pistons with at least the loss of a home game or having to play a game in front of an empty gym.
I am thankful for Dave Checketts offering me an all expenses-paid first-class trip to the Real Salt Lake home opener next year. I will also be thankful to whoever informs Checketts he has done this.
I am thankful that today on Planet LA it dropped below 60 degrees and I felt the need to get bundled up like a Green Bay Packers fan heading to Lambeau Field for one of the only eight days of the year where anything remotely interesting happens in the state of Wisconsin.
I am thankful that I am still optimistic that Jorge Vergara will be known as the Mark Cuban or George Steinbrenner of MLS, and how much fun that will be for all of us who don't have to try and reign him in from time to time.
I am thankful for true stories like the fact that Ricky Williams has enrolled in a school for holistic medicine ... in a city called Grass Valley, California. C'mon, someone had to have made that city up.
I am thankful that MLS has a general manager in Metro's Nick Sakiewicz who, for better or for worse, tells it like it is. I'm not sure killing your goalkeeper like he did is necessarily the best idea, but it sure makes for fun water cooler talk. Then again, he was able to leave a national team goalkeeper unprotected and not lose him, so maybe he knew exactly what he was doing.
I am thankful that in this world you can still get a free vacation if you look for it (see Howey, Steve).
I am thankful for traditional soccer names like FC Dallas and ReAL Salt Lake, but not so much for silly capitalizations within traditional soccer names. Just keep it Real, guys.
I am thankful that in 2005 I expect my reborn FC Dallas to crank out wins like Russia cranks out hot female tennis players.
I am thankful that people are starting to talk about the drop off of foreign flair in MLS these days relative to the past, and how that is something that hopefully might start to swing back a bit.
I am thankful I am not Greg Lalas, who when he heard about the upcoming release of "Ocean's Twelve" got all wound up because he thought it was a CD of Billy Ocean's greatest hits.
I am thankful for things that make you laugh out loud when you think of how much they cost -- things like a tank of gasoline for your car, getting married, and Sergio Galvan Rey.
I am thankful for American Woodworker magazine and the Discovery Wings television network, because I think in the past few weeks those are the only two media outlets in which I have not seen the band U2.
I am thankful for what MLS and Landon Donovan got out of each other, but still wonder how much more they both would have gotten (especially off the field) had he been on Planet LA the entire time.
I am thankful that I made it through this entire column without one comment about Bill Clinton's new library, because you know it's killing me not to.
Happy Turkey Day, kids ... be safe and enjoy.
The Clean Sheet runs each Thursday on MLSnet. Views and opinions expressed in this column views and opinions are the author's, and not necessarily those of Major League Soccer or MLSnet.com. Send any questions and comments to firstname.lastname@example.org