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• Sideline: Yes, Non–Conference Games DO Count
• NCAA Preview 2009
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• NFL Draft Analysis 2009 (Part 2)
• Sideline: NFL Draft Thoughts (Part 2)
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• Sideline: Manning and Sanchez
• Sideline: 2010 Leagues Sci–fi, or Fantasy? / March Madness
• Sideline: Break Out The Brackets
• Sideline: LaDainian Tomlinson On The Record
• Sideline: The Incredible Sulk Continues
• Sideline: Guildford Heat Fired Up
• Sideline: Super Bowl thoughts from the Valley of the Sun
• Sideline: I know I came in here for something
• Sideline: College Football National Signing Day
• Sideline: 27 Points — 27 Super Bowl thoughts
• Sideline: An Epic QB Matchup?
• Sideline: Appreciating Arizona for What They Were
• Sideline: NFL Divisional Weekend Preview
• Sideline: Bowl Season Hangover
• Sideline: Six weeks Later
• Sideline: Wildcard Weekend Preview
• Sideline: Santa's Sackings
• Sideline: A Weis Decision ...for Now
• Sideline: Eye on the Ticker
• Sideline: Lions — An Anagram of Losin
• Sideline: Ready for the Turkey
• Sideline: Making it to the Big Dance
• Sideline: Brighter Days Ahead for Chargers?
• Sideline: Unnecessary Hits To The Pocket / Upset: BYU
• Sideline: Romo's Pause / Seattle Seahawks
• Sideline: Weekend Prep: Red River and More
• Sideline: College Football's 'Crossroads' Weekend
• Sideline: Gramatical Error
• Sideline: Turning The Page
• Sideline: So Cal 'Quizzed
• Sideline: 3rd Tuesday Panic / Forté Yard Dash
• Sideline: Two and Oh; Oh and Two
• Sideline: No More NCAAffeine
• Sideline: Week 1 College Football
• Sideline: How To Spell Heisman / Chad Ocho Cinco
• Sideline: A Second Slice
• Sideline: The Favre story STILL won't go away
• Sideline: Olympic Notes / Ricky's Still Relevant
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• Sideline: Let the QB Battles Begin
• Sideline: Slinging The Slinger — More Favre
• Interview: Clint Dempsey
• Sideline: Welcome to the 2008 season
• Sideline: Plus One
• 2008 NFL Draft Review
• Sideline: Draft: The Morning After
• Sideline: Draft: Thinking the Unthinkable
• Sideline: Draft: Ready For The Long Haul
• Sideline: Sofa–bound Sport
• Sideline: Post–Winter Wonderland
• Sideline: Six Impossible Things
• Sideline: Brady's Misdirection Play
• Sideline: Colorful Language
• Sideline: Let the Romo–bashing begin
• Sideline: Bowl Bites: The Wrap
• Sideline: All About The Coaches
• Sideline: Bowl Bites 3
• Sideline: Bowl Bites 2
• Sideline: Bowl Bites 1
• Sideline: Coach Situations Vacant
• Sideline: For Some, The Playoffs Are Now
• Sideline: A Certain Lack Of Welcome
• Sideline: Unrelated Notes
• Sideline: Two Thanksgiving thoughts
• Sideline: Halftime: NFC
• Sideline: Halftime: AFC
• Sideline: London / A Tale of Two Chads / Intimidation
• Sideline: Damp Squib / Other London Notes
• Sideline: Rock 'Em, Sock 'Em / Dolphins – The Aftermath
• Sideline: The Dolphins Did What?
• Sideline: Notes on the Defenses
• Sideline: Habits to be Broken
• Sideline: Overtime
• Sideline: This Week's Starters
• Sideline: USF: Covering The Spread / Fantastic Football
• Sideline: Grossman: The Final Act? / McNabb, the Epilogue
• Sideline: Eagles QB in Slight Controversy
• Sideline: Leftwich's Parting Gift / Boos cruise
• Sideline: Notre Dame M.I.A.
• Sideline: Looking Beyond NFL Wk. 1
• Sideline: Best Hope For Heisman
• Sideline: Coaching Hot Seats / AP Poll Feeling ’Appy
• Sideline: The NFL’s Prime Cuts
• Sideline: Michigan Falls to Killer Apps
• Sideline: Look Out Couch / The Taint's On You, Bud

Observations, Opinion & Occasional Silliness by Richard L Gale

Two Thanksgiving thoughts
November 22, 2007

To fill the gap between press week for The American's print version and the next occasion when I get to write a full-length column, here's two Thanksgiving thoughts to tide you over.

1. Give thanks for thanksgiving football

Those that struggle to get a turkey meal on the table and arrange a family around it may be a little less enthusiastic about wall–to–wall sports, but here in the UK we are spoilt rotten for football this weekend:

Thursday: Green Bay v Detroit, NY Jets v Dallas, Indianapolis v Atlanta. Unlike in the US, where they're shared between Fox, CBS and the elusive NFL Network, you don't even have to change channel over here. If you're still awake at 1am, and you have access, you can ever switch over to the Pac-10 battle of USC v Arizona State.

Friday: College football all the way if you have NASN: Nebraska v Colorado (worth a laugh, as Bill Callahan does his Steve McLaren impression), Texas vs Texas A&M, and Boise State v Hawaii, as long as you've plenty of caffeine around to get you to the 2am kickoff ...thereafter, the sheer pace of score should be stimulating enough.

Saturday: Arkansas v LSU on replay starts the day off at 8.30am (perhaps not an hour compatible with any Hawaii hangover), before Chris, Kirk and Lee lead us into Virginia Tech v Virginia, UConn v West Virginia (a nice evening of football for your Virginians out there), while Setanta Ireland will be carrying Missouri v Kansas.

Sunday morning brings replays of Florida State v Florida and Alabama v Auburn on NASN (plus a rerun of Missouri v Kansas), and in the evening Sky includes coverage of Carolina v New Orleans, Chicago v Denver and New England v Philadelphia.

With a Monday morning as–live of Arkansas v LSU, and Pittsburgh v Miami on MNF, it's safe to say we have the best football TV coverage in the world right now.

2. Be thankful you don't have to be an England soccer fan.

Well, I thought it was hilarious. There's probably only so long that my fellow Englishmen are going to tolerate me before they ship me over the northern border, but I've always found the English attitude towards their soccer expectations just the tiniest, weeniest bit arrogant. It seems that England lives in a neverland where their soccer team is the greatest in the world (despite not winning a major tournament since 1966).

Well, here's a shock: turns out being English isn't enough to qualify. Seems some decent soccer needs to be played as well. Aside from the madness of changing your goalie just before the final crucial match (not that the USA would EVER do such a thing, of course), England just didn't look like a TEAM up and down the field. And afterwards? Discussion of broken dreams, images of distraught fans, and a call for an 'emergency meeting' the following morning (what's the emergency? it's not as if the national team has any imminent commitments).

And, of course, almost no mention of how well the opponents played, how driven they were toward winning what they didn't need to win, how focused they were, how effective they were on the break. Nope, can't credit the opponents with playing better football. (It couldn't have been better football – not English, you see).

I haven't laughed so hard since Alexi Lalas nutted that second ball into the back of England's net that evening in Foxboro.

Aaah ...I should have been a Scot.


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