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How can you not love this?  I'm thankful we have the best stadium on earth.
How can you not love this? I'm thankful we have the best stadium on earth.

It's Thanksgiving, and we Tiger fans have much to be thankful for.  Before we indulge in the annual ritual in which we ingest our own body weight in food, and then pass in front of the TV watching truly terrible football games, I wanted to take this moment to say thank you to some people. 

Thank you to Les Miles.  OK, I don't think Les reads ATVS, but if someone who does knows him, please pass along the message.  Les' teams win, they play hard, they play with emotion, they represent the school in the best possible way, and most of all, they are entertaining.  Les Miles' tenure has brought the most exciting football seasons of my lifetime.  Every game is adventure and football is, well, fun.  The way it's supposed to be.

Thanks to all of the seniors.  This class has been through a lot, and they've been the first group to survive four to five yer of the Les Miles era.  You are stronger people for it, especially your hearts.  I can't imagine a Tiger senior ever feeling pressure in the "real world".  Thanks to the Cookie Monster, we'll leave you a plate of cookies.  Thanks to Absolute Zero, you've been a tremendous leader.  Thanks to Jasper, even though we never got around to giving you a nickname, you are still the greatest kicker in LSU history. 

Thanks to every opposing punter who ever kicked to Patrick Peterson.  It gave us all the chance to kneel before Zod.  Peterson is likely off to the NFL, where he'll make millions upon millions of dollars, and we would never begrudge a player that chance.  He'll wear another uniform, but he will always be a Tiger.  Thank you for three spectacular years. 

Thanks to the trainers, team managers, and all of the support personnel involved with the team.  These are the people who work long, thankless hours to keep LSU football going.  And not just the on-field personnel, but the less glamorous jobs like cleaning Tiger Stadium after the fans trash it every week, selling tickets, and everyone in the administrative buildings.  They'll never have a moment in the spotlight, but we do appreciate all that you do for LSU.  You are true Tigers.

Thank you to James Stampley.  No, he's not our best player, not by a wide margin.  But he's an inspiration to me.  Stampley was a walk-on two years ago with little chance of ever seeing a scholarship or making it to the field.  When the need for a fullback arose, he stepped up and filled it.  He doesn't just have a scholarship, he's a starter.  This was simply unimaginable when he first stepped foot on campus, and it is a testament to his hard work and commitment.  I have nothing but the utmost respect for that.

Thank you to both quarterbacks.  Speaking of guys who have demonstrated hard work and commitment.  Jefferwswag and Lee have both been hailed as saviors and denounced as worthless.  Several times.  They have both endured criticism that would make most of us pack up and quit.  Both of them have kept working and while the road has been rocky, both of them have contributed to a team that has won at least 10 games this year. 

Hell, thanks to every player.  LSU football is a religion, so enjoy your four to five years as the high priests.

Thank you to the assorted media, who has spent all year telling us how LSU isn't that good or how our wins don't count.  This year wouldn't be as special without your constant negativity.  Regardless of how these last two games go, the 2010 team will be one of my absolute favorite LSU teams.  This team was picked fourth in the SEC West, and now they are on the verge of a BCS Bowl and still are in the national title conversation (it's not likely, but neither was 2007).  Every week LSU wins, and every week we endure an avalanche of article on why that win wasn't impressive enough.  Nothing rallies a team or a fanbase like a siege mentality.  Without the skeptics, this team would have had no one to prove wrong. 

But most of all, thank you.  Yeah, you.  I'm humbled and a little amazed that we have so many loyal readers, and that the size of the ATVS community keeps growing.  Thank you for constantly keeping me honest and calling BS when I go too far.  Thank you for the debates we constantly have in the comments.  Thank you for the running jokes, and laughing at mine.  We have a smart and sharp-witted community here, and I'm constantly checking the comments to see what y'all will say next.  The articles are my chance to stand on a soapbox, but the fun of this site is when my ranting ends and our dialogue begins.  We simply have the best commenters on the web.  Thanks to Richard for initially giving me the chance to write here, and to PodKatt for keeping me on.  But mostly, thanks to you for reading.  I cannot tell you how much I appreciate it.

Now, let's go eat some turkey.