So much to be thankful for

#KickinWithKolby — Thoughts from a Native sports fan #Sportzball

Thanksgiving and the following holiday season is an interesting time, certainly different for everyone. It’s a time for reflection, a time to be spent with family and the ones you love most, and at least for Thanksgiving and Christmas, a time when sports take the national spotlight.

In this week’s #KickinWithKolby, I thought I’d share what I am most thankful for in (and occasionally out) of the sports world.

I am thankful for the tradition of NFL and NBA holiday games

Beyond their respective championship games, the Thanksgiving NFL and NBA Christmas day slate of games are the leagues marquee days of the year.

With all the craziness that occurs on the day, between cooking and little kids running around and Murphy’s Law, these games can provide a moment of zen before jumping backing into the hooplah of the day.

In addition to my joy for watching sports on the holidays…

I am thankful the Washington Racial Slurs aren’t playing this Thanksgiving

Look, Halloween and Thanksgiving can be a rough back-to-back holiday stretch for many Natives out there. So I’m very glad there is no worry about having to see fans dressed up in faux war bonnets and painted in red face during the Thanksgiving NFL games.

If there’s anyone reading this that participates in such buffoonery, please, just stop.

I am thankful for the Thanksgiving National Dog Show

I’ve gotten more into the Thanksgiving dog show as I’ve gotten older, what’s not to like about flipping between football and dogs during commercial breaks?

It also makes me miss my pupperinos back home, from my grandma’s ankle biters Mason and Max to my brother’s doggo Knox to the trio at my parent’s Meeko, Mookie and Pepper.

Dogs are just the best.

I am thankful for backyard football games

I haven’t played in a ‘Turkey Bowl’ in a long, long time. But thankfully, I have younger brothers, nephews and cousins that let me play all-time quarterback as they emulate their favorite NFL wide receivers.

Of course, it’s all fun and games until someone gets tackled too hard and gets upset, but it’s normally a blast until we reach that point.

I am thankful for fantasy football

The fantasy football season is winding down to a close and every year, it’s crazy how fast it flies by. It honestly feels like yesterday that I was at Georgetown Lake with some of my best friends for our annual draft weekend.

For what it’s worth, it’s been an up and down year, but ‘It’s Not Delivery, It’s Deshaun-o’ (my team) is in first place and clinched a first-round bye in the fantasy playoffs!

As I said in one of my first columns, if you’ve never played before, you should definitely give it a try. It changes the way you watch the game and gives you a reason to cheer for individuals outside of your favorite team.

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I am thankful for good cooks

Anyone that knows me knows I am not a very good cook. Luckily for me, I have been surrounded by and befriended a number of great cooks so I don’t have to.

So shout to all the Thanksgiving cooks who will be cheffin’ it up tomorrow, you are the real MVPs.

As one of the dad jokes my old man would always say, tomorrow I’m going to eat so much, “I’ll be so stuffed my eyes don’t feel real.”

I am thankful for the Indian Country Today team and our readers

I’m coming up on five months of being at Indian Country Today and I’ve loved every second of it. Our team is small, but mighty, and each and every person is amazing at what they do. It’s great to be surrounded by fellow Native journalists who share the same passion of telling our stories.

I mean, it’s hard to say if there is anywhere else where I’d be allowed to start a sports column from scratch. Indian Country Today is only getting started and it’s been a lot of fun to grow as a person and a writer alongside with it.

And of course, thank you, our readers! I hope you continue along this journey with us and we will certainly continue to do our best to give you the best content covering Indian Country and beyond.

Last, but certainly not least, I am thankful for those I love most

It would be very remiss of me to not mention my family, my partner, loved ones who have passed and my best friends. It can be tough at times to be thousands of miles away from home but I know this is where I am meant to be.

I have the best support system anyone could ask for and I want them to know I appreciate and love them very much; you know who you are.

That also leads me to an extra thankful note, modern technology. We’re all connected these days by the press of a button, so take some time this weekend to call your mom and dad. Call your grandparents and siblings.

They probably miss you just as much or more than you miss them.

Obviously, this is just a small glimpse of things I am thankful for, I could go on forever. So with all that being said, I want to wish you and yours a Happy Thanksgiving! I hope you have a super, awesome, wonderful, fantastic day!

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Kolby KickingWoman is a reporter/producer for Indian Country Today. He is Blackfeet/Gros Ventre from the great state of Montana and currently reports and lives in Washington, D.C. Follow him on Twitter - @KDKW_406. Email - kkickingwoman@indiancountrytoday.com

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