Looking hard for good things as a hard year ends


As people like to say, time flies — especially for some of us.

The past eight months have obviously dragged along with the COVID-19 pandemic, but Thanksgiving is here and it’s time for all of us to think about why we are thankful.

I am thankful 2020 is about to end. It has been a bad year, but hopefully 2021 will bring us back to some sense of those normal days when we didn’t have to worry about going out, meeting with people and going to games with more than a handful of people in attendance.

I am thankful for family and friends, who are always there to offer comfort, support and to be a person who will listen. And also I am grateful for the little things that are often taken for granted. I could enumerate a lot of them, but high on the list are hugs.

And there is a huge reason now to acknowledge those little things during the current pandemic.

The last eight months have been frustrating, and I am wishing for the return of normalcy and would be thankful to see that back even in an abbreviated form.

In sports, I’m happy and thankful for the return of some sports with the shortened seasons and different formats. It took a lot of courage to play in the unusual seasons.

I am also grateful for concussion protocols, which were long overdue. There is no more shaking it off and returning to action after an athlete identifies the number of fingers shown to him or her.

That’s the way it used to be and the long-term repercussions were overlooked. However, I would also look forward for officials and those in charge of rules to keep in mind the intent of the rules. Sometimes it seems like football and other sports are not the same because of the safety rules.

Comebacks are great and another thing to be grateful for — especially when the team you are rooting for is the one making the comeback. And game-ending baskets, touchdowns, field goals, home runs, goals and saves to win a game will always remembered.

Instant replays are neat. I confess there have been many times when I have been wrong about the outcome of a play until I watch it on replay.

And a good, close overtime game is another item in sports that I applaud. And once again, it depends on if the team you favor is the one that wins. College football overtime games should be the blueprint, but if the NFL used the same format, I admit there would probably be four-overtime contests.

Upsets are yet another thing that gets sports fans excited.

It’s good some high school sports were played, and are being played, this fall. I will be thankful if the winter sports season gets started, with COVID-19 cases showing a major decline.

Jim Benton is a sports writer for Colorado Community Media. He has been covering sports in the Denver area since 1968. He can be reached at jbenton@coloradocommunitymedia.com or at 303-566-4083.

Jim Benton


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