Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday of the year. The food, the family, the friends, the beer and the relaxation. Give me Thanksgiving over Christmas, Easter, Flag Day or Labor Day any day. I am looking forward to this Thursday getting together with family and friends and doing a whole lot of nothing. But as we get ready to chow down, I am also reflective on some of the good things that are going down in Commerce City and with Colorado Rapids in general.
So what am I thankful for this year (from a football perspective of course):
- Young Talent--A major postseason ward was won this year by Colorado Rapids. Dillon Powers captured the first Rookie of the Year Award the the Rapids. EVER. And to top it all off, the player in second place was Deshorn Brown. Along with Powers and Brown, there is Chris Klute, Clint Irwin and Shane O'Neill. Not too shabby for a team that was completely rebuilt from an MLS Cup winning squad that brought home silverware just three years ago.
- The Rapids schedule is out--The schedule makers for Major League Soccer usually give supporters a Valentine's Day gift with producing a schedule that drops about a month before the season kicks off. This year for Rapids fans we are especially thankful to have a schedule out before the turkey is roasted. We can now plan our trips to Salt Lake, Seattle and Portland. And we found that we end the year with another trip to British Columbia. As Chris pointed out earlier this week, the start of the schedule is a tough one, but for a young and talented team I would prefer a tough start to test yourself rather than a cupcake run of games.
- National Recognition--The Rapids have always been the Burgundy-Headed Step Child of MLS and have been ignored by media, both nationally and locally. But it was great to see Irwin hosting a MLS pre-game show and give his "Anatomy of a Save" for his stellar work against Houston Dynamo. (However, I would have been more thankful if he would have had a better sweater.) This kind of exposure can only help the Rapids in the future.
- Hope--I am most thankful though for the hope that this team has brought. Although the 2013 season ended harshly, what was accomplished this year was incredible. From the wins, points, saves, goals, comebacks, and effort--this team brought hope to a franchise and a supporter base that needed it. This hope has translated into extreme optimism for 2014.
Have a happy and wonderful Thanksgiving Holiday.