So much to be thankful for now

By on November 25, 2021 0


By: Wally Hall

Publication: Thursday, November 25, 2021

Today is one of my favorite days of the year, probably after Christmas, only Thanksgiving doesn’t have the pressure of gifts.

It’s about family, friends, and food. A lot of food.

We started cooking and getting ready at noon on Wednesday, and we will continue this morning, then we will take about 30 minutes to eat and the cleanup will take forever.

Still, now’s the time to reflect on all the good things in your life, and every year I write a column about something that’s not just athletic.

However, there is much to be thankful for in the world of sweat arts.

This sporting part is none of my concern, although it’s a lot more fun covering a state winner and for fans of the Arkansas Razorbacks.

• Such as Hunter Yurachek, Jon Fagg and Steve Cox taking the time and effort to interview multiple candidates before hiring Sam Pittman.

It would have been easy to call a powerful sports agent like Jimmy Sexton and ask him who he had. That’s how the Arkansas Razorbacks got Chad Morris, and they weren’t going down that route anymore. When the four came face to face, it took about an hour to close the deal.

No one wanted to be Arkansas head coach more than Pittman.

• Yurachek was just as careful before hiring Eric Musselman. Without a doubt, Yurachek wanted Kelvin Sampson. It was natural. They had a relationship with the University of Houston and Sampson is a great coach. When it became clear that he wouldn’t be coming, Yurachek made a list and went through it until he met Musselman and his family.

Deal concluded.

• I am grateful that the AU will now play against national teams. Hopefully the Arkansas State football game will be at War Memorial Stadium.

• I am grateful that the state of Arkansas is full of great schools, not only for sports, but also for education and for making our state a better place.

• I am grateful that the focus is on health in our state which includes hundreds of miles of biking, walking and running trails from Fayetteville to Little Rock. They are free to use and pay big dividends.

• I am grateful for all of our beautiful state parks. People come from across the country to stay in these parks and enjoy our natural resources.

• It should be obvious, but I am grateful to live in this wonderful state. It might not be perfect, but it’s closer than the rest.

• I am grateful for my family. Today my daughter Whitney and Katie will be with us with Monica’s parents and stepson Patrick. They won’t ask, but they will wonder why I bought a 22 pound turkey.

• Our second Thanksgiving will be Sunday when my extended family reunites for the first time since before covid-19. My mom and sister both went to heaven, but they are smiling at us.

• I am grateful for my church, Pinnacle Church of Christ, and its great pastors, Chuck Monan and John Philips, and our leadership as we prepare for the future.

• I am grateful for the handful of true friends I have who are sports fans but who rarely discuss it with me at our weekly meetings.

• I am grateful to have the chance to work for one of the biggest newspapers in this country. We have changed with the times and with technology without sacrificing any ethics. It is excellent management.

• I am grateful to the sports staff at the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. In my opinion, this is the hardest working group of people in the whole country.

• I have a lot more things I’m grateful for, but there just isn’t room to list them all, but I wish I could.