What are you thankful for?

In 2020, that’s a loaded question. For a lot of people, blessings are at an all-time low, and scaled-back Thanksgiving celebrations are only going to magnify what we don’t have as the holiday season gets started.

That’s why it’s more important than ever to take stock in what we do have. Little things we often take for granted have a bigger place in our lives right now. Health, employment, and family are all things we should be thankful for this year.

Forward Adam Buksa and the New England Revolution are coming off a playoff victory over Montreal on Friday, and will provide another distraction for sports fans on Tuesday night when they play Philadelphia.  Associated Press/Stew Milne

For many of us, sports has a place on that list. The games we are watching this year are very different than what we are used to. But there are games. And for that we should be thankful.

Even when the games don’t go the way we want. And let’s face it: sports in Boston have gone downhill since the World as We Knew It shut down in March.

You know the story: The Red Sox had their worst season in 55 years. The Bruins took a second-round exit after winning the President’s Trophy as the NHL’s best team in the regular season.  The Celtics pushed their way to the conference finals … only to be beaten by a lower seed.

The Patriots? They’ve fallen so far we got excited over back-to-back wins. Think about that for a moment. New England’s longest winning streak of the season is two. And over those 14 days we bought into the notion that this team could make a run for the playoffs.

They’d need to finish out 4-2 just to avoid their first losing season in 20 years. Has this team given you any indication that it could possibly win two-thirds of its remaining games?

The four teams have a combined 49-60 record (including playoffs) since the beginning of the pandemic. Not what we’re used to in the City of Champions.

And you know what? I couldn’t be more thankful. Sure, I’d love to see them play better. Winning is always more fun than losing.

But losing is more fun than not playing. Watching the scoreboard is more fun than watching the number of coronavirus cases go up across the country. Teams, even when they lose, are the perfect diversion for our times.

Besides, you can always take a moment and be thankful you’re not a New York Jets fan.

On Sunday I yelled at my TV screen as Cam Newton and the Patriots abandoned a seemingly effective running game for a passing game that went nowhere. You may have been yelling the same things. Wasn’t it glorious? We were getting fired up about a football game!

And there will be more football on Thanksgiving Day. We’ll be able to sit and doze and watch the Lions lose, just like we always do. Even if we’re doing it with fewer relatives sitting around the house with us.

Listen, we all want our teams to fight for championships. But if there’s something I’ve learned over the past eight months it’s that sitting on the edge of your seat during a game might just be enough. At least this year, when any sign of normalcy is welcome.

If you’re looking for a winner you can always turn to soccer. The New England Revolution beat Montreal on Friday night when Gustavo Bou scored the winner in the 95th minute at Gillette Stadium. It was the Revs’ first playoff win since 1994.

Bruce Arena’s team will face Philadelphia on Tuesday night. The Union had the best regular-season record in Major League Soccer and are the heavy favorite. It should be a great night, win or lose.

Either way, I’ll be thankful to have a game to watch. Hope you are, too.

Tom Caron is a studio host for Red Sox broadcasts on NESN. His column runs on Tuesdays in the Portland Press Herald.


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