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Publisher's Pen

Giving thanks for the NFL and more

About the Author

Hub Arkush
Publisher and editor

Recent posts by Hub Arkush

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Posted Nov. 21, 2011 @ 6:43 p.m. ET
By Hub Arkush

Thanksgiving is here once again, and Armageddon is at hand for the NBA, and there are warning signs the NHL may be headed back to the valley of CBA hell for the second time in a decade. Yet, all of us who love the NFL will give thanks this Turkey Day that the fall and winter of our discontent was avoided, our game is now promised for at least the next decade, and our turkey will go down smoothly this Thursday with a triple dose of the world's greatest game.

We are also eternally grateful that although both the Packers and Lions may have stumbled and bumbled, both avoided the traps set for them on their home fields on the Sunday before Thanksgiving and will kick off this year's Thanksgiving feast with the first meaningful game played in Detroit on the holiday in well over a decade.

Certainly everyone who loves the NFL is exceptionally appreciative of having been able to watch Aaron Rodgers play the game this year at a level rarely, if ever, seen before, and our heartfelt thanks go out to Calvin Johnson, Wes Welker, Jimmy Graham, Shady McCoy, Fred Jackson, DeMarcus Ware, Von Miller, Haloti Ngata and others who've offered performances more like art forms than fistfights through the first 11 weeks of this season.

I, for one, am eternally grateful there is no way I can be asked to watch the Jets and Broncos or Browns and Jaguars play each other again until at least next year, and preferably not for a number of years after that.

If you all will allow me another personal note, I am really pleased there is no way Phil Simms can comment on more than one game on Thanksgiving Day and that the Monday-night duo of Jaworski and Gruden won't be working at all. These three were all extremely accomplished players or coaches — and I hate to go negative on such a joyous day — but when will the folks who give out these jobs finally learn that talent on the field has nothing to do with talent in the broadcast booth.

Now here's a tough one. How grateful are you for Tim Tebow? If you work in all-sports radio, he has to be the next-best thing for you to winning the lottery. And if you go to work on Sunday in a chapel, ministry or church — or you work in politics and go to work any day for the conservative right — I'm sure you're pretty pleased too. On the other hand, if you're a football purist or just anyone who enjoys good quarterback play, you're probably not very happy right now.

I am extremely grateful for Tim Tebow because he appears to be an exceptionally fine young man, but I am also very disturbed by the way he is being taken advantage of by the segment of his legion of fans that either knows nothing about football or celebrates his presence in the lineup only because of what he represents off the field.

The wins and losses at the moment are meaningless. It looks to me as though, with patience and the right teaching, Tebow just might be able to learn the footwork, mechanics and arm slots to someday play the position at an NFL level. But leaving him out there now and encouraging all that he is doing so wrong seems almost certain to hinder his development more than it could ever help, and it leaves me feeling bad for both Tebow and Broncos fans.

Most of all this Thanksgiving, on behalf of all of us here at Pro Football Weekly, we'd like to give thanks for all of you who continue to read, watch and listen to Pro Football Weekly, and I'd like to express my thanks to the incredible staff of employees and friends I've been blessed with here at PFW. We'd also like to thank the players and coaches of the National Football League. They may be extremely well-compensated both financially and emotionally for all they give us every Sunday, but their careers are extremely short and fragile, the players work at the risk of great physical harm, and so many, like Tebow, do so much to enrich our lives in so many ways even beyond the playing field that we cannot thank them enough.

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