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Thanksgiving is yours truly's second favorite holiday, behind only Christmas.

Today we have the three F's. In order that is family, food and football. My daughter Whitney, mom, sisters, Monica and Patrick will have lunch at my house. In the evening, we will all meet at my niece's and her husband's house, and my 94-year-old mom will be surrounded by all of her children, grandchildren and precious great-grandchildren.

Today is a day to reflect on what you are thankful for, and this scribe is deeply thankful for family and friends.

A few sports-related things, since this is a sports column, that I'm thankful for are:

• There's probably no way on God's great earth that Houston Nutt will be the athletic director and Gus Malzahn the head football coach at the same time. They remind me of something Nolan Richardson was fond of saying: "I may have forgiven but I haven't forgotten."

One or the other may work, but not together.

• That University of Arkansas, Fayetteville Chancellor Joe Steinmetz announced the advisory committee for a new athletic director. The Razorbacks Nation needed to see some progress. Interim Athletic Director Julie Cromer Peoples consulted with Steinmetz, but as a candidate for the job she will not serve on the committee.

Not sure how much experience the chancellor has with finding an athletic director, but he doesn't have to do it all by himself. He found some pretty good people to assist, and Bill Montgomery has a strong background in football.

• That there are so many qualified people who are interested in being the athletic director -- most of whom were listed in this space Tuesday -- but an interesting name might be Rison native Ed Wilson, a UA graduate who has been an executive with CBS, NBC, Fox and Chicago Tribune Broadcasting.

A search for an athletic director is new territory for most of the fans and media. Frank Broyles was named by John Barnhill in 1976, and Jeff Long was hired by former chancellor John White in 2008. That's 41 years with just two athletic directors.

• Arkansas will host Ole Miss in War Memorial Stadium next season to help celebrate the stadium's 70th anniversary. The stadium deserves it.

They will play Oct. 13, which will be the 110th anniversary of the first game between the Rebels and Razorbacks. The Hogs won 33-0.

It was thought the Hogs might get Vanderbilt, and while that would have been fine, the game now will be more fun and tickets will be hard to come by. The time of the game won't be known until at least two weeks prior to the game. That's up to the TV folks.

• That the talk about the UA playing Arkansas State University is gaining some strength all over the state. For 38 years it has been suggested in this space that a season-opening game at War Memorial Stadium would create more excitement than imaginable.

• That the Red Wolves have qualified for a state record seventh consecutive bowl game.

• That the University of Central Arkansas won the Southland Conference.

• It is now official: This great state can and will support more than just one football team.

• That it appears Mike Anderson has the makings of a very good basketball team. This team appears to be his most athletic since he came to Arkansas and can play inside and out. Ball movement without dribbling has improved, and the Hogs are fun to watch.

If they continue to grow, learn and mature, this senior-laden group is going to have a great season.

There's always more to be thankful for, but just not enough room to list everything.

Sports on 11/23/2017

Print Headline: Family first, but plenty of thanks to spread

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