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Top Five Reasons To Be Thankful For Bay Area Sports

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We take a look at the top five reasons to be thankful for Bay Area sports.

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Happy Thanksgiving to everyone. As we enjoy another Thanksgiving of football today, I thought it would be appropriate to go through some of the reasons we should be thankful this year when it comes to Bay Area sports. Maybe it's not quite like being thankful for being alive or having good family, but for a sports site I think it's perfectly appropriate. This is far from a complete list, so feel free to add in some of the reasons you're thankful as it relates to Bay Area sports.

1. The San Francisco Giants - I am actually an Oakland A's fan, but as a baseball fan and a fan of Bay Area sports, even I can recognize what this Giants team brought to the table in 2010. I thought about listing different players to be thankful for, but when you think about it this entire team is a unique compilation of amazing characters.

You could be talking about Brian Wilson, who perfected the art of the insane closer. Or maybe Tim Lincecum, the baby-faced ace of the Giants staff. How about rookie Buster Posey putting together a Rookie of the Year campaign and then stepping up in the bright lights of October? And of course, Giants fans will be forever thankful for Cody Ross and his October heroics. It was an incredible cast of characters that will go down in Bay Area history as at least one of the more interesting teams.

2. Joe Lacob and Peter Guber - The Golden State Warriors are in the midst of a tough run this season and find themselves below .500. And yet no matter how this season ends, one could argue it's a winner just because the Warriors have new owners. The much maligned Chris Cohan is no longer running the team and fresh blood has been injected. Whether this works out long time or not, things are gravy for now.

3. Joey Chestnut - Some may not consider the world of competitive eating to be a sport, but after watching San jose native Joey Chestnut win his fourth straight Mustard Belt at the 2010 Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest, I would disagree:

4. San Jose Earthquakes - While soccer may not be the biggest sport in the Bay Area, the San Jose Earthquakes did give soccer fans a fun postseason run. Although it ultimately came up just short, the Earthquakes' fairly stunning upset of the New York Red Bulls in the first round of the playoffs was the kind of thing that would have the Bay Area buzzing if it came from one of the Big Four sports. In fact, one could argue the Giants were sort of that Cinderella team. Let's hope the Earthquakes can build on that big win and get some more fan support in 2011.

5. Stanford Football - The Cal fans may hate this, but Stanford football has certainly represented well for the Bay Area this season. They're likely going to come up just shy of the National Championship Game, but they have a decent shot of ending up in the Rose Bowl on New Year's Day. The Cardinal just need to handle their business against Oregon State and they'll be in the thick of the conversation for a BCS bowl. The Rose might not happen because of some of the more bizarre bowl rules, but another BCS bowl might be available to them.

Stanford football will lead to even more news the moment the season is over. QB Andrew Luck is likely to end up going pro after this season and given the performance of the local 49ers, he very well might end up playing at Candlestick. It's certainly not guaranteed, but plenty of 49ers fans are drooling over this possibility. And alongside Luck, we might see Stanford coach Jim Harbaugh making the leap to the NFL. He's going to be one of the hottest names in January and I certainly wouldn't be shocked if the York's backed up a Brinks truck filled with cash to lure him out of Palo Alto. No matter what happens, it should make for an interesting 2011.