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Reasons to be thankful for Rutgers Athletics

Reflection on Thanksgiving.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: SEP 04 Temple at Rutgers

It’s been a busy year and another strange one as well with COVID-19 still part of our daily lives. Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday and I’m feeling extra thankful for a lot of things this year. Here are some things that I’m thankful in regard to Rutgers Athletics.

  • Having a Rutgers President in Jonathan Holloway who understands the importance of and values athletics in higher education.
  • Pat Hobbs for caring about all of the school’s athletic programs. For making great coaching hires and giving the existing ones the support they needed to take the next step.
  • Greg Schiano for making Rutgers football respectable again and in short time.
  • Steve Pikiell for doing what many doubted he could by winning an NCAA Tournament game for the program for the first time in 38 years by doing it his way the whole way.
  • Mike O’Neill, Meredith Civico, Brian Brecht and Scott Goodale for persevering during difficult times for the athletic department under a different administration and now elevating their programs to a level of national prominence.
  • The women’s soccer team proving when the best New Jersey recruits stay home together great things can happen.
  • The State of Indiana. Football had the most lopsided victory over a Big Ten for against the Hoosiers and men’s basketball has won 5 of last 6 meetings. Football is 2-0 all-time against Purdue and gave us the greatest Johnny Football moment yet. Men’s basketball has beaten the Boilermakers three times in a row, including the greatest regular season win against a Big Ten foe.
  • Fans being able to attend games again.
  • Matt Millen for always reminding me during Rutgers football games to turn on the radio to listen to Chris Carlin, Eric LeGrand, Mike Teel, Julian Pinnix-Odrick and Anthony Fucilli.
  • The cannon crew for being one of the best traditions in college football and making home games more special.
  • Football playing a meaningful game on the last day of the regular season.
  • Men’s basketball, wrestling, men’s lacrosse, women’s lacrosse, rowing, women’s soccer and field hockey for either winning at least one NCAA Tournament game or making program history at nationals in 2021.
  • Women’s soccer and field hockey for winning the first ever Big Ten regular season title and Big Ten Tournament championship for Rutgers, respectively.
  • Four programs have either made the Elite Eight or finished in the top eight at nationals: Men’s lacrosse, rowing, field hockey, women’s soccer.
  • All the programs making progress like football, men’s soccer, gymnastics, swimming and diving, baseball and track & field.
  • All of the student-athletes who represent Rutgers with class, impact the community through service, use their voices to promote social change and give their all for their respective teams and fans.
  • All of the people who work behind the scenes for the athletic department, including facilities, operations, communications, academic support, the RFund and any other area I’m forgetting.
  • All of the donors and anyone who gives financial support to Rutgers Athletics.
  • Rutgers fans who understand that being critical or pessimistic doesn’t mean you are disloyal or not a true supporter. Instead, they understand being a good fan means holding Rutgers accountable while also continuing to support them.
  • All of our readers, as well as those who listen our podcast, comment on articles, follow us on social media and even send me passionate and sometimes unhinged emails.
  • All of the contributors of this website, past and present. They all dedicate their time because they love Rutgers and it’s teams.
  • Anyone who has supported me personally either with kind words and compliments, constructive feedback, follows on social media, or passionate emails, even the unhinged ones.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving and thanks for reading!