Venkataraman: A plethora of things to be thankful for

Dec. 4, 2013, 12:00 a.m.

Last Thursday, having gorged myself on a hearty (turkey-free, since I’m a vegetarian) meal, I collapsed onto my motorized reclining couch at home and started sinking into a gastronomic coma. With drooping eyelids while trying desperately to stay open to watch the snooze-fest that was the Raiders playing the Cowboys at JerryWorld, my time awake was going to be quite short.

Then, something amazing happened: Just before lapsing into dreams of endless lasagna, I achieved a singular moment of higher consciousness — an instant of total clarity. In that nanosecond, I realized that although sportswriters are blindingly quick to criticize, we are quite slow to praise and appreciate. Aiming to rectify this egregious oversight in the spirit of Thanksgiving and the entire holiday season, I present the (sports-related) things that I am most thankful for as of 6:15 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2013:

1. My weekly column at the Daily. Not only does it allow me to foist my obviously correct opinions upon the minds of the unsuspecting masses, but it also grants me endless entertainment in the form of the greatest “you have a column due” reminder emails ever penned. In the history of the world.

2. TheFirstRow. If you don’t know what this is, then you aren’t a true sports fan. If you know what this is, please keep it to yourself.

3. The Stanford football team, for the amazing thrill ride of the last three years. Here’s to many more such rewarding adventures.

4. The sensuous sound of Alex Trebek hosting Jeopardy, as well as his occasional condescension towards incorrect answers. On that note, I would also like to express my gratitude towards the inventor of the “Daily Double” laser noise, which deserves to be enshrined as one of the greatest achievements of mankind.

5. Vernon Davis, for his amazing sense of humor and for the following tweet: “It should be a league rule saying that a defender can not tackle a player by his penis. The most painful thing ever!” Robert Griffin III also had a pithy remark when being asked about a blow to his cojones, replying, “There will be an RGIV.”

6., for the incredible content that the site churns out on a daily basis. Almost everything that is published is instantaneously a must-read.

7. Ohio State-Michigan and Auburn-Alabama this past weekend — the glory, madness and indredibility (a new word that was created just for this occasion) of college football wrapped up in a neat package spanning just under four hours of time.

8. The NBA Western Conference, the home of just three teams with losing records. The mighty Eastern Conference has 12 teams under .500, including the entire(!) Atlantic Division and the entire Central Division, minus the red-hot Pacers. I’m convinced that Duke, Kansas or Michigan State would probably make the playoffs in the Eastern Conference.

9. The Stanford Daily offices, for being located so close to the Product Realization Lab. Free storage in an un-crowded location with the prospect of free food? Nirvana.

10. My reclining couch. Words cannot express how amazing it feels to slowly, with the press of a button, achieve the yogic asana of success: the log position. Without my sage sofa to aid me, the inspiration for this column would never have come.

11. Sports in general. What would life be like without my sports addiction? I imagine that I would be more productive, but that train of thought leads down a path that I shudder to tread. Hail to sports: the elixir and bane of my existence, the doom of my grades, the pick-me-up of my emotions, the destroyer of productivity during Dead Week and finals week.

12. All of you, my loyal subjects (whoops, readers). A lot of my columns may come off as uninspired and last-minute (whoops, you caught me again!) but I love you all dearly. Good luck on your finals and have a wonderful holiday break. Viggy out.

The Daily is also very thankful for Vignesh Venkataraman’s ability to seemingly pull columns out of thin air at a moment’s notice and his infectious sense of enthusiasm and humor. Let Viggy know why you’re so thankful for him (the more dirty details, the better) at viggy ‘at’

Vignesh Venkataraman (or Viggy, if you prefer) writes weekly columns for the Daily, unless he forgets. He is a computer science and mechanical engineering double major, with an unofficial minor in watching sports. Born in Boston but raised in Cupertino, CA, Vignesh is a diehard New England Patriots fan and has adopted the Golden State Warriors as his favorite basketball team. He was the backup quarterback for his high school football team and called Stanford football games on KZSU in 2014.

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