The 5: Things to be thankful for as an Arizona sports fan in 2018
It’s the time of the year for celebrating with family and friends on all the things we are thankful for.
Granted, being a fan of Arizona sports teams doesn’t always warrant gratitude.
It’s been a rough year for fans. The Phoenix Suns are struggling to win — still. The Cardinals could have the highest pick in next year’s draft. The Diamondbacks missed the playoffs after riding on high expectations from the 2017 season. And the Coyotes have not made the playoffs since the 2011-12 season.
But, with all of that, there’s hope.
Here are five things to be thankful for as an Arizona sports fan this Thanksgiving.
Young talent on the Phoenix Suns and Arizona Cardinals should provide hope for the future of Arizona sports.
Cardinals rookie quarterback Josh Rosen is proving to be the centerpiece for the organization to build around as the team plans for the upcoming seasons.
Suns rookie Deandre Ayton has played up to expectations of being the No. 1 pick in this year’s NBA Draft so far through the first couple of months into the season.
The Coyotes trending upward
After losing 11 straight games to start their season last year, the struggling Coyotes got better toward the end of the year and went 20-14-7 after Jan. 1. They added Alex Galchenyuk and Michael Grabner this offseason and signed extensions with key players like Oliver Ekman-Larsson and Antti Raanta, and their start to this season has been much better than last.
The Coyotes’ successes this year have included a five-game win streak, and a tough stretch recently has them at 9-9-1 approaching Thanksgiving.
D-backs having the ball in their hands
This is a crucial offseason for the Arizona Diamondbacks as they try to figure out the futures of first baseman Paul Goldshmidt and right-handed ace Zack Greinke. Left-hander Patrick Corbin, who played each of his six seasons with Arizona, elected to test free agency.
Will the Diamondbacks go into rebuild mode? Or will they try to replicate the start of last year — before the meltdown in the final weeks of the regular season.
Arizona was in first place at the end of August with a 74–60 record but finished nine games out of first place.
Standout seasons from David Peralta and Ketel Marte should give fans hope for the future for the D-backs.
Defense is the backbone of this team under manger Torey Lovullo. His team has won two of the last four Defensive Team of the Year awards.
The D-backs’ front office has the luxury of having plenty of options for the future of the franchise.
ASU football will improve
Some were skeptical of the hiring of ASU football head coach Herm Edwards before the start of the season. We realize Edwards wants his players to play to win the game, but moral victories should count in this case.
ASU’s season came down to a chance to control its own destiny and win the Pac-12 South but the Sun Devils suffered a heartbreaking 31-29 loss to Oregon Saturday night. ASU had wins against ranked teams in Michigan State (15 in Week 2) and Utah (15 in Week 9).
Despite a 6-5 record in Edwards’ first season ahead of the Territorial Cup against the Arizona Wildcats on Saturday, ASU’s losses were by an average of six points.
How could we not be thankful for the greatest receiver in Cardinals history? At age 35, Fitzgerald is still producing for Arizona, gobbling up the record books. He passed Terrell Owens for No. 2 all-time on the NFL career receiving yards list in Week 9.
The Cardinals may be struggling for a third straight season, but fans have always had Fitzgerald to look forward to.
Fitz will surely be missed if/when he decides to finally hang it up.
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