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Gratitude should be tradition for all

DEAR EDITOR:

I’m grateful to be a Cleveland sports fan. I’m grateful I have the Browns, Cavaliers and Indians (soon to be the Guardians).

I’m grateful to live in a country where professional sports are a luxury I can enjoy, either from the comfort of my couch, my favorite local bar or sometimes in a stadium.

I’m grateful I can afford snack foods and beer to enjoy while I watch the games. I’m grateful I have friends and family to watch with.

I’m grateful for the traditions we’ve shared over the years while watching baseball, basketball, and, in my family, especially football. I’m grateful the Browns came back and are finally doing well. I’m grateful for the Cavs’ championship. I’m grateful the Dolans renewed the lease at Progressive Field, and Cleveland didn’t end up like Montreal or Brooklyn, with no team at all.

I’m grateful my family taught me to appreciate life’s simple joys and its luxuries. I’m grateful my mom survived cancer and my dad survived a cranial tumor, and they are still here to watch the games with us. I’m grateful for my nephew, who will grow up enjoying the same happy traditions of time spent with family and friends, watching the teams and sports we all love.

I’m grateful he’ll grow up, like I did, in a family that understands the most important traditions don’t depend upon our teams’ names or mascots. What matters is the memories we make together, enjoying these games and the blessings we have.

Some people don’t know where their next meal will come from. Some don’t have shelter, let alone a TV for watching sports. Others don’t know if they’ll survive another day in a war-torn country.

I’d wager that plenty of people in this world would be awfully grateful to live a life in which the name of a sports team might be considered cause for profound personal trauma. I’m grateful I’m not one of them.

Browns, Cavs, Indians, Guardians … call my teams whatever you like. As long as they’re playing in Cleveland, and I can watch the games with people I love, I’ll be grateful to watch them play.

I guess we’re all Guardians of our own traditions. I just wish gratitude was a tradition more people valued.

DAN POMPILI

Youngstown

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