Dandron: This Thanksgiving, remember that life is more than just a game.

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Dandron: This Thanksgiving, remember that life is more than just a game.

(Credit: Getty Images)

(Credit: Getty Images)

(Credit: Getty Images)

(Credit: Getty Images)

Joe Dandron, Station Manager/Columnist

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Thanksgiving Day is a time for family, love, laughter, coming together under one central place. Where friends and family get a reprieve from the grueling work week, a break to watch football and enjoy the company of those who love one another without question.

It’s a day for football, food, family. The Detroit Lions play at a sold out stadium – putting their bodies on the line so you can enjoy the time, they aren’t having, with family. 

Yes, they make millions. But this year, maybe think about that a little more.

What are you thankful for? 

A 5-6 Michigan State team struggles for bowl eligibility against a program that is struggling to stay afloat in Maryland. 

Six losses on the schedule doesn’t compare to what some of those young men on the MSU football team have had to experience. As you scream – recklessly, maybe drunkenly – into a television from the comfort of your home at 18, 19 and 20 year olds who are struggling in chilling weather. 

Many of whom, will never make the millions or thousands of dollars that those at Ford Field only days prior make.

Yes, those students get free tuition – sometimes. Yes, your college football team is struggling. 

But true loss doesn’t happen in athletics. We all know that.

Loss is losing a family member, loss is not having anything to eat as millions stuff themselves. 

This Thanksgiving Day I have been thinking about this a lot more. I cover MSU athletics. I’ve sat here and written things about athletes and teams that struggle when I have never truly experienced the same struggle that some of those people go through every. Single. Day.

I’m not trying to make you pity athletes. They get to play the sport they love, but what I am asking is that you understand. 

Understand that what we all take for granted won’t be there someday, that athletes are more than what they produce on the field. 

Be thankful that you have family to eat Thanksgiving Dinner with, or maybe that is replaced by friends. Whatever it is, be thankful. Some of those athletes will sit down at the table and look across to where parents once sat to see empty seats. Some of these athletes we watch, insult and crush at the slightest mistake, have lost more than some of us can imagine.

Life is about more than what happens on the court or playing field. I feel like sometimes, being someone who wishes to cover athletics as a career, I forget that.

So on this Thanksgiving Day, enjoy your time with family, friends or whomever you spend it with. Because you never know the next time you won’t be able to.

Contact Joe Dandron at dandronj@msu.edu. Follow him on Twitter at @JosephDandronMI.