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Happy Thanksgiving 2018 From Bruins Nation!

Today, we take time out to give thanks for everything in our lives. Since we’re a UCLA sports blog, I put together a list of UCLA-related people and moments I’m thankful for from the past year.

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Turkeys Raised On California Farm Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Today, we take pause to show thanks for all of life’s blessings. No, I’m not talking about just a turkey. I’m talking about everything we are so fortunate to have. Most of us can be grateful for the fact that we live in one of the best countries on earth. That isn’t to say that it’s not without its flaws, but, in general, we live in a nation where we have more freedom that just about anywhere else.

Even those of us in our nation who may be less fortunate than others still have it better than people in many in other nations and that, in itself, is an awful lot to be thankful for.

Personally, I know I’m thankful that the Santa Ana winds blew the Woolsey fire away from my home and my heart goes out to everyone who may not be as fortunate as I was.

I want to take a moment to express my personal thanks to the Bruins Nation team. Without the dedication of each member of our team, it would be impossible to keep this site going the way that we do each and every day.

I also want to thank each and every one of you, our readers. You have helped make Bruins Nation more than just a website. You’ve made it a family.

And, that’s why on behalf of the Bruins Nation team, I’d like to wish a very Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family.

So, enjoy the company of friends and family along with the turkey, the stuffing, and the pumpkin pie today, because, tonight, tomorrow and Saturday, there will be plenty of Bruin sports to feast on.

Of course, Bruins Nation is a Bruin sports blog. It’s what we do here. So, I thought I’d put together a list of just a few things that Bruin fans can be thankful for over this past year.

Chip Kelly

It was just a few days after Thanksgiving last year when UCLA officially hired Chip Kelly as the Bruins’ new football coach. This season may not have been what some, or even many, of us envisioned, but, after last Saturday’s game against Southern Cal, I think it’s pretty safe to say that as the first season under Chip Kelly goes, the Bruins are making progress and building towards the future.

That said, the one thing that would make all of us even more thankful for Chip Kelly would be a win over Stanford on Saturday.

Troy Aikman

If we’re thankful for Chip Kelly, then we have to also be thankful for Mr. Aikman for helping bring Chip Kelly to Westwood.

Adam Wright and the 2017 UCLA Men’s Water Polo Team

Adam Wright and the 2017 UCLA men’s water polo team won UCLA’s 114th NCAA Championship and, for that, we are thankful. We are also hopeful that the 2018 team can defend that title and bring home #117!

The 2018 UCLA Gymnastics Team

The 2018 UCLA gymnastics team did more for Bruin fans than probably any other Bruin team in 2017-2018. These ladies showed everyone what it means to be Bruins. They came from behind with their final competitor on their final rotation to win UCLA’s 115th NCAA Championship. They never quit. They never gave up. They are an inspiration to all Bruins and to what hard work and perseverance can achieve. For that, we are very thankful.

Miss Val

While we are thankful for the 2018 UCLA gymnastics team, Valorie Kondos-Field deserves her own mention here as someone Bruin fans are thankful for. That’s because “Miss Val” has announced that she will retired as the Bruins gymnastics coach at the conclusion of the 2019 season. Miss Val epitimizes Bruin excellence and values and has won seven NCAA titles during her tenure as head coach. She also has a new book out that would make a great gift for any Bruin fan.

The 2018 UCLA Beach Volleyball Team

When the 2018 UCLA beach volleyball team was competing in the NCAA Tournament, it was almost as if they were trying to one-up the gymnastics team in come-from-behind championships. This Bruins team lost their first match and fell into the elimination bracket, but these ladies toughed it out and fought their way back to the NCAA Championship match against Florida State to become the first team to ever win the NCAA Beach Volleyball Championship from the elimination bracket.

Joshua Kelley

If you thought that Josh Kelley might not make this list just because I mentioned Chip Kelly at the start, you would be very wrong! I put this list together in chronological order since last Thanksgiving, which means that last Saturday’s performance is what will wrap this list up.

When Josh Kelley ran for 289 yards on 40 carries against Southern Cal, he completed the journey from UC Davis walk-on to UCLA Bruin legend.

To be sure, Kelley is a junior and I think I speak for all Bruin fans when I say that I hope Kelley keeps on chopping and returns for his senior season next year. I know that I’ll be a lot more excited for 2019 if Kelley comes back next season because I think his coming out party that was Saturday’s game shows what could be possible as the Bruin football team continues to improve. Personally, if I ran the UCLA Athletic Department, it would not be too early to start planning a potential “Kelley for Heisman” campaign for next year.

Those are just a few UCLA Bruin moments and people I’m thankful for over the past year. There are other things I could have included on this list, but, to be honest, I wanted to keep this list positive rather than snarky. So, I left those off. Maybe I’ll write about those soon.

What are you most thankful for this Thanksgiving? What Bruin moments and people are you most thankful for from the past year? Leave it in the comments below.

Go Bruins!