I try to be thankful all the time.

While my life is not exactly what I wished it to be, I recognize it’s so much better than it could be. I’m lucky and I’m blessed, so I’m also grateful.

This week however, I try to give extra thought to all the things I have to be thankful for. This includes sports as well.

I’m thankful for Anson Dorrance. He is the only coach the UNC women’s soccer team has ever had. Dorrance has led the program for 42 years and won 21 National Championships. You do the math.

I’ve witnessed him walk past the library towards the bookstore on campus in Chapel Hill and nobody recognizes, or appreciates, the legend passing by.

He coached the team that won the first Women’s World Cup and he’s completely ignored in public. I’m befuddled by everyone’s ignorance, but appreciative he’s still coaching.

I’m thankful for Roy Williams. Not just for being so dadgum wonderful but for loving the UNC basketball program as much as any fan. I’m both thankful and hopeful because I’m convinced new head coach Hubert Davis does as well.

While I’m showering Carolina with appreciation, let me throw some at Mack Brown as well.

Yes, I was publicly against his hiring and yes, I’ve since publicly admitted I was wrong. He’s done a tremendous job and it continues.

I’ve been quite thankful for UNC quarterback Sam Howell. His decision to switch from FSU to UNC years ago - and his outstanding play since - has been as much a part of the Tar Heel football turnaround as anything anyone else has done.

He’s played his last game in Chapel Hill though. With that in mind, I’m especially thankful Mack Brown is a great recruiter because freshman quarterback Drake Maye played like a guy once committed to Alabama.

I’m thankful for the Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz. I’ve mentioned the show here before and they are worth mentioning again.

The last 18 months have been a struggle for many of us, myself included. Most days of the week, that show and their network of talent produce a few hours of content that manages to be silly and insightful at the same time.

They have provided for me a sense of comfort and normalcy during hard times and all the ingredients needed to laugh, think and cry.

I’m thankful Jim Valvano took precious time to remind us of how important those actions are and grateful for another day and opportunity to do them myself.

David Friedman is a long time sports writer and lifelong believer that BLM. David can be reached via e-mail at fourthandlongcolumn@gmail.com.

Thadd White is Group Editor of the Bertie Ledger-Advance, Chowan Herald, Perquimans Weekly, The Enterprise & Eastern North Carolina Living. He can be reached via email at twhite@ncweeklies.com.