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Manny’s Fantasy Facts: Week Thirteen … Thankful on Thanksgiving

So for all my American friends it is that time of year again when you remember what you are thankful for and eat a lot of turkey and watch some football. The Buffalo Bills played this Thanksgiving Day holiday against the Dallas Cowboys.



The game did not go as people thought, and it was fun to see what the young Bills offense can do on a national scale … Go Bills! But this week, I wanted to do something a little different and tell you what I am thankful for.

My Life

As some of you know, I have been battling depression and anxiety for the last three-plus years. I was off work for a few years as I struggled to cope with the depression that was affecting my work and personal life. About three years ago, I tried to end my life. I thought of how my family and kids especially would cope with it, and I gave life another chance by admitting myself into the hospital. This journey the last couple of years has been a tough go, but it has given me a new look at life. I am grateful for that day, admitting to myself I have a problem and seeking help for it. The journey continues.

My Wife and Kids

The reason I gave my life a second chance was for my wife and kids. My wife has been the rock of the family. While I tried to get on a better path, she took control of everything and anything. She is the reason why I am still standing and have been able to work through all of this. I am grateful for having her in my life. I have no problem admitting that my wife runs our home, and she does a fantastic job doing it. It allowed me to get the help I need and not worry about everything else around me.

My kids are my life. I couldn’t bear them going through life without me. I wondered to myself that day, was I giving them the idea that it was easy to give up on life? I didn’t want to make my kids think that way or have them would blame themselves for anything happening to me. I needed to be there for them, to guide them into a life of happiness. I am grateful for having such a family that has always been there for me through this journey. I actually owe them everything.

My Work, My Health, My Passion

I was one of the lucky ones to have a workplace that understood my issues and let me not worry about work and go get the help I need. They never pressured me to come back early. From the start, they wanted to make sure I was ready to come back and work. Not every person is so lucky to have managers who care about the person. It was rewarding to come back when I was finally ready this year. There are still times where the depression and anxiety kick in, but I have learned to fight it quickly and move on.

Through the process with my doctors and therapists, I learned what I love is sports and passion for talking, writing, and reading about it all the time. I started my own website/blog which I need to keep up more often. In there, I talk about the NFL and sometimes how the sport affects mental illness: two things that I am passionate about. My passion to write was born. I was soon asked to write on here for Buffalo Fanatics for my favorite team, the Buffalo Bills. I am so grateful to write about the Bills who have been an integral part of my life growing up. I am grateful for all the people at my work, doctors, Buffalo Fanatics, twitter followers, friends, and the list goes on and on …

My Oilers, My Idol, and My Beloved Bills

Growing up in Edmonton, everyone here was an Edmonton Oilers fan. We were lucky to have the likes of Wayne Gretzky, Mark Messier, and Jari Kurri to name a few in the 1980s. We were lucky to witness a dynasty who won five Stanley Cups in seven years. Though I was quite young in those days, I remember bits and pieces. My parents actually recall that one of my first words as a child was “Go Wayne.”

In my teens, I actually got to see my favorite Oiler of all time, Doug Weight. For me, he was the true Oiler. It is his years as an Edmonton Oiler that I remember the most. The Edmonton Oilers fans were spoiled for a long time, but the Oilers of now are the joke of the league having only made the playoffs once in thirteen years, though being a Buffalo Bills fan made it a lot easier to cope with the failed years of late. Again we are lucky to have a once in a lifetime player like Connor McDavid and Leon Draisital.

Like the Edmonton Oilers, this year might end the years of failure for my team, the team that takes all my blood and sweat. The Buffalo Bills were like the Oilers of the 1990s, but unlike the Oilers, they never won the Super Bowl. I always tell people that if it was game seven to win the Cup for the Oilers or a Super Bowl for Bills, which would I choose? I don’t even have to think. It is the Super Bowl. As I said before, my day can be good or bad depending on the Bills game.

Kelly Tough & Bills Mafia

I saw my idol Jim Kelly play through all sorts of obstacles throughout his playing and non-playing years. Kelly was everything I wanted to be. Kelly was not afraid, fearless, and never gave up. One of the reasons I still fight every day is when I saw Kelly fight. He never gave up. He was always Kelly Tough! I often say to myself, I am Manny Tough.

The Buffalo Bills are what I call a team that no one gives a chance to and have been underdogs most of their time as a franchise. The players, fans, and media all play a part in what makes me so grateful for being a Bills fan. They work hard, they are fearless, and they have heart. There is no fan like a Buffalo Bills fan. You can take away the tailgating, but what makes the Bills fans so passionate about the team is they treat it like it is their own child. You want to cherish those moments, and sometimes those moments can be negative, but we put it aside and move to hope one day our child accomplishes everything they set out to do.

I am so grateful for the Oilers, Bills, and Jim Kelly because they taught me to hold on to hope and work hard because one day it will all click and work out just fine! I hope all my Canadian and American friends enjoyed the Thanksgiving Holiday and take time to sit and think about what you are thankful and grateful for in life! All the best!

There you have it folks, my week thirteen Fantasy Facts, Thankful for Thanksgiving Edition. Reach us on twitter @BuFFanatics and @TheMightyDeol. Ask us any Fantasy questions! Although we are a Buffalo Bills page we all want to win our fantasy leagues. So, every week on Thursday I will have some starts and sits for the PPR and the IDP players out there.