On Monday, sports director Ken Waltz sent an email to those in our department, asking us to write a Thanksgiving Day-inspired column.

Not an unreasonable request, given the time of year. I have written such columns in the past. Typically, this is the time of year where we are getting our ducks in a row for the coming year, count our blessings and recount the many things we have to be thankful.

However, as could not be more thoroughly documented, 2020 has been far from any typical year. In fact, if this year could have a sigil on a flag, it would be a picture of a dumpster on fire.

A dumpster on fire, being pushed down the street by a nondescript man with a head that has that spherical coronavirus rendering that looks looks like a flower that would be found in the house owned by the guy from the "Hellraiser" movies.

And of course, he would have a face mask on. Obviously.

It has not all been terrible. The year started with my wife and I taking our three children to Disney World in January, something that had been two years in the making in terms of planning and was, for all intents and purposes, the trip of a lifetime.

And, this summer, we bid farewell to our to our home of 13 years in Thomaston and moved on up to Rockland — the tax capital of the world — into a house that adequately fits our family of five.

Two significant life events. And ones for which we are joyously thankful.

I am also thankful that the G.O.A.T, the six-time Super Bowl champion, Tom Brady, has left the New England Patriots, signifying the end of what I can only describe as an excruciatingly long reign of greatness for a franchise that I am overjoyed has come to an end.

The rest of this year, frankly, can piss right off.

I am not going to turn this into a social commentary on COVID-19, but I think we can all agree this has gone on about long enough. I feel like we are all in Shawshank prison, and I am ready to tear through the wall and down the sewer pipe to get back to a world where we can get back to all the other things we used to like to complain about.

What are your dreams? What are your aspirations? Why did Malcolm Butler not play in the Super Bowl? Normal stuff.

I guess since we are going down that street for a moment, I am thankful that it appears a vaccine is on the way. And I do not care about the side effects. Unless it makes a second and third head grow out of my shoulders or something, I am taking it. Send it this way.

Mookie Betts. Here we go.

Remember when Mookie Betts played for the Red Sox? We won a World Series with that guy. Generational talent. Has the makeup of a future Hall-of-Famer and everything about him pointed toward him going down as one of the greatest Red Sox players of all-time.

Yeah. Traded him away for a couple of prospects and an outfielder that looks like he has a vape pen hidden in the back pocket of his uniform. And Mookie goes and wins a World Series with the Dodgers. I hate everything.

It is the virus that has caused the majority of the year’s hardships as it has affected people’s jobs, the education of our children and our livelihoods as a whole. Some have lost their lives.

The best part of my job is physically going to games, taking photos and videos, writing stories on those games and interacting with people, whether it is the coaches, athletic directors, officials, fans or the athletes.

The virus has taken all of that away.

I have written more stories about COVID-19 in the past six months than the Red Sox had wins this past season and every time I have to write another one, while I will give it my all, I want you all to imagine me throwing myself down a flight of stairs and lighting myself on fire.

On a more somber note, two friends — both of whom were younger than me and one of which had a young daughter — passed away over the summer. In a way, it helped center me a bit as the world around us seemed to be spiraling out of control and to focus on the things and people that are most important to me.

Then, of course, came the most contentious, divisive presidential election in modern history, which seemed to nearly push the country to its breaking point. Racism, police brutality and senseless murder in the streets have been the top stories nationwide across all mediums.

But do not worry, everyone, things are about to get better. Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s are on the horizon.

Oh, but do not forget to social distance and continue to stay away from loved ones for fear of continuing to spread a virus that is now in month nine of controlling nearly every aspect of our lives.

Well, at least we can watch football on Thanksgiving Day.

That reminds me.

It is 2020 (as this column has pointed out several times). How long has the National Football League been doing Thanksgiving Day games? Why do they continue to stand pat on the notion that the Detroit Lions and Dallas Cowboys must play on Thanksgiving every year?

We do thankfully have one game on Turkey Day that should be entertaining as the Baltimore Ravens travel to face the undefeated Pittsburgh Steelers. But the two day games that will feature the Lions and Cowboys, well, at least we will have another reason to fall asleep on the couch other than the tryptophan.

So, what am I thankful for this year? I’m thankful for my friends that have stuck with me through a difficult year. I am thankful for my family, who through love and loss, are stronger than ever.

And I am thankful the year is almost over, I can tell you that.

I hate you, John Henry.

(After submitting this column, the NFL announced the Steelers/Ravens game scheduled for Thanksgiving Dav would be moved to Sunday, Nov. 29 and then to Tuesday, Dec. 1 due to Ravens' players testing positive for COVID-19. Because, of course it was.)