As we sit here on the day after the birthday of our country, we look back fondly on a day of going to a baseball game, sharing large bags of peanuts with friends and strangers sitting around us in a large crowd, yelling at the umps and hugging those strangers who have now become friends when the home team wins. Or, you know, wearing a mask inside by ourselves watching fireworks shows from 2017 on television.
Regardless of how you chose to celebrate July 4th, it has always been one of our favorite holidays. Let’s start the ramblings with a quick ranking of our top 5 US holidays. To be clear, these are actual holidays, not the millions of fake ones that people make up to convince themselves it’s ok to do whatever bad habits they were going to do anyway. For example, if you go to National Calendar Day dot com, you’ll learn that July 5 is National Apple Turnover Day, Bikini Day, and Graham Cracker Day. So National Whatever Was Left in My Backyard After the July 4th Party Day. None of these days make our list.
1) Thanksgiving – There are no expectations for this day, other than to eat a lot of food, gather with friends and family and have one crazy family member say lots of inappropriate things. What more could you ask for? And if you say you don’t have that family member, well, it’s you.
2) July 4th – There are no expectations for this day other than to eat a lot of food, gather with friends and have one crazy family member say lots of inappropriate things while wearing an American Flag t-shirt and bathing suit. Basically, warm weather Thanksgiving, but without the sentimental piece of trying to remember to be thankful.
3) Tie: Christmas & Easter – Two holidays that have deep meaning in the Christian faith, which have also been overtaken by incredibly commercial aspects, including characters that sneak into your home and bring you gifts. Nevertheless, lots of great memories of both.
5) New Year’s Day – The first day of a New Year, and we all spend it laying around in sweatpants. The perfect start to a fresh beginning. Resolutions don’t begin until January 2nd, right?
Speaking of holidays, Bryson Dechambeau should take a couple days off from doing media interviews. After throwing a temper tantrum during his round on Saturday, the guy who makes millions of dollars because he’s absurdly good at golf got upset at a camera operator who filmed him playing golf and reacting to a bad shot like a 4 year old. When asked after the round about the incident, DeChambeau said, essentially, that the camera man made him look bad and golfers should be allowed to have some privacy during difficult moments on the course.
Great news, Bryson! You can have privacy on the golf course. Just quit playing professional golf and come join me and the fellas on our Saturday round. Tee time is at 9:10, we should up around 9, hit a couple drivers at the range and drive to the first tee box. Not a camera in sight.
Bryson mentioned how this could be damaging to a “player’s brand.” Maybe you should stop worrying about your brand and start worrying about how to act like an adult. And to be honest, your brand is currently “isn’t he the weird guy who plays with single length clubs and looks like he swallowed an entire refrigerator during quarantine?” Not sure I’d be too worried about maintaining that one, fella.
Summer of Baseball Discontent
On June 16, Mike Trout tweeted “Tell us when and where!!” in a message to baseball’s owners about getting the season started. So, the owners did, and then on July 3 Mike Trout said he’s uncomfortable and might not play this season. Granted, with his wife expecting a baby in August, we don’t blame him for being uncomfortable and not wanting to risk getting infected or having to be quarantined and therefore not being able to be present when his child is born. But, as much as we held the owners mostly responsible to the delayed decision to get baseball started again, the players are doing much to repay the fans’ faith in them. Trout is just one of a handful (so far) of players who are expressing these sentiments, including some who have already said they won’t play, including David Price, Ian Desmond, and Ryan Zimmerman. All big names, but Trout is the big fish here (see what we did there?). If the best player in baseball decides not to play, it could start a tidal wave of defections, and thereby rendering the season moot. Or is it mute? Maybe moo?
What’s in a Name?
It appears the time has finally come for the Washington Redskins to change their team name. As someone who has cheered for this franchise for as long as we can remember, we have a variety of opinions and feelings, but the primary one is relief. As a backstory, we wrote a research paper in college about Native American mascots, and to be honest, we went into the project with a bias, as many of the sports teams we cheered for growing up had Native American mascots or nicknames – the Redskins, the Richmond Braves, heck even our elementary school was the Indians. It didn’t take much digging to realize the Redskins were the worst of the worse and it should be changed. So, we are glad they are doing it.
In a reflection of the buffoon that currently owns the Redskins, the years of protests and appeals from the Native American community never made a dent in his resolve to keep the name. But, two phone calls – one from FedEx and one from Nike – and magically, they are reviewing the team name.
Nevertheless, we’ll get a new nickname for the team in Washington, and we’re pretty sure Snyder will screw that up too. But, in his defense, it would be hard to end up with a team nickname that’s more offensive than Redskins. On second thought, forget we said that, Dan. We don’t want to challenge him.
And yes, we got an A on that research paper. Of course, the professor was 80 years old and we’re pretty sure he thought we were Native American, so that may have played a role.
The Basketball Tournament
We respect a simple, obvious name. How many marketing executives did it take to come up with this one? Regardless, The Basketball Tournament pits non-NBA players in a basketball tournament with $1,000,000 going to the winning team. It’s the best summer league you can ever imagine. And, more importantly, it features the greatest collection of “I remember HIM!” moments for devout college basketball fans. Basically, a bunch of guys who played a long time in college, but never really had a chance at the NBA. Among the notable names are Aaron Craft, Isaiah Austin, Eric Devendorf, David Lighty, Jarret Jack, Hasheem Thabeet, Travis Diener…the list goes on. And, let’s be honest, unless you were a fan of the school these players competed for, this could also be a list of “I HATED him” guys from college basketball. Surprised Cherokee Parks isn’t on one of the teams.
The most interesting element of these games is the Elam Ending. The Elam Ending is an affront to basketball traditionalists but creates an intriguing option for how to end games and eliminate the thoroughly boring parade of free throws at the end of regulation. With 4 minutes to go, a winning score is determined (typically 8 points more than the team currently in the lead has). Then, the teams just play until one team reaches that score with only a shot clock, but no game clock. It eliminates overtime and incentivizes the losing team to just play better defense, rather than foul and hope to extend the clock and catch up.
Alright, friends. Enjoy your leftover graham crackers but stay away from the apple turnovers. That might not be what you think it is, if you’re Fourth of July party was what we think it was.