The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Local News

February 25, 2014

Mike Pound: Opening day of baseball season should be holiday

Sometimes an idea is so good that you wonder why it took someone so long to think of it.

Take cooking. I’m pretty sure that fire had been around for a long time before someone thought to throw a big hunk of meat on it and let that meat cook.

Grok: “Here, taste sabertooth tiger meat.”

Scrok: “What you call?”

Grok: “I call steak.”

Scrok (takes a bite): “I ordered medium, not medium rare.”

Of course, I’m assuming that cavepeople actually spoke in broken English, which, now that I think about it, is unlikely.

I was thinking about good ideas and why nobody thought of them before on Tuesday after reading a story in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. According to the story, Hall of Fame Cardinals shortstop Ozzie Smith and Anheuser-Busch have launched a campaign to make major league baseball’s opening day a national holiday.

See what I mean? You’re thinking, “Duh, why didn’t someone think of that before?”

Think about it.

Already millions of people either call in sick or leave work early so they can attend an opening day game or watch it on TV, so why not just declare the whole thing a holiday?

I know what some of you are thinking. Some of you are thinking: “Really, Mike? Millions of people call in sick or leave early? I would like to know where you got that statistic.”

I got that statistic where I get most of my statistics: I made it up.

Ha! I joke. In the Post-Dispatch story Anheuser-Busch said that “a recent study found that 22.2 million Americans who are age 21 or older have admitted to skipping work or another commitment to attend or watch opening day.”

Sadly, that means this conversation may have actually taken place: “I’m sorry, honey, I can’t make it. I have to visit my sick grandmother. Besides, we can get married another day.”

Why make millions of people miss work (and the occasional wedding) just so they can watch an opening day baseball game? If we make opening day a national holiday, everyone is happy.

What Ozzie and Anheuser-Busch want folks to do is go to the WhiteHouse.gov website and sign a petition calling for opening day to become a national holiday. If 100,000 people sign the petition by March 26, the White House will be required to consider the idea. Well, “consider” might be a strong word. According to the Post-Dispatch, if the petition receives 100,000 signatures, it will “gain review by the administration.”

But hey, what’s to review?

“Let’s see. Declare opening day a national holiday and thereby make millions of people happy, or not do it and make millions of people unhappy? What to do,. what to do?”

Of course, if the White House does make opening day a national holiday, Republican Congress Creatures will protest and insist on going to work anyway, which would be fine with the rest of us because then all the good seats at the ballgames won’t be taken by lobbyists to give to Congress Creatures.

It’s your basic win-win.

I know what some of you are thinking. Some of you are thinking: “But Mike, won’t making major league baseball’s opening day a holiday just be a commercial gimmick for baseball and Anheuser-Busch?”

To that I say: “So what’s your point?”

I also say: “Gee, a national holiday being used for commercial gain. What a shock.”

The petition to make opening day a holiday says, in part: “It’s a day of celebration. It’s a day of hope.”

It also used to be the day the Kansas City Royals were officially eliminated from the playoffs. Ha. That’s just my annual Royals joke. Hopefully, now that he Royals are pretty good, that will be the last time I get to use that joke.

So what do you say? Let’s all go online, sign the petition and support what this country does best: drinking beer and watching baseball.

DO YOU HAVE AN IDEA for Mike Pound’s column? Call him at 417-623-3480, ext. 7259, or email him at mpound@joplinglobe.com. Follow him on Twitter @mikepoundglobe.

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