State your case: Should MLB's opening day be a national holiday?
As much as we don’t like to admit it, there aren’t many things that are truly “American.” Hot dogs, cowboys, cars, even apple pie did not actually originate in America. One thing that did, however, is baseball.
Although the sport’s popularity has diminished because of football, 50 percent of people consider themselves baseball fans. Ask any baseball fan what their biggest day of the year is: It is undoubtedly Opening Day.
Opening Day is simply an American tradition, dating all the way back to 1876, and as many as 12 presidents have thrown out the first pitch on Opening Day. Similar to the first day of March Madness and the day after the Super Bowl, Opening Day causes many people to call in sick.
Making Opening Day a national holiday meets every requirement in mind. It’s an American tradition, most people observe it already and it makes us proud to be Americans. I can’t say the same for Columbus Day, which for many is more synonymous with words like “imperialism” and “colonization.”
There are approximately 313.9 million people in the United States. Of those, there have been about 100,000 who have signed a petition to make Opening Day of Major League Baseball a holiday. Certainly 100,000 people don’t deserve to make a decision for the rest of us.
A little more than 9 million people per game watched the World Series last year. In 2012, Opening Day was watched by about 2 million people. Is it really reasonable to say we are more interested in the first game of a 162-game season than the final? That’s comparable to watching preseason NFL games instead of the Super Bowl.
Ask me when Opening Day is. Seriously, ask. “When is Opening Day?” you say. I have no idea. So just for the reason that I, a sports writer, don’t know when Opening Day is, it shouldn’t be a holiday. Baseball isn’t that important to me, and I daresay it isn’t that important to the rest of America either.
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