Opening day for Major League Baseball is special. It is a time fans across the nation have hope that their favorite team will win the World Series. Everybody is 0-0 when the first pitch is thrown.
Opening Day would fall on March 31 this year (although, technically, one first game is played the day before and several the day after).
Apparently the makers of Budweiser beer would like opening day to become Opening Day, a federal holiday. People would have time off work to take in a game and, well, drink a couple of Buds.
Ozzie Smith, the Hall of Fame shortstop for the St. Louis Cardinals (and who got his pro career started in Walla Walla the Padres) is leading the campaign. Smith, with beer money — a lot of it — in his pocket, is trying to collect 100,000 signatures within 30 days under the We the People petitioning program, which would trigger a review by the Obama administration.
“Coming from St. Louis, of course being such as baseball town, it’s sort of an unofficial holiday, opening day, so they thought it would be a good idea for Mr. Smith to just take a trip to Washington,” Smith said, speaking in third person.
The beer company, Anheuser-Busch InBev, argues that poll research shows that about 10 percent of people near a big league ballpark said they had skipped work to attend or watch an MLB opener. This was a scientific poll calculated at 95 percent accurate.
And it might well be. But just because 10 percent of the people are claiming to play hooky is no reason to make the day a federal holiday.
Really? That’s the best the beer barons have?
It’s like saying a lot of people go over 70 on highways so it’s time to raise the speed limit.
The chances of opening day becoming a federal holiday hover around zero. But the attention this silliness brings to Budweiser will likely help sell a few bottles of beer. And that, after all, is the real goal.