Everybody knows that one of the best parts of being a sports fan is debating and dissecting the most (and least) important questions in the sporting world with your friends. So, we’re bringing that to the pages of LGHL with our favorite head-to-head column: You’re Nuts.
In You’re Nuts, two LGHL staff members will take differing sides of one question and argue their opinions passionately. Then, in the end, it’s up to you to determine who’s right and who’s nuts.
Today’s Question: What is the best sports holiday weekend?
Josh’s Take: 4th of July
Memorial Day is first and foremost about appreciation and remembering those who made the ultimate sacrifice in the name of freedom. We should never forget that, or let it go unsaid. Since we’re here to entertain, I would point out that Memorial Day weekend not only screams patriotism and bald eagles; but also the unofficial beginning of summer, and SPORTS! The sports this weekend set a high bar for holidays — with the likes of NBA and NHL playoffs, baseball, and the Indianapolis 500. However, Memorial Day weekend is only the second-best holiday sports weekend there is.
America. Independence. Fireworks. Baseball. Hot dogs. Joseph Christian Chestnut. The Fourth of July, and the weekend surrounding the holiday, is the best sports weekend of the calendar year. While the number of professional sports playing in-season is relatively low, there is always plenty going on. In 2021, we will be gifted the addition of later-than-normal NBA and NHL playoffs.
The highlight of the weekend is of course the Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest. Dominated for years by Joey Chestnut, it is the ultimate American celebration and sports contest. Competition and gluttony — what are we better known for!? The incomparable Chestnut has won this event 13 times. No other athlete can claim his record of success and dominance. If individual titles are the benchmark, one could argue that Joey Chestnut is the greatest athlete to ever walk the Earth. July 4th weekend is when recognize the true G.O.A.T., so how can it not be the obvious choice for best holiday sports weekend?
In addition to competitive eating’s version of the Super Bowl, we get MLB in full swing and Wimbledon on a yearly basis. While MLB’s popularity has waned in recent years, and Wimbledon was unfortunately cancelled in 2020, they are staples in the global sporting world. Baseball was being played during 4th of July cookouts before the NFL, NBA, or NHL were even thought of. Wimbledon is the oldest tennis tournament in the world, and most consider it to be the most prestigious.
This year, due to the pandemic, the NBA and NHL are staging their playoffs well into the summer. While out of the norm, they are welcome additions after 2020. Sports fans will have access to pretty much everything except football this 4th of July – making the undisputed champion of sports weekends much stronger this year. Even football starts to creep into the minds of fans, as we find ourselves within a month or two of seeing it be played. Memorial Day Stans can’t say that! It is close enough to football season that we can start having conversations about position battles, win/loss records, fantasy sleepers, etc.
Memorial Day, Thanksgiving football, and Christmas basketball all make for a cute argument, but who are we kidding? Independence Day weekend is the best holiday-themed sports weekend there is. Sports fans rejoice and raise a cup when it comes around each and every year. We are well into summer, all major sports are at least on the radar, and Lou Gehrig’s famous speech is played on a loop on the 4th. Hot dogs, beer, and sports: undefeated against all challengers.
Gene’s Take: Thanksgiving
I’ll start out much like Josh in hoping that everyone is having a wonderful three-day weekend, and that we take some time out of our day to remember why this is the case: to honor those that gave the ultimate sacrifice. Memorial Day is all about the troops and remembering those who lost their lives defending this country of ours, and it is a much-deserved holiday. Like Josh, I do think this weekend is filled with great events that usually mark the real start of summer, but I too am not picking it as the best sports holiday weekend.
My answer may be cheating a bit for a few reasons — the first obviously being that Ohio State fans all love Thanksgiving weekend, as it marks the Buckeyes’ annual beatdown of Michigan. Also, it is a holiday that extends the weekend all the way out to Thursday, making it an unusual four-day weekend rather than the typical three. However, cheap as it may be, I can see no other answer than Thanksgiving as the best sports weekend of the year.
The action all starts on Thanksgiving Day itself, as we get to watch the Cowboys and the Lions both lose on national television, as well as whatever other fun NFL games are played that day. It is a great day to spend with family playing your annual backyard football game and watching the parade on TV before pigging out and spending the rest of the afternoon watching a bunch of football games that you likely don't have a rooting interest in. Football and food? Yes and Yes.
For Ohio State fans specifically, Saturday is when the real fun begins. At 12:00 sharp you will be planted in front of a TV or in the stands at the Horseshoe or the Big House to watch the greatest rivalry in college football as the Buckeyes dominate the Wolverines for the 100th year in a row. The Game is a tradition like no other, and that alone would almost be enough to make Thanksgiving Weekend the greatest of the year, and that isn’t even including the handful of other great college football matchups that usually take place on the last weekend of the regular season.
But wait — there’s more!
Then you get to wake up on Sunday and do it all over again, as you get another full slate of NFL games to feast your eyes on while you chow down on Thanksgiving leftovers. More food and more football? What more could you want!
I love the summer months, especially as a huge baseball fan. The weather is fantastic, outdoor activities are aplenty, and its just generally a better vibe in day-to-day life. However, you can put me down for Thanksgiving Weekend over any weekend in the summer when it comes to the best sporting events — holiday or not!
(P.S. Can we consider the first weekend of March Madness a national holiday? Because if so I'm taking that as a close second!)
Who is right?
This poll is closed
Josh: 4th of July