So let’s say the dog days of summer are truly here.
Sports have all but vanished. No more College World Series. No basketball. No hockey. You can’t see football season without a telescope.
Basically, for the next month, you’ve got baseball ... and that’s it. Unless you want to count Women’s World Cup, which, quite frankly, is a step I’m not ready to take.
In other words, at first glance, you might say we’re starving for sports.
I say that’s pure baloney.
After all, the Fourth of July is a mere five days away. And when the Fourth of July comes, everything’s a sport.
- ?First of all, celebrations are naturally competitive. And automatically, I win.
I was born in Ottawa, so I’m allowed to celebrate two holidays this week - Independence Day and Canada Day, which happens July 1. It’s almost the same as the Fourth, but with a different flag and milder weather. Still, it’s a really big deal.
I know, our traditions are a little weird, and yes, one day, we’ll apologize for Justin Bieber. Until then, please remember that we brought you the great game of basketball. That’s right: James Naismith was Canadian.
We also brought you curling, hockey fights, great donuts, Kim Cattrall, Elisha Cuthbert, Shania Twain, Natasha Henstridge and Rachel McAdams.
As for the Fourth ...
- ?Fireworks become a sport.
Walk into one of those fly-by-night tents and look around. Ten bucks says you don’t leave with only a handful of sparklers. You can’t do it. Not when the neighbor might try to one-up you.
Why settle for Roman candles when you can buy a whole arsenal of stuff - Black Cats, Explodimus Maximus, Evil Clowns, Big No-Nos - all packaged in a giant box called “King of the Block”?
You have to have it. You can’t let the neighbor win.
See? It’s a sport.
- ?Hot dogs. Don’t lie: When Takeru Kobayashi and Joey Chestunt take the stage, live from Coney Island and on national television, you stop everything and watch.
Competitive hot-dog eating. How great is that?
Speaking of food ...
Seriously ... have you ever hosted a Fourth of July party? The food is your responsibility, and it’s huge. You can’t just buy a few chicken breasts, turn on the oven and wing it.
This holiday requires the right tools, proper planning and crisp execution. You can’t let someone walk away saying, “Well, it was all right, but Dave from accounting did a better job last year.”
No. You have to win. It’s a sport.
- ?Finally, just like sports, anything is possible on the Fourth.
Ten years ago, on this great holiday, I walked into a Baton Rouge restaurant, ordered a turkey sandwich and met a great girl. She even married me - and yes, I got the better end of the deal.
In other words, I won.
Who says nothing happens in the dog days of summer?