So today is Valentines Day. Last year some time, we went through some rankings of holidays in a thread and I more or less decided that if we're going to Power Rank holidays, I'm sure as hell going to put Valentine's in the Illinois Football 2012 range. It's a terrible holiday that has been completely blown out of proportion by Hallmark, Russel Stovers (which are terrible chocolates by the way), and flower companies everywhere. If we followed the money of holidays like we follow the money of lobbying groups, we would easily find out that these groups bribed the holiday committee in ways that would make the Modern Pentathlon's bribes to the IOC look pedestrian... But I digress. So here is my current Power Ranks of American Holidays and let's all go ahead and pretend last night didn't happen in basketball.
1. Thanksgiving - This should be number one for multiple reasons, chief of which is football. Also, we get all of the food with none of the guilt to buy stuff for others. Oh, and we are celebrating the notion of being thankful -- that's noble as opposed to super commercial. Macy's Parade is commercial, but floats are awesome. Look, basically Thanksgiving is awesome.
2. Christmas - I completely understand that this is just as commercial as Valentines Day, but there are some essential differences that make Christmas work and Valentines fail. First off, Christmas is a day off from work which is awesome. Second, Christmas is all about family and food and friends and good movies. You get Christmas music, which is a mixed bag I suppose, but it is certainly cheery. The desserts are amazing. You get some presents usually. Football is still going on. Look, there just aren't a ton of downsides to Christmas.
3. Fourth of July - Criminally underrated holiday. We get the day off and it's in the middle of the summer. There are fireworks everywhere and you get to cookout. Again, really focused on food, friends, and family. Not a lot of downsides, especially because there are really low expectations for gift giving and such. Also, really good time to drink casually and aggressively without the annoyances of some of amateurs powering through terrible beer (i.e. St. Patty's Day). I love me some Fourth of July.
4. Halloween - You do not get the day off, but remember Halloween as a kid? It was awesome. Then you get to dress up as 'adults' and that gets... interesting. Fun drinks, lots of snack foods in the office, and decorations. If you have kids, this is a super fun holiday where you get to see your child's face light up every time someone gives them another piece of candy. The best part? You're not giving them the candy yourself. There are very few downsides to this holiday (again, minus the whole having to work thing).
5. Memorial Day/Labor Day - I bunch these two together because they are mirrors of the same thing. 3 Day weekends, picnics, celebrating various parts of the American experience (both the soldier and the worker), and did I mention 3 day weekend? This holiday actually gives us something back as opposed to sucking away our time and money like Valentines Day (which I remind you I am working on and decidedly not happy about spending money on candy/cards/flowers).
Okay, I can't think of many more holidays worth ranking, so discuss among yourselves. On to the links:
- Damn straight I'm linking to OTE. Graham has the best Valentine's Day piece you'll read today.
- Remember when we said that Illinois basketball was dead in the water? Yeah, much less so now. via the Champaign Room
- Indiana did to Nebraska last night what Indiana was supposed to do. Apparently beating the Hoosiers was not a thing... via Crimson Quarry
- Iowa lost a coach to Rutgers and that looks like it's just the beginning of a renewal in Iowa City. via BHGP
- Did you guys see Michigan get worked by MSU? Zach Travis did and here are ten things he hates about that game. via MnB
- TOC thinks they are pretty punny with an ode to Denzel Valentine... on Valentine's Day... ugh. via ToC
- A rundown of the Gopher's signing day from The Daily Gopher.
- So some of us thought that there was an outside chance that the Huskers pull of the miracle. That didn't really happen. The Hoosiers really beat the tar out of Nebraska last night. via Corn Nation
- Awesome rundown on the unfortunateness of Northwestern Hoops 2012-2013. via SoP
- Really good piece over at LGHL about the bigger picture with Strength of Schedule and some talking points about FCS scheduling in general. via LGHL
- Patience is necessary for Nittany Lion Hoops fans. Here is a 3000 word piece on the state of the program and a call to be patient for things to come together. Full disclosure, I did not read all 3000 words. via BSD
- Purdue got pantsed by Illinois last night. I'm pretty sure that even the staunchest Boiler fan is probably losing their cool with this team and what is seemingly a lack of effort. Of course, this is not what I'm linking to. Instead, let's look at Matt Painter getting tossed. via H&R
- Hey, good to see former Illinois OC Chris Beatty land on his feet. He is now the new WR Coach at Wisconsin. via B5Q