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Big Ten at Ten 2.14.13: Where Ranking Holidays is More Fun than Talking Hoops

What? There were games on last night? Purdue and Nebraska fans don't know what you're talking about...

Clive Mason

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:

Short set of links today, but I will leave you with my new hero Leonard. Sure, you've all probably seen the video by now, but if not, I have done the world a favor.