Opening Day in Cincinnati … the celebration starts early, the parade kicks off at noon and heads through the heart of Downtown. Baseball is back. It’s a daylong, unofficial holiday, right?
So why not make it official?
Shouldn’t Opening Day be a real day off? We’ve just made it through the long winter, school kids standing at the bus stop in the cold, 9-to-5-ers grinding in to work and back in the dark. We deserve a day to bask in the start of baseball season in Cincinnati.
But instead, if we want to partake in the fun, we have to (wink, wink) dream up some excuse to take the kids out of school, feel like we’re playing hooky from work and then deal with the residual guilt.
Sure, it’s part of the tradition – goof off for a half day or so, go get a beer or two and join the crowd at the parade or the game.
But wouldn’t it be better if Opening Day was a real holiday? Wouldn’t that truly recognize the special place that Cincinnati holds in baseball history?
School boards could do this. Just make it a day off when they create the school calendar each year. Heck, they already take lengthy breaks for Christmas and summer, and call off if a snowflake or two falls.
Cities could do this. They already take off most every holiday possible (President’s Day, anyone?).
We asked Cincinnati’s mayor about it. He wasn’t prepared to take that step.
So, we contacted the governor’s office. No holiday, they said.
BUT ... we did get an honest-to-goodness official resolution. Signed by Gov. John R. Kasich and Lieutenant Governor Mary Taylor, it declares April 4, 2016 as “Cincinnati Reds Opening Day” in the state of Ohio.
It recognizes “Cincinnati’s undeniable affection for baseball,” the Reds as “one of the most distinguished baseball teams of all time,” and this town’s unofficial holiday as “a day which coincidentally coincides with an unusual increase in sick days for children and adults alike.”
There you have it. Complete with the state seal and everything. Finally, some official recognition of the special place Opening Day has in the hearts and minds of Cincinnatians and Reds fans around the world.
Thank you, governor.
Now, about that holiday…