New generation needs new holidays

By Kevin Wilson

I’m thinking of going on strike.
I had to work on Thursday’s holiday.
What’s that you say, Kevin? There wasn’t a holiday.
Oh yes, there was. Thursday was Madden Day.
Madden Day isn’t recognized by our government … yet. Ideally, it would be a floating day, coinciding with the annual release of Electronic Arts’ Madden football video game.
If you’re under 35 and male, you’ve likely got some kind of story about video game football, from the unstoppable Bo Jackson in Nintendo’s Tecmo Bowl to the greatest trades in video game history.
Sports games have come a long way since the early days of Tecmo Bowl (you got four offensive plays and liked it) to now. Madden 2005 includes a franchise mode where you work with the salary cap, adjust concession stand prices and keep player attitudes in check with playing time and trades.
I love the Madden series, but I’m more loyal to EA’s NCAA Football series, which allows you to create a school (I recreated Eastern New Mexico University as a Division I program) and run a 10-season dynasty, complete with bowl games and offseason recruiting.
I’m a man of few words when people ask me about my job at the News-Tribune — I try to let others do the talking. My college football program, however, is a different story.
I beam with pride when I talk about how my option quarterback stayed for his senior season and threw for 51 touchdowns (against three interceptions), and I welcome the challenge of revamping to a run-and-gun offense with five different shotgun sets.
By the way, I’m single.
Getting the new football video game is an exploration of sorts, an electronic cornucopia of NFL goodness that most players need a few hours to soak in. That’s what Madden Day is for, and I would lobby Congress for the privilege — on second thought, let’s step that up to God-given right — to take a personal day.
But, just to show you I have other interests, here are some other days that I think need holiday status. Workers should get them off, and those oblivious to the holiday’s meaning can use the day for personal reflection.
Super Monday: Even non-football fans can appreciate this one, which would fall on the Monday after the Super Bowl. After a day of eating and drinking unhealthy snack foods and watching an eight-hour football game for the commercials, who has the energy to give 110 percent on the job the next day?
First day of hunting season: Montana and Texas only.
Prom Day: Held on the first Friday in May, schools give students the second half of the day off to prepare for prom. This way, dances aren’t scheduled on Saturday — a process that effectively eliminates half of the weekend for students, teachers and parental chaperones. With the free afternoon Friday, salons aren’t overworked on Saturdays and guys can make necessary arrangements. This holiday would have helped the Portales High softball team avoid a frustrating weekend. The softball gods (or goddesses) allowed neither team to score, and a 16-inning game frustrated girls and hairdressers alike across Portales.
If you’ve got one, send it to me via e-mail and we can compile a list of better holidays. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go fire up my Nintendo Gamecube and write a letter to my congressman.

Kevin Wilson is the managing editor of the Portales News-Tribune. He can be reached at 356-4481, ext. 33 or by e-mail:
Kevin_Wilson@link.freedom.com