Fourth & Long

David Friedman

I’m not sure there’s a better childhood memory than the one associated with watching your teacher roll in a television during class. The excitement surrounding this was only multiplied when it was done during the ACC basketball tournament.

It seems a few lawmakers here in North Carolina have proposed some legislation to help make watching the games a little easier. They are calling it the ACC Basketball Tournament Holiday.

S.B. 567 is defined as “an act designating the Fridays in March when both the women’s and men’s ACC basketball tournaments are held as public holidays in North Carolina.”

I recently heard of the pending law proposed by three democrat lawmakers and I immediately loved it. I have spent more vacation, personal and sick days watching the ACC basketball tournament than I can count.

I told you my story above, and while the law will potentially rob students of the excitement of a television being rolled in to their classroom, I hope we’re rolling televisions around schools less now anyway.

Further thought, however, has me wondering if this is a good idea after all. I hate to be the fun police, but I have some questions and see some potential issues.

Let me get the worst question out-of-the-way first, but I have to ask it: Don’t we have bigger issues for our lawmakers to be dealing with?

There seems to be several things in and around our state that require immediate attention. I can’t imagine anyone that lives here would disagree with that sentiment.

Despite this, three state senators have deemed this more pressing and in need of addressing beforehand.

I think it’s great that they included the women’s basketball tournament as well. It would have been a bad look to have not done so and only make a holiday for the men’s tournament. Just to be clear though, this will mean two more holidays in March during consecutive weeks.

Who exactly will get to celebrate these holidays?

It is my understanding that schools will celebrate it and I expect government offices and banks will relish the opportunity to take another day off work. It won’t be an extra day off for me, for my family or for my friends though. How about you?

Last, but certainly not least, the Friday that people will get off to watch the men’s tournament will be spent not watching the men’s tournament. I get the format used to be different when I was a kid but nowadays, there are two games on Friday and both are in the evening. Getting Thursday off would make much more sense if it was really about watching basketball.

If you are one of the lucky few expected to benefit from such a holiday, then I understand if you like me a lot less right now. Just know you’re in the minority.

David Friedman is a longtime sports writer and lifelong believer that BLM. David can be reached via e-mail at fourthandlongcolumn@gmail.com.

Thadd White is Editor of the Bertie Ledger-Advance and can be reached via email at twhite@ncweeklies.com.