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How To Make a Major League Soccer Holiday

The NFL has Thanksgiving, the NBA has Christmas and MLK Day, but what about MLS?

Alex Wong/Getty Images

I don't know about you, but there's nothing I like more than a three-day weekend, especially when the third day is a Monday. Fridays are always fun, regardless of whether you have to go to work or school, but avoiding responsibility on a Monday always seems like cheating the devil a little.

This last particular three-day weekend, with Martin Luther King Jr. Day falling on Monday, was particularly nice because the NBA has made a little tradition of MLK Day games. A day with no work, afternoon tip-offs and extra national TV games added to the schedule? I'm down.

For what it's worth, so is Eden Hazard.

(I have no idea why Eden Hazard is a Knicks fan. I have to assume he also enjoyed being beaten up in kindergarten.)

As I was catching a little of the day's hardwood action, I was thinking about our other sports holidays and how Major League Soccer can get in on the fun. We watch the NFL on Thanksgiving, the NBA on Christmas, and College Football on New Year's Day, but what day do we gather with our extended families and avoid talking politics while MLS is on in the background? I've decided to take it upon myself to make an MLS sports holiday.

The qualifications for a new sports holiday are as follows:

  1. Be a federal holiday. No one wants to go to a game that they have to miss work for, and making it an event means it's got to be a holiday with significance. Sorry, Arbor Day.
  2. Be a patriotic holiday. This requirement is mostly taken care of with No. 1, but it's worth mentioning because we love equating our sports with what a great nation we are. It's like being a super-rich guy who shows off his sterling new personal gym to all of his guests.
  3. Don't be an old sports holiday. Don't go trying to compete with the NFL on Thanksgiving or the NBA on Christmas. You might say that MLS already has a sports holiday, the Fourth of July, but that is and always will be a baseball day as long as there is baseball, apple pie, Mount Rushmore or the Kardashians. New Year's Day will always be about College Football and never the NHL, no matter how cool the Winter Classic is, and the same goes for Independence Day and MLS.
With those guidelines in mind, I've decided the two best candidates are Memorial Day and Labor Day.

You think those days are already sports holidays? You'd be right to a degree. MLS being the new kid on the block, we've got to make some small concessions to No. 3, but if you're telling me that the NCAA Lacrosse National Championship has claim on Memorial Day, then we might as well scrap this whole idea and suck our thumbs in the corner. You might be thinking that Labor Day weekend belongs to College Football and you'd be right, but the Monday itself is ripe for the picking.

Memorial Day and Labor Day are the two least busy sports holidays during the MLS calendar, and yet MLS doesn't have any games scheduled either. There are MLS games for both holiday weekends, but none on the holidays themselves. In fact, Orlando City plays one of two games on the Wednesday following Labor Day, while there are no games on Labor Day proper.

Call it a missed opportunity. I don't know about you, but I like getting some afternoon sports on the third day of my weekend.