Independence Day 2012 is right around the corner. Families coming together from far and wide to engage in those most American of all pastimes , eating ’til ya puke and drinking ’til …well…more puke. Even that attractive proposition, though, will pale beside the fireworks show near you.
Just as Christmas’ true meaning has gotten lost amongst the need for more tinsel and HD light displays; Independence Day, marking the birth of the nation, has taken a turn for the flaming spectacular during our generation. All month long cities and sports venues vie for the crown of biggest, loudest, longest fireworks display for public consumption.
It’s all kind of needed too, as fire concerns and highly-publicized insinuating news stories about some kid mangling their hand through their own dumb mistake has spoiled the party for all of us, reducing the amount of fireworks available for purchase to the general public (if you don’t live near an Indian Reservation…or know a guy) to little more than those tiny charcoal snakes and whipper-snappers. New regulations stipulate that even these most pathetic of all fireworks can only be handled while wearing a helmet, rubber gloves, kneepads, lifejacket, goggles, gas mask, a dentist’s lead x-ray smock, and swimmies.
The schools of the Pacific 12 Conference have joined the fray, with fireworks displays befitting their position in the hierarchy of athletic prowess. FishDuck Galactic’s crack staff has inside information about what some of those schools are planning.
Washington State University:
Sparklers are fun for awhile. After a couple of Figure Eights, writing your name a time or two, though, you feel the need for something with a little more…substance. Either that or, just like in the above example, your mind will wander into the surrounding trees and you will ponder why you would even want to live. Kind of like living in Pullman.
Washington State has offered the occasional “Wow.” Reuben Mayes still brings tears to the eyes of some of us. Ryan Leaf brings tears to the eyes of a lot of folks. Jason Gesser was okay. Pretty soon, though, the erstwhile Cougar fan is left holding their sparking squirting device looking for a little more.
Arizona State University:
The Sun Devils have an ominous look about them. The weather in Tempe is great during the winter. The Sun Devils have a great base from which to recruit. The prettiest coeds south of Eugene, until they turn 30 and get all–
–Then the season starts and they ooze through the year like a big old ashy nothing that gets blown away by the wind. Or, as the gentleman in the video said, at least four times in his Dale Dribble voice, “It’s poooooooooop!”
University of Southern California:
Hey, bottle rockets are fun! Rumors that I used to load a tree full of them and shoot them at my brother’s house in Longview, WA are COMPLETELY unproven. They are a known crowd-pleaser. The problem is, there isn’t a lot of payoff at the end. They don’t make your brother’s hedge burst into flames as hoped, they don’t send a stream of red and blue into the night sky. They just kind of peter out…almost like they are on probation with nowhere to go at the end.
University of Washington:
William Shakespeare famously penned, “All sound and fury, signifying nothing.” I didn’t know Bill had ever seen the Huskies play. They are the Piccolo Pete in the box of fireworks–a racket with no payload behind it. The Mouth that Roared. The Mouse that Played.
Oregon State University:
Every fireworks show needs a punk. It doesn’t have any intrinsic value of it’s own. It lights the fire so that the real show can begin. Oregon State is the Washington Generals with the same number of season ticket holders.
University of Oregon:
Happy 4th of July from the staff and management of FishDuck Intergalactic Enterprises.
Kim Hastings is a 1984 graduate of Northwest Christian College. He cut his journalistic teeth as sports editor of a paper in his home town of Fortuna, CA, and, later as a columnist for the Longview Daily News in Longview, WA.
He saw his first Oregon game in 1977 and never missed a home game from 1981 until a bout with pneumonia cut his streak short in 1997. He was one of the proud 3200 on a bitterly cold night in Shreveport, Louisiana in 1989 for the Independence Bowl, and continues to be big supporter of Oregon sports. He is an active participant on the various Oregon Ducks messageboards as “TacomaDuck.”
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