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The Greatest Day of the Year

For many at HBS, the greatest day of the year is the last day of school. Please – let’s be realistic, when in your life will you have another two year break? Answer: when you are seventy years old and playing bridge with a bunch of raisins in Florida. (Author’s note: I am a partner who quit his job in July last year and who still isn’t working – though I do try to wake up by 10.)

For others, the greatest day is your birthday. If that is your favorite day, get over yourself. The only good birthdays are 16 when you can terrorize your parents with your erratic and irrational behavior and 21, when you can terrorize your parents with your erratic and irrational behavior.

The true greatest day of the year is Opening Day in Baseball. As a man who prides himself on how much television he can watch in one day (this sometimes can exceed 16 hrs), nothing beats being able to park yourself in front of the tube and watch four straight games on ESPN. When else can you be a fan of the Detroit Tigers and have your team tied for first place? Now, Major League Baseball has certainly thrown us a curveball this year by opening the season in Tokyo, but how happy was everyone not from NY, when the Yankees split those games with Tampa Bay?

I hail from Cleveland. I was raised on Indians baseball so I have endured the 100 loss seasons and I remember when “Super Joe” Charboneau was supposed to be the second coming. But I also remember cutting school (maybe why I don’t have a job now) with a bunch of my buddies and heading down to Municipal Stadium, a huge stadium that only rocked on opening day. I remember the excitement of sitting in the arctic air with the hope and expectation that only a diehard fan can muster after waiting for months for the new season to begin.

Every year, I place a small wager on the Indians to win the World Series.

Unfortunately, this has fared about as well as my Enron and Lucent investments. But let me tell you, I love making that bet for it epitomizes the hope that spring eternal in all true fans. And if come October, the Indians win the World Series, the 150-1 odds I got are going to ring the cash register – Maybe I won’t get a job for another month (but don’t tell my wife)

The greatest day of the year has come and passed. The new season has begun and I will have a new reason to read the Globe, ESPN will become my new home page and I will have a new excuse to go to the bar. Thank you for Opening Day.

April 12, 2004
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