Teryn's Hot Topics: Opening Day needs to be a national holiday

BY foxsports • February 28, 2014

ST. LOUIS -- Probably one of the most respected days on the calendar in St. Louis -- Opening Day -- has one of the city's most respected players -- Ozzie Smith -- lobbying to, yes, you got it, gain some R-E-S-P-E-C-T from the nation's lawmakers.

Not only can I spell it out, but I can do the math, too: Baseball + Holiday = Awesome.

When I read this week that the Wizard is teaming up with Anheuser-Busch to put together a petition of 100,000 signatures within 30 days to present to the Obama administration, asking Washington to declare Major League Baseball's Opening Day a national holiday, I immediately thought, "Where do I sign?"

The effort has caught fire on local social media pages, with more than 27,000 signatures in the first 2 1/2 days -- mine being one of them. (Sign the petition by clicking HERE.)

I understand D.C. has more important issues to address, but the nation's pastime should be a national holiday. (Does anyone really get much work done that day anyway?)

I know Kayla and I will be celebrating the holiday! Join us at the Budweiser Brewhouse located inside the highly anticipated Ballpark Village on March 31.

PROTECTING OUR ASSETS

A different cause close to the heart of another one of our legendary Redbirds was brought to light this week.

During the offseason, MLB passed regulations that they hope will prevent home-plate collisions this season.

Cardinals skipper Mike Matheny was one of the supporters of this new rule, which disallows catchers from blocking home plate without possession of the baseball and penalizes baserunners who try to make contact with a catcher who is not blocking the plate.

A four-time Gold Glove winner and former St. Louis catcher himself, Matheny, who believes the rule is not strong enough, had his career cut short by concussions in part due to home-plate collisions. Not to mention we have a hot commodity of our own in St. Louis to protect behind the dish -- Yadier Molina.

Yadi, an STL fan favorite and All-Star, could be protected by this rule and was reported to be actively practicing a new approach at the plate in Jupiter this week.

Concussions have been a big topic of discussion on the sports scene -- across all sectors, from pro to little league, with organizations like the NFL taking large steps to help prevent these potentially serious injuries. It is no surprise that baseball is doing so as well.

I'm sure many moms out there are happy to see this experimental rule enacted.

MID-MAJOR? WHAT DOES THAT EVEN MEAN ANYMORE?

Meanwhile, the sport of college basketball has seen a change in its landscape as well.

Teams like this year's SLU Billikens, who just ran off a 19-game winning streak, and the No. 2 Wichita State Shockers of the Missouri Valley Conference have helped put the term "mid-major" to bed.

College basketball is one of my first loves, the first sport that I can really remember vividly as a spectator and fan. I grew up going to games in Carbondale, watching as then-head coach Bruce Weber and the SIU Salukis made multiple appearances in the NCAA tournament.

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I've witnessed Creighton's back-to-back MVC Arch Madness sweeps, while today they are making a splash in the Big East. (And we can't forget Bluejay Kyle Korver, current Atlanta Hawks star, tearing it up against his alma mater's former conference foe during the days I spent watching Southern.)

That's what I admire about college hoops and these so-called "mid-major" teams -- for many, it's about the love of the game, working together as a team, and proving that, in basketball, anything can happen and any team can run with the big dogs.

So shout-out to Wichita State for becoming the first team to go 30-0 in the regular season. I know they may have to prove their strength in the NCAA tournament because they are still considered "mid-major," but that undefeated accomplishment is still very impressive. After all, they did receive several No. 1 votes this week in the AP poll.

I am eager to see them play in the MVC tournament at Scottrade in St. Louis next week and am excited for what's to come for the Billikens as well. 

FUR FIGHTERS

Another shout-out goes to St. Louis Blues captain David Backes and his wife, Kelly, who worked to rescue two stray dogs in Sochi while competing in the 2014 Winter Olympics.

The couple rescued and brought home "Sochi Junior" and "Sochi Jake," a couple strays who hung around the Olympic Village where Backes and his other hockey teammates bunked.

"So these two lives aren't going to make a huge impact on the stray population of Sochi. We're well aware of that," Backes told FOX Sports Midwest contributor Nate Latsch. "But the stories that they can tell and the examples they can set for people is something that can be exponentially multiplied for them and some of their other kind, so it's great for, I think, the whole cause."

My rescue dog Duke, with his favorite toy – a stuffed football.

The cause is also close to my heart, as we rescued my dog, who was dumped. Therefore, I connect with the mission.

I also connect with the mission for the Stanley Cup. :)

But for now, I will stick to this heart-warming story one of our boys in blue brought us during the Olympic break.

One game at a time.

Check out FSMW's Panger and Bernie's take on the Blues heading into their final 25 games.

MY VIDEO PICKS OF THE WEEK

Jimmy "The Cat" Hayes is up to his antics again. He asks the hard-hitting questions in each of the Cardinals Extra videos this week, including getting to the bottom of Jason Motte's recovery and, of course, THE beard ...

OK, so this next one isn't a video, but keeping it in the realm of multimedia, a slideshow is close enough. It was picture day for the St. Louis Cardinals on Tuesday and many of them flashed their pearly whites and said "CHEESE!" Which one is your favorite? Personally, I think Coach Red Schoendienst is just adorable!

Teryn, a journalism graduate of the University of Missouri, is a FOX Sports Midwest Girl. You can follow the FOX Sports Midwest Girls on Facebook (FOX Sports Midwest Girls) and Twitter and Instagram (@FSMidwestGirls).


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