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Mid-Major Madness Twitter Mailbag: Happy Fourth of July

Answering your Independence Day inquiries

Caesars Palace Honors Its 50-Year Daredevil Legacy With A Night Jump By Red Bull Skydive Team And Performance By Platinum Entertainer Taylor Hicks Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images for Caesars Entertainment

Ah, the Fourth of July. A holiday catered to America’s core values of grilled meats, binge drinking, and blowing things up.

It’s important that we as Americans celebrate this day just as our Founding Father’s meant for us to. Look in a history textbook and you’ll see Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, and other historical greats gathered around a Char-Broil with frothy ales in hand. It’s on us to carry on that tradition.

Before preparing for your patriotic function, catch our extremely brief guide to a successful cookout. Now, onto your questions.

When it comes to cookouts, side dishes are nearly as important as the main entree. Teams aren’t complete with just one player, and neither is your cookout spread. Here are five side dishes that deserve a chance to occupy the precious real estate of your plate:

  • Corn on the cob
  • Baked Beans
  • Cole Slaw
  • Fruit Salad
  • Pasta Salad

If any of these are at my function, there is a spot on my plate for each and every one of them.

Fine, I guess we’ll talk some basketball too. Predicting sleepers in July is difficult because rosters are still being finalized, but I’ll give it a shot. Some of these might not even be sleepers. Sorry in advance.

MVC: Loyola
HL: UIC
OVC: Murray State
Summit: Denver
MWC: San Jose State

The Hilltoppers certainly know how to stay in the news cycle, that’s for sure. I really hope this doesn’t turn out to be a case where there’s too much going on behind the scenes for the team to really take off because I think this team could be a lot of fun. There certainly appears to be some internal strife, though, which is never a good thing when a team this young should be building camaraderie.

Wrote about this last week, but here are a couple of other good options that popped into my Twitter mentions:

If the Horizon League does decide to expand even more, Fort Wayne will definitely be on the list of teams considered. It was reported that it was considered before IUPUI ultimately received the invitation, so I think the Mastodons’ time in the Summit League is limited, and a move to the Horizon League is something that Fort Wayne fans should be hoping for.

Conference realignment gives me a headache.

...is everything okay Tristan?

Yes. We have that. It looks like this.

This was a hot topic of debate in our Slack chat yesterday. My preference is ketchup, a little bit of onion, and some shredded cheese if available. Mad IRL author and Real Chicago Guy Ben Goren logged on to defend whatever the hell Chicagoans put on their hot dogs. Russ Steinberg is a ketchup guy (I think), and Cam Newton is the resident Slaw Dog liker on staff. We don’t agree on anything.

Well, PontoonBoatRespector, aquatic crafts is not something I dabble in. Whatever.

BOATS, RANKED:

Pontoons
Speed boats? Is that the proper name?
Canoes
JetSki

I’m sorry. I don’t know anything.

When it comes to Independence Day cuisine, the correct move is the slap some burgers, brats, and hot dogs (for the simpletons) on the grate. Anything else is doing too much. These can be made quickly in volume, which is important when everyone is hungry and tired of watching your drunk uncle own everybody in cornhole. Get those coals fired up, grab exactly one (1) light beer, and show your guests why you’re in charge of grill. It’s not rocket science.

Let’s take a moment to acknowledge something that needs to be said:

Fireworks are in fact bad.

Look, I get it. Fireworks are a Fourth of July tradition that’s as American as apple pie and jorts. Going to see a professional firework display is a Fine and Good activity, but don’t kid yourself. The dang things are bad.

Nobody cares about the picture you took of your firework show on Snapchat. Oh you drew your name in cursive with that sparkler? Big deal. No amount of Ooo’s and Ahh’s at a good show mask the fact that fireworks are a dumb and pointless tradition.

And don’t even get me started on Neighborhood Firework Guy. Everybody knows who I’m talking about. The one guy on your street that shells out hundreds of dollars a year on mortars and the like. The one that thinks the Fourth of July is a weeklong event that requires his skyward entertainment. Buddy, it’s 11:45 on a Tuesday and it’s not even July yet. Give it a rest. If you’re That Guy that lights off fireworks the days leading up to and after the Fourth, you should be imprisoned. If this is you, rethink your life.

Happy Fourth, everyone, Now get off my lawn.