In the spring of 2001, our
were struck by a startling realization: There was no national holiday
celebrating James Naismith, the inventor of basketball. Shortly thereafter,
they were struck by a second realization: Neither expected to
accomplish much else during the first two days of the 2001 NCAA Men's
With 16 games each day -- and roughly
as many brackets predicting winners -- there would not be TIME to accomplish
much on the work front. Today the founders suspect that the United States
has always suffered a productivity slippage on those two days each year, but
that the trend has escaped public notice because economists, too, have been
preoccupied with their brackets, and failed to notice.
Armed with their twin realizations,
the founders embarked upon a bold course: Creation of a new national
holiday honoring James Naismith. Without Congress on their side (at least,
not officially) the founders faced an uphill battle. Two items were critical
to success: First, they would need a day off. Second, they would need
the tacit approval of their spouses.
Their common employer was wise enough
to recognize that no work was destined to be done during the first two
rounds of the tournament anyway. He was pleased to finally be able to
classify the day as official vacation, rather than unofficial screwing
around. Each of the founders broached the topic gingerly with his spouse,
and each was relieved to hear a response that has become a motto for us here
at the website: "What the hell. Why not?"
Thus was born St. James Day.