Enjoy a few sneak peeks at the new book, “Sugar Ray/Visor Day: The Myth, The Legend, The Partial Hat”!
Prologue – Before the Visors…
JJ: I decided that this day of all days deserved its own oral history.
Kevin Locke, noted oral historian: Out of all the oral histories I’ve read or will read, I’m assuming this will be the least informative.
[Chapter 1: Genesis]
JJ: Well, let’s see, it was April 1, 2003. I was driving around campus on my way to get a healthy dinner.
Justin Slawson: We were on our way to McDonald’s.
JJ: It was the first really nice day of spring, and I decided to put on the Sugar Ray CD. I had also worn a visor because, let’s be honest, visors are great.
Darren Hirsch: None of us wanted to be seen with him.
JJ: Everyone loved it!
Rob Caughey: Literally none of us enjoyed it.
JJ: So as we’re driving, and it’s a gorgeous, sunny day, and I’m rocking the visor, I realize that Sugar Ray is just the perfect soundtrack for this day, and this moment. I just knew that every year, I’d do whatever I could to recapture that moment that means that the best times are right in front of you.
Kevin Monahan: I remember it was really crowded in the back of the car, and we all wanted JJ to drive faster, but he kept going on about how good that Sugar Ray CD was.
Rob Mullowney: I asked for two things in that car ride: that we go get pizza, and that we stop listening to Sugar Ray. I didn’t get either wish.
[Chapter 2: 14:59]
JJ: All throughout that summer, I wore a visor and listened to Sugar Ray pretty much non-stop. I’d like to say that it was a coincidence I became Big Man on Campus because I was listening to Sugar Ray with a visor on, but let’s be honest: there are no coincidences.
Nathan Singh: He wasn’t Big Man on Campus
Darren: Yeah, there’s no way he was Big Man on Campus. No one could really figure out why he was wearing the visor all the time. I thought it was just an elaborate April Fool’s Day joke.
Kevin: It was also my birthday that day, and all JJ ever talks about is his visor-epiphany.
JJ: It was a visorpiphany!
Justin: No one called it that.
JJ: Everyone was talking about it. So around October 2003, whilst studying abroad, I decide it’s no longer visor weather, and I put it away. But in 2004, April 1 was again the nicest spring day. And at this point, I realize that fate has put me in the position to start the fastest-growing national holiday in recorded history.
Nathan: Literally no one had any idea what that even means. How do you judge that?
JJ: So again, the visor comes on, I start blasting the Sugar Ray, and again, everyone looked to me as the tastemaker of Haverford College.
Steve Spaulding: Well, we certainly humored him.
JJ: It perfectly coincided with baseball opening day, pinwheel day, the first day of spring, and the feeling that the best part of the year was just about to start. I knew then that we had something special.
Robby Banks: Every time I saw JJ, he had a visor on. I’d have asked what that was about, but didn’t really care either way.
[Chapter 4: The Take-Off]
JJ: By year 3, word had gotten around. Interview requests were getting harder and harder to turn down. Lucky for me I maintained an active facebook page.
Kimberly Glassman, Facebook expert, cartoon: He really didn’t need to post every day about Sugar Ray Visor Day. But he sure seemed to, yo.
[Chapter 7: The Madness]
JJ: In 2006, the band Sugar Ray actually put up a notice on their website about the holiday. I’d say this was the ultimate peak – the chance to reach the broadest possible audience.
Mark McGrath: I just want to fly.
JJ: Of course, Mr. McGrath and the rest of the band ultimately got extremely litigious (both with me and with each other) and tried to steal the holiday away from me. At the advice of my counsel, I’ve been advised to [REDACTED].
Mark McGrath: Every morning when I wake up there’s a halo hangin
JJ: Also, I’ve swapped out Mr. McGrath’s actual, threatening quotes for lyrics of his songs, again at the advice of counsel.
[Chapter 9: New Beginnings]
JJ: Of course, last year we were able to celebrate an amazing 10 years.
I think we all knew that we had something special at the beginning, but nobody could believe how successful this ultimately turned out to be.
Darren: I still think it’s an April Fool’s Day joke.
JJ: Sure, I got cocky. I told Jay-Z I could make a Yankee visor more famous than a Yankee can.
Alison Brie, actress, “Community” and “Mad Men”: The only reason I wanted to be photographed after the premiere of my movie “Five Year Engagement” is because I knew JJ had invented the most important holiday in the world.
JJ: At the end of the day, all we can do is celebrate the visor for what it is and what it isn’t. Which, basically, is half a hat. And that’s half good enough for me.
Be sure to buy the book when it gets published for more on the oral history of this majestic day! In the meantime, Happy Sugar Ray/Visor Day 2014, everyone!