Sugar Ray/Visor Day 2017

Happy Sugar Ray/Visor Day 2017!

The world has radically changed since SRVD2K16. To reflect my opinions of those changes, I wanted to take a moment and speak out politically against the actions undertaken by the current administration –

Don’t worry; this is not a member of the Executive branch taking over JJ’s blog. Let’s talk about hats. Hats are great. All the best people wear hats. Everybody loves hats. And this holiday – you think it’s yuuuuge. It’s not the biggest holiday in the world. Scott Baio doesn’t celebrate it. Antonio Sabato, Jr. doesn’t celebrate it. Lot of people are telling me that it’s the worst holiday ever. This holiday doesn’t win anymore. I only celebrate the best holidays. People didn’t think that hats were great, but a lot of people didn’t think I would win the electoral college, either. We’re going to repeal visors and replace them with hats. Believe me. 

Sorry about that; that was weird. Anyway, as I was saying, I want to use today’s post to talk about the damaging effect of –

The issue of hats versus visors has already been litigated, in the 2016 election. The American people don’t care; all they cared about was how Hillary ran her campaign. To me it’s a non-issue, Chuck. When I hear that people are wearing visors, I see that as an alternative fact, and the lying media once again pushing its own agenda.ht_snl_dc_161204_12x5_1600

OK, not sure what’s going on, or why someone’s calling me “Chuck,” but, as I was saying –

Hats are great. Period. More people wore hats to the inauguration than have ever existed on planet Earth at any one time. FACT. The only thing more vile than visors are Dippin Dots. FACT. This briefing is going to start with an apology, FROM visors, TO hats – and that apology is NOT accepted. 

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This is starting to get weird. So, as I was saying –

Visors were created by ancient Egyptians as a way to let the sun god Ra have closer contact to one’s head. I’m legitimately a doctor who operates on brains.

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You know what? I think I’ve been hacked.

Забрало является короной шута. Только дурак будет носить это с гордостью. Кроме того, Sugar Ray достигла максимума около 20 лет назад.

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Yup. Definitely hacked. On that note, Happy SRVD2K17 everyone! 

p.s. For those who are gluttons for punishment, who have never heard of the holiday, or just love tradition, read below for the official origin story:

The summer after my freshman year of college, I started wearing visors…obsessively. And I was listening to that a CD by Sugar Ray called “Sugar Ray” (it had “When it’s Over” on it…not the one with “Falls Apart” or “Every Morning” or “Fly”). When I came back to school and it started getting cold outside, I didn’t wear visors any more; I also started listening to other stuff, because music is cyclical. So one day in December I put on sugar ray, for old time’s sake. And it was terrible. I mean, it just did not work – it just felt off. On April 1st of my sophomore year, it was the first nice day outside, the baseball season was starting, and it was time for a visor. As I was driving, by chance some Sugar Ray came on the radio – and it was glorious. Thus, the holiday was born. At first, only one person celebrated. Since then, we’ve had dozens of participants and full recognition from the band itself (in 2006). Now you (and any friends you pass this along to) can share along in the SRVD fun.

Some holidays make you buy cards and presents, or visit family that’s far away. But today, on the best holiday of them all, the only thing you have to do is realize that summer’s getting closer, the weather’s only going to get nicer, and good times are just around the corner.

 

 

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Happy Sugar Ray/Visor Day 2016!

Well, we made it. As loyal readers know, this is the 13th SRVD making it, of course, the Sugar Ray/Visor Day Bar Mitzvah aka the Sugar Ray Bar Mitzvisor. Now, while Sugar Ray has not performed “That’s What Friends are For,” or even danced the Hora, I think it’s pretty clear that this 2016 celebration has some significant overlap with a traditional Bar Mitzvah. Let’s take it step by step: Continue reading

Happy 4th of July!

Since I’m away in Alaska, I wanted to wish every one of my readers a very happy Independence Day! As is my annual tradition, I will be sure to watch some of ID:4 today!

Here’s hoping my travels to Alaska end up better than the Simpsons’ journey:

http://simpsons.wikia.com/wiki/File:Simpsons_Movie_Scene_Alaska

Happy Sugar Ray/Visor Day 2015!

Happy Sugar Ray/Visor Day 2015, everyone!

I’m going to start with a statement that might shock you: The first song I listened to today was not by Sugar Ray. No, the first song in my head was “April Come She Will” by Paul Simon (specifically this version):

I know, some of you will think it blasphemous not to rock out immediately to Sugar Ray on its eponymous holiday. And while I try not to get too personal on this blog, let me explain why today I needed to hear Paul Simon.

As I said in last year’s oral history, SRVD has always been a way for me to remind myself (and my friends and family) that April is a wonderful harbinger of better times ahead. Over the last twelve years, April has meant Opening Days, finishing finals, warmer weather, and, most importantly, being able to wear a visor again. Above all else, it’s meant that things were going to improve, from the dreariness of winter to the sunshine of summer.

Mark McGrath and company were traditionally a perfect gateway for that, at least for me, and April 1st always perfectly coincided with that feeling. The fact that April 1st also had positive meanings for others made it all the more special: my friend Kevvy’s birthday; Kevin and Sarah’s anniversary; and, of course, Edible Book Day. (That last one is real, by the way.)*

*Evidently April 1st evokes negative feelings for others. Sorry, John Oliver:

So while it’s clear that Mark McGrath is still just as big a fan of mine as I am of him

I had some epiphanies:

The biggest realization is the limitation of the visor. Over the years, I’ve posted pictures and videos of celebrities in visors, arguing for their status as the essential summertime emblem. And then I saw something that broke my heart:

Enjoying a baseball game, that man publicly displays the fatal flaw of the visor: its inability to catch a home run ball. Never before had I seen a visor fail, on such a national stage. It was brutal to watch.

The other realization is that, in the spirit of everyone celebrating in their own way, I have to loosen the reins. No longer can I insist upon a Draconian standard of everyone wearing a visor and listening to the best Sugar Ray songs. (Although let’s be honest: aren’t they all the best?) Sure, April 1st is Otto von Bismarck’s birthday (look it up!), but that doesn’t give me an excuse to act like a Prussian dictator. As Gandhi said, I should be the change I wish to see in the world. And today, that meant  not starting with a Sugar Ray song.

So why Paul Simon? Maybe it’s because of all of his SNL appearances (he is, after all, a member of the Five Timers’ club, and his performance of “Still Crazy After All These Years” at SNL40 was tremendous); maybe it’s because of his Yankee fandom; and maybe it’s because, standing in center field at Yankee Stadium, I have no doubt that his Yankee cap would be suitable for catching a home run ball:

But the real clincher? I think even Sugar Ray would approve of me changing things up. As they put it so eloquently in the song “Someday”:

Someway
When the sun begins to shine
I hear a song from
Another time
And fade away
And fade away

And today, that other time was Paul Simon in 1965. Or, more accurately, me in 2011 watching April and Andy get married on Parks and Rec:

Sugar Ray will never fade away for me. Rest assured, after listening to one Paul Simon song, I put on their entire 2001 album. I’ll be seeing them in concert for the second straight year this summer, and fifth time overall. I’ll be wearing visors (though not using them to catch baseballs) from April through October, and both reminiscing of good times gone by and great times still ahead. But any major holiday, be it Thanksgiving or July 4th or Sugar Ray/Visor Day, has to adapt. It’s evolution. And Sugar Ray itself has had line-up changes, and released albums of…varying…quality over the years.

A visor is a wonderful thing – it surrounds your head, but also leaves available room for ideas (and yes, technically, your hair). It’s protective, but not restricting. And so, for this year, I wish that you all are able to celebrate this wonderful holiday in your own way, however you see fit. Even if that means wearing an 80s style cap that is, for all intents and purposes, 90% visor/brim and 10% hat, like Mr. Simon himself:

I mean that's basically a visor.

I mean that’s basically a visor.

But be sure to tune in next year, when SRVD turns 13. That’s going to be epic. The Sugar Ray Bar Mitzvisor.

Sugar Ray/Visor Day 2014: The Oral History

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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.
Was there any doubt this would be the most popular look on campus?

Was there any doubt this would be the most popular look on campus?

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.
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[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.
When Paul Rudd's capturing your style, I'd say you've made it

When Paul Rudd’s capturing your style, I’d say you’ve made it

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].
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.
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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.
Remind you of anyone??

Remind you of anyone??

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!

Happy Independence Day!

For those who don’t know, I have an annual tradition of watching “Independence Day” every year on (or about) July 4th. As I’m off to England today for vacation, I had my yearly viewing last night, but wanted to share the most important scene for everyone’s enjoyment.