Fourth of July weekend is here and that means doing American things like grilling hot dogs and hamburgers, drinking beer, maybe tossing around the pigskin, blowing fireworks into the sky and of course, blowing fireworks into your hands, head or any other body part you would probably rather have than not have for the rest of your life.
Last year on July 5th, the sporting world woke up to the news of New York Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul and then Tampa Bay Buccaneer cornerback C.J Wilson having been involved in gruesome firework accidents. Pierre-Paul, an All Pro, blew a firework off in his hand causing severe damage and the amputation of his right index finger. The New York Giants withdrew their long term contract with Pierre-Paul worth $60 million dollars. Now those are some expensive fireworks. Pierre-Paul is still playing football and made $14.5 million dollars last year so he’ll probably be ok. But we’ll keep our fingers crossed for him just in case. Fingers crossed, you get it?
C.J Wilson was not so lucky as he lost both his index and middle finger which can be vital for catching footballs, so I hear, and at 25 said he was “stepping away” from football.
Now these are just two stories of professional athletes who played with fireworks and will pay a high price for the rest of their lives. Pierre-Paul did a PSA illustrating the risks and telling everyone to be careful and many other articles out there and newscasts will tell you the same thing. But don’t you worry, we will wake up on July 5th and the numbers of injuries, dollars spent and numbers of fingers lost will start piling in. And just so it's clear, losing your fingers is not like cutting your hair to donate to kids with cancer. Nothing good happens with those fingers, they just go into god’s pile of reasons to flood the earth again.
Fireworks are cool to look at, I get it, but I will never understand the desire to shoot them off myself. You don’t have to shoot them off yourself to see them, you will see many fireworks this weekend and you won’t have to touch one. I’ve never shot off a firework but I imagine like most things in life, it’s way easier if someone else pays for it, does the dirty work, takes on all the risks and then I enjoy the outcome. Don’t you wish everything in life was like that?
Imagine you lived in an apartment without a TV, but you wanted to watch TV because watching TV is awesome, so then one day, you get home and you realize your roommate had gone out, bought a TV, installed it, bought the DirectTV package with 5 billion channels because this is America, put batteries in the remote, turned on the TV to exactly the channel you wanted to and then said hey, buddy, want to watch this with me? Wouldn’t that be awesome? You didn’t have to do anything you merely enjoyed the outcome of somebody else’s hard work and money. And while your roommate was out winning best roommate ever awards, you were out playing football with all 10 of your fingers because that’s an American thing to do.
So this 4th of July, don’t waste your money on fireworks, and when you watch the professional shows don’t just enjoy the fancy colors and shapes, think about how big of a pain in the ass it must have been to put it together and how absolutely awesome it is you didn’t do one damn thing for it. Now that’s an American thing to do.
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