For all of you who might be wondering, SNERT is the dog from the comic strip. SNERd is Mortimer, Edgar Bergen's ventriloquism doll. Both are from roughly the same time period... well, maybe the ventriloquism one is a good deal older, but they overlapped in the 1970s. All I'm saying is, check your crossings!
And speaking of crossings, I found this theme quite clever. There's a BADMINTONNET down the middle of the puzzle, and the BIRDIE, after one player SERVES, bounces back and forth across, each time represented by four-letter bird names, each clued in a way that doesn't reference the bird. Thus, 17A: Avoid a beanball, maybe (DUCK), or my personal favorite, 59A: Ice cream bar brand (DOVE), because yum.
And then, after it's rallied back and forth six times, on the seventh time it lands clearly beyond the line delineated by the net, and the other player calls ITSOUT! Fun stuff.
There are 60 squares dedicated to the theme. It's made slightly easier by the fact that none of the answers cross each other at all, but even so, that's a fair amount to deal with, and it leads to some of the clunkier fill, such as in the NW corner with RISD next to ACLU (I accidentally entered this initially as UCLA, which amused me), and also in the SE corner with ODED and ERSE.
But even so, there's some pretty good stuff here as well. I liked 41A: Not stressed (UNACCENTED) - that's a good misdirecting clue. IONBEAMS is fun, and I particularly liked 69A: Facetious subject of many articles in The Onion (AREAMAN). Who can complain when SPAM is clued with the Monty Python sketch?
1A (RACKET) is a theme answer, and so doesn't get a rating. That being said, it's not much fun to begin a puzzle with a cross reference answer to a theme.
Fave: the aforementioned AREAMAN.
Least fave: MATEO (36A: San ____ (Bay Area city) - for the partial and the fact that we had a California city just a few answers earlier already.
It's a Wednesday - it's kooky.