Why is there a college basketball picture on a baseball blog?
Because when we get to this time of year, the frost has melted on the long, dull off-season and February is over with. It’s because when this tournament of 64 teams ends, we’re on for some six months of nightly action on the diamond. It’s because we’ve made it, and the tip offs that take place at the end of this week signify that spring has arrived and the long dreadful winter is nothing but a memory in our past.
This time of year always brings back to me a lot of warm memories that occurred while waiting for the last few days before the baseball regular season started. It reminds me of spring break trips gone by. Fantasy baseball drafts. Joining my fraternity in college and being woke up at 5 am without the courtesy of being offered a shower, having to eat every meal with a wooden spoon that I carved myself (yes, it is a warm memory albeit a stupid one when you think about the stresses that ‘real adult life’ brings each of us). The first outdoor practices of the season were always right around now. I always had tendonitis. And we’ve got St. Patricks Day is always sandwiched in for you drunkards out there. Of course there was our Omega weekend in Kentucky/Cincinnati back in 2007 when we started this blog that we could never forget.
Spring always brings a lot of hope. It’s not just the new baseball season I guess, but that’s a large part of it. And although I don’t watch a ton of NCAA basketball, I’ve always followed the conference tournaments from a far and then show up on NCAA tournament day for the big dance and act like I know my stuff. I won a bracket in 2002 by riding Carmelo Anthony’s ‘Cuse Orangemen all the way to the $300 top prize. Spent in one night at a local watering hole.
And again, when this tournament ends it’s time for the boys of summer to take the stage as the lead act. I love this time of year. That’s why I call the NCAA Tournament the appetizer to the main course.