At the beginning of March Madness, my wife usually gets mad, knowing that I'll be plastered in front of the TV throughout Rivalry Week, Conference Championship Week, and then every Thursday through Sunday during the actual NCAA Tournament (not to mention the NIT games during the rest of the week). She whines and cries that there's always a game on, and I'll put college basketball before her in my priorities (and says it like it's a bad thing). For a time, she'll banish herself to the bedroom, while I watch in the living room, sprawled on the couch. I've always asked her to watch with me, and she'll retort that I don't really want her to (honestly, as long as she's quiet, I don't mind). However, even she isn't immune from the pull of the bracket. There she was, yelling at the TV, as her father's alumnus, Villanova, struggled in their opening round game against American University.Knowing I'd picked them to make it to the Elite Eight, she watched with me as they dispatched UCLA, and, while she didn't stay up to see the Wildcats whip-up on Duke, she did ask if I was going to DVR it.
In the back of her mind, she knows that this late March - early April orgy of sports entertainment doesn't stop with college basketball. If the tournament isn't on, there's a spring training game on. Or a playoff-chase NHL game, or an NFL draft anaylysis, or a pre-Master's tune-up PGA Tour event. The best thing about this time of year, is that my wife is right, there's always something on! While there's a lot less drama on frozen pond this season, as my beloved Washington Capitals are securely in control of their division, she remembers last season's mad dash to the playoffs, and we watched every second of their push for the postseason, jumping around like the crazy Russian kids that play for the Caps, going nuts after every goal (I've asked Ted Leonsis if he'd change the team's motto from "Rock the Red", to "Rock the Red Army", as half the squad is comprised of Ruskies, fun to watch Ruskies, I'll add).
Just when the Madness subsides, Opening Day is here, as is the tradition like no other. The first week of April brings us the shouts of "Play Ball!", and the hushed tones of Jim Nance calling the action at Augusta National. Again, though not a sports fan, my wife will gladly skip work with me to watch every Opening Day game that's televised, and she'd never miss watching Tiger, or anyone for that matter, play Amen Corner. How could things be better? Perhaps we should begin petitioning Churchill Downs to move the Kentucky Derby up a few weekends, just to get it into the mix.
Anyway, though March has just flown by, and April will come an go just as quickly, remember that it's okay to take it all in. This is what we sports fans live for (at least until training camp opens), stop and smell the azaelas. Just pick a few for the wife, so you don't get into too much trouble.