Sunday Paper (Year 4, Volume XI)
While most think of March Madness as an ending - the culmination of the college basketball season - for me (and for our household 200 Miles From the Citi), it marks a beginning.
The beginning of the next 46 weeks when sports takes center stage around here.
I'll admit, since the birth of our first daughter... and then daughter #2... and daughter #3... sports doesn't have quite the starring role it used to in this house. There are diapers to change and birthday parties to attend and naps to take (that's one activity in which we can all take part). But sports is given careful consideration when it comes to weekend and evening plans. For example, Mondays and Thursdays are the nights to catch up on our DVR'ed shows because of the baseball schedule. And if there's an important baseball game on at the same time as a family event? It involves careful discussions of "is there a TV there?" or "How can I sneak out for a few minutes to listen to the radio?"
John always bemoans the six weeks between the Super Bowl and March Madness because there's nothing going on sports-wise. Sure, he starts to get into the baseball mood with spring training. And yeah, he's started to kind of watch NASCAR in recent years. NBA and NHL... eh, and more eh. It's just not the same as baseball and football.
But these six weeks... how do I say this? They were so much more stress-free. The TV has been turned off on the weekends. There's been no cursing about the Mets and how their season has gone down the drain (again). Heck, I haven't heard the name "Rex Ryan" uttered around these parts for months.
Not that I'm complaining (too much). I love seeing the excitement in our girls' eyes when they watch baseball games on TV. (Getting them to actually go to a stadium... now that's another story.) I love what is now a March ritual of having them pick their tourney teams. (It's all about the mascot names. Not much different from my own strategy.)
But now it starts again. For March Madness morphs into baseball season morphs into football season. See you again curse-free house next February. It's been real.
*This year the Red Sox have a new spring training facility. It looks awesome. I read a great article about the scoreboard there this week. Enjoy.
*Many of you probably know that I plan our stadium trips in our household. So far, we've been to 15 ballparks. (Well, 17 if you count Shea and the old Yankee Stadium.) By the end of this year, I'd like to say we've been to more than half. But that's going to be hard. Our big summer vacation thought this year is to go to D.C....and we've already been to Nationals Park. (But yes, we are going when the Mets are there.) So: I'm considering a quick weekend trip somewhere, either a Toronto/Detroit swing or a Chicago/Chicago/Milwaukee. It probably won't happen, but I'd like to think it will. Stay tuned.
(This is not my wife Kathy's first turn at the wheel of the site. She just guest-authored the fourth and final Sunday Paper while I took a little time off to recharge the battery. I have lots to say about March Madness, Spring Training, and even the Jets when I'm back - I look forward to sharing it all with you.)