"March comes in like a lion. March goes out like a lamb."
That takes me back to my Kindergarten class almost twenty years ago. You learn that weather in March begins with winter's final weeks of fury, and ends with the promise of warmer spring weather.
In the sports world, you find that it is the complete opposite.
The month of February is brutal on sports fans. Once the Super Bowl ends, a loathe in the sports landscape appears. Sprinkle in the NFL Combine, some basketball and hockey to keep yourself from going insane, and you try to survive the cold, unforgiving weather the month provides (unless you live in the south).
February 2015 has been one of the coldest months on record for many parts of the country. 25 degrees has become beach weather for many in the northern part of the U.S. Nightly lows at zero or below became an accepted reality for many.
Right now, the month of March looks a lot like February. It's snowing outside of my house right now, and by days end, 3-5 more inches of snow will have fallen.
By this time next week, temperatures will have risen, the snow will begin to melt, and most of use will finally thaw out of what has been a bone-chilling February.
Then things start heating up around March 8th: College Basketball conference tournament time.
Unless you have a school fighting to get off the bubble, this is when college basketball gets interesting. Every day of the week in the afternoon and evening, you will find a basketball game on an ESPN channel, Fox Sports 1 and other networks. It's a warmup act to the NCAA Tournament that will take you into April.
My goodness! The NCAA Tournament! Brackets, cash, and a disgusting amount of coverage of the early round matchups. Man, we're spoiled! Back in the day, you got a selected game in your region and occasionally, the network would do whip-around coverage of the other early round games. Today, we have CBS, TBS, TNT and TruTV carrying every game. If you have a job like mine, or if you're currently unemployed, it's sports television nirvana those first three rounds. Over 12 hours of basketball.
Then there's baseball. If anything warmed you up this month, to hear that pitchers and catchers reported to Spring Training for your team should have done it. Now, of course, they are down in Florida or Arizona, two of the few places that escaped bad, winter weather this past month, but it reminds us all that Opening Day is a month away.
And finally, is it too early to start thinking about golf? Golf?! There's snow on all the courses in western Pennsylvania, and we are gonna start talking golf?!
Most radio stations around the country carry golf shows. Some are starting this week. To hear that made me double check the calendar and also look out the window to see if any of the snow had melted. Nope. Still snow.
Of course, there are tournaments happening in warmer parts of the country. But most people will tell you that their golf season begins with The Master Tournament in Augusta, that starts April 9th.
Seriously, how can the theme music from CBS's coverage of the tournament and Jim Nantz's "hello friends" narration not get you in the mood for spring and golf?
It is a tradition unlike any other. It is...the Masters.