My kindergarten teacher, Mrs. Nolan, taught me that March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb.
The elementary phrase might be true in describing the weather, but it is the opposite in the sporting world. That’s why it’s one of my favorite months of the year.
And this March should be even better than usual.
March comes in quietly. The month brings no relief to brutal winter weather, and only grants sports fans a few meaningful games amongst the NHL, NBA and NCAA basketball circuits.
But as St. Patrick’s Day approaches, excitement in the sporting world builds. March Madness graces us with its presence, the NHL playoff race heats up and baseball season creeps closer.
Finally, after months of anticipation, that magical time of year has arrived.
I’ve loved this time of year since I was in grade school. As the final bell approached on Thursdays and Fridays during March Madness, I squirmed in my seat as my mind wandered to basketball.
When 2:30 p.m. finally arrived, I would rush out to the car where my dad waited for me. He would update me on what happened while I was trapped in school.
The moment we arrived at home, I would plant myself in front of the television, captivated for hours by the thrilling action. As the tournament progressed, I would compare my bracket to the actual results.
Even now, the most amazing part of March Madness is the sheer unpredictability.
Every year, no matter what teams get into the big dance, one team comes out of nowhere and shocks everyone. George Mason, Davidson and VCU are a few of the many Cinderella teams in recent history.
This year’s bracket boasts even more potential surprise teams. Providence, Harvard, Stephen F. Austin and several others could make some noise this year.
No other postseason, at the college or professional level, boasts this degree of parity. Only the NHL comes close, which is another reason why I love March.
While the NHL playoffs don’t start until mid-April, teams are already jostling for position. Especially in the deep Eastern Conference, where six teams are fighting for the last two playoff spots.
If you like hockey, now is the time to start following the action.
This March promises to be even better than usual. Don’t miss it, sports fans.