Most of you probably think of college hoops when you think of the term “March Madness.” The reality is, I don’t have a horse in that race. My husband is a St. John’s fan, but if it’s any indication I went to an all-women’s school for my undergrad. Nuff said. Although truth be told, I used to really be into hoops in general. I followed John Stockton and Karl Malone on those great Utah Jazz teams (and ironically, married a Jazz fan, as he actively follows them to this day), but since they retired, I haven’t had much use for the sport professionally. My dad used to live down the street from Monmouth University and those basketball games were always fun.
I guess it was the survival of the fittest, in my life anyway. Being a gal for all seasons, I don’t have a “break” per se in my sports world. If you were to look at things from a calendar perspective, I’m booked pretty much from Jan 1 to Dec 31. I may not have games every day for my team but I may have vested interests in other games to follow. Basketball kind of fell by the wayside because since that season overlaps with hockey, a sport I like a great deal more than hoops, and ends well into baseball, my number one love, hoops took a hike.
Yet, March is a bit maddening, as a hockey fan and a baseball fan. I’m looking at the Rangers schedule for the next few weeks and it is JAM PACKED. We’re in the home stretch of the playoff push, and it’s pretty certain they will get a high ranking in the Stanley Cup playoffs. I’ve often told my dad that hockey season ends when the Rangers are out of the playoffs and baseball season starts that same day. In the fall, hockey season starts when the Mets are no longer playing (but I have to admit, I’ve watched most of the baseball playoffs in the last few years, just to torture myself I suppose since the Mets are almost certainly never a factor). Somewhere, football comes in, but as you know, it’s not that much of a commitment. So for me, the biggies are hockey and baseball due to the time commitments of being a fan.
So herein lies the problem. It’s March. My hockey team is doing extraordinarily well. It seems like they’re playing every other damn day in the month of March. Yet, my husband, whose baseball love trumps everything else, accepts my love of hockey, but there may be some games conflicting. Hey, it’s baseball. Baseball makes everything right.
Except when the Rangers are doing so well. They had a great game against the Boston Bruins over the weekend, and it seems like this is the start of a new rivalry judging by how the game ended. In speaking to my Ranger blogosphere buddies Nick Montemagno and Kevin DeLury on last week’s podcast, the general consensus is that the hot team gets hot at the right time and ultimately, rest is for the non-weary in hockey. Unlike baseball when you try to rest your regulars, the playoff push expects more of them. And more of the fans who support them.
This leaves me with not a lot of free time going into the spring.
I never miss baseball Opening Day. It’s like my High Holiday. After that, it’s fair game till the Rangers are done. But March will be a true test for me, given that the spring training broadcasts are so few and far between and that I have Ranger games many nights. Should lead to an interesting household to say the least here.
According to numerous internet sites, the origin of March Madness was Illinois high school basketball in 1939. People in Indiana (next door to Illinois) would beg to differ. They have claimed March Madness in high school basketball tournaments for almost that long. People take their high school basketball VERY VERY seriously in the midwest (sort of the way they take high school football in the South). When I lived in Indiana during the 1960s, nobody did ANYTHING but attend high school games during the month of March. It really was “madness.”
I am lucky (or unlucky, depending on your point of view) to live in Hawaii now, where we have no professional sports whatsoever, with the exception of the occasion surf contest. The University of Hawaii has a college football team that is nothing to write home about; a basketball team that is nothing to write home about; and a baseball team that is nothing to write home about. We do, however, do women’s volleyball with a passion!!
When I lived on the mainland, I followed all sorts of sports. But when you life in Hawaii, there’s very little point. Good luck to your Rangers, however.
Kay in Hawaii