Monday, March 14, 2011

Hope Rises

This is rapidly becoming one of my favorite times of the year. I am, after all, intrigued by the anticipation in life. There are bubbles being blown and others being burst. You’ve got bats cracking in Florida and Arizona and pinging all across the country. Pucks are being dropped on the ice and balls are being tipped on the hardwood. And don’t forget about the 40-yard intervals being dashed.

This is, indeed, a great time to be a sportaholic. This is one of the only times of the year that ESPN can run every one of its specialty shows (NFL Live, Baseball Tonight, NBA Live, & College Basketball Live) on a nightly basis and not get repetitive. Barry Melrose, Jalen Rose, Tim Kurkjian, and Todd McShay are all fighting for position on the ten o’clock Sportscenter. The madness truly has begun already.

The outstanding theme, though, is hope. March brings hope in so many ways. From the promise of longer days to the greener pastures that lie just beyond the horizon, it is impossible to ignore the hope this time of year.
In the sports world, I do not know that there is a more hope-instilling time, across the board, than this. If basketball or hockey is your preference, there is either hope for the postseason or next season. Baseball fans, even on the North side of Chicago, are hopeful that this will be their year. College football fans are hoping that spring practices will translate into January games and NFL enthusiasts are eager to see whom their team will draft and if he will be the answer to the team’s problems.

From a personal standpoint: I sure know I’m hoping the Cardinals can find someone to replace Adam Wainwright; the basketball Hogs find the right man to replace Pel and get them back to NCAA relevance; the football Hogs can replace Mallett and DJ Williams and repeat last season’s success; and that the Cowboys can figure out how to not find themselves in the top 10 of the 2012 draft….assuming there is a season at all.

I am no fool. I know there are plenty of reasons to think there is no hope these days. Honestly, there may be more reasons to fear the future than to embrace it. But, for now, I say bring on the future and all of the uncertainty. Let’s just hope the NFL gets things figured out so we can avoid a painfully boring Fall.