I'm excited about March. I usually am, it's the start of spring which means summer is right around the corner, but also March is full of sports events both locally and beyond which I hope distract me away from the rather miserable mood I've been in lately. This blog is not meant for a venting of personal feelings or a hashing out of disappointments, I recently read a New York Times magazine article suggesting that writing can be therapeutic in times like the present. So whether it's good or bad writing, I write nonetheless, and already I find some solace in it and what awaits a sports fanatic like myself over the next month or so.
First a brief reflection on the Vancouver winter games which I was glued to for the better part of the last two weeks. Lindsay Vonn is fast and hot, that's makes her doubly hot. I know it's chauvinistic to say but if there was any coverage of alpine skiing in the States I would be convert. She skis with the reckless abandon necessary to find success in that sport but which also frequently leads to spectacular mishaps and crashes. To me she was the single most captivating personality of the games, not to diminish the achievements or captivating nature of others including Joannie Rochette (who skated with amazing grace and strength to a bronze medal days after losing her mother). I join an already large consensus opinion that the hockey tournament was the best part of Vancouver 2010. Hockey is a great game, an ideal combination of speed, skill, creativity, physicality and strategy. When the world's talent meet on the ice, there is no better display of how exciting the game can be. Each game I saw was free flowing, offensive and competitive. Perhaps the enhanced exposure of the game and the build-up, drama and quality of the final between the U.S. and Canada will be beneficial to the ever diminishing NHL fan base in this country. I suggest those that now turn to the NHL will be disappointed to not see the same intensity that was present over the past two weeks and will certainly grow weary of a regular season full of meaningless games that still has 3 more months to run before the Stanley Cup playoffs commence.
Anyway more immediate attention worthy events merit mention now that the Olympic flame is extinguished for two years until London 2012. No Tiger, no problem for me at least at the CA Championship here in Miami in less than two weeks time. I've gone to this event the last two weeks and plan on being out at Doral again this time around. As far as a spectator experience, little else compares to a golf tournament, particularly of the caliber of these championships which usually draws the top players from across the world. You're outside on a beautiful day, you're an arms length away from the golfers, you can enjoy a beer and hot dog while following the action. Sports of the more traditional couch-potato variety also awaits in the form of the NCAA men's basketball tournament. The nation goes bracket and upset crazy for three weeks of interesting college mascots, gaudily painted parquet floors and an overdose of Dick Vitale. I hope, but doubt, my Gators will slide in so I can have a horse to stake on. Regardless, it's always fun to pick and run with a Cinderella.
Baseball spring training starts this week, my enthusiasm there only centers on Jupiter, Fla and the Marlins. Although they play in a tough division, I see this team competing well into the September, especially if the arms stay healthy and possibly winning the wild card. For now, opening day is a mere month away which means I'll soon be sitting in those orange outfield seats at Joe Robbie, sipping a beer (notice the recurring theme), sporting my new fitted Marlins hat rooting on the fish.
Honorable mention goes to the Sony Ericsson Open (also local but the beers are so expensive), Champions League second round matches and the one-day cycling classics in Europe.