Sunday, February 11, 2007

Days of Discontent

These are painful, painful days.

It happens every year, this dark, quiet, nameless depression. It's mid-February. Valentine's Day - that most fake of holidays looms. The weather, well, stinks. The kids can't really play outside for more than a few minutes without looking at you with frozen snots and wind-burn. You wear so many layers that you can't help but feel like the kid brother, Randy, in "A Christmas Story" who can't move his arms.

But it's not all that entirely.

It's mostly that there's not a single good sports storyline to follow.

Let's be clear, I'm no sports junky. I'm as casual a fan of professional and college sports as they come. I listen to the headlines, watch the highlights when I happen into them on the news and scan the Globe and Herald sports pages most every morning.

But the sports I do actually care a bit about are baseball and football. I love listening to the Sox on the radio on my way home in the summer with the window down. I love sitting down with a pile of nachos and taking in as much of a football game as The Boys will allow.

Now that the Bears went kerplunk, football season is over (no, I don't count that silly Pro Bowl game. That just makes me realize how little I can afford to take a good vacation to Hawaii). And baseball, real baseball, is two months away.

Hockey, pro basketball, college hoops, you say? I'd rather watch the director's cut of "Reds" most days. Hockey left my system after about age 12 when the Bruins stopped being fun and pro basketball did too after Magic and Larry hung em up. College hoops is great, but only in the Tournament. And don't even get me started on the Bruins and Celtics. Dead sports, both of them.

So I'm left to dream of spring, lean on Netflix for good deliveries and hope The Police truly rock tonight on the Grammy's.

Apparently, I'm not alone. The Herald announced on Page 1 this morning that they were doing their earliest baseball preview package ever. The great Tony Massarotti's two-page spread is pretty surface but, well, it was enough to turn the thoughts forward, not backward.

Pitchers and catchers report in 5 days. Can't be soon enough.