The Return Of The Glorious Game

Musings on Opening Day

Like thousands, if not millions of other sports fans around the United States, I live with a non-fan.

Now, believe it or not, I don’t mean it as an insult. All things considered, it’s probably healthy to have someone in my life who rolls their eyes at my shouts at a television screen, who endures my ramblings about the comings and goings with a polite smile, if not encouragement, and who drags me away from the screen every once in a while. It’s a helpful reminder that despite the importance I, and we all, assign to these contests, they’re just games, games that don’t really mean all that much.

But living around a non-fan can also remind us why we love the game so much.

The other day, my girlfriend chuckled, half in pity and half lamenting her own fate, as I mused that now that the Islanders were doing a fatal face plant on their way to a playoff miss, I was lucky to have something else to soothe my wounds.

“Well,” I said. “At least baseball season is finally here.”

She smiled, wincing at the reminder that even as one season (and obsession) ends, there’s always another to take it place. “Don’t I ever get a break?” her face asked, even if she was kind enough to avoid actually vocalizing that disappointment.

But that’s the great part about sports, isn’t it? Whenever there’s a painful ending, there’s another hopeful beginning around the corner.

And never was it more true than during the start of baseball season. The reason I’ve so often treated Opening Day like a holiday, isn’t just because it means that my beloved Yankees are back in the ballpark in the Bronx, even if that’s where the excitement is targeted.

That excitement is there on Opening Day because, even though it’s often still Winter outside my bedroom window in New York or Massachusetts, the first day of the baseball season means that the season’s cold, dark reign is over. Even if the lawn outside my house is still obscured by the dirty snow that remains late in the winter, the grass of Yankee Stadium and the 29 other ballparks in the United states and Canada is as green during the opening April afternoons as they will be during the dog days of July and August.

This year, I’m especially thankful for the return of baseball season. This last weekend of March in Massachusetts was a fitting mush of winter precipitation. My hockey team is falling apart at the seems. But as hope springs once again on the diamond, the Yankees are slim, spry and young, turning over a new leaf of their own. It’s almost poetic

So this afternoon, take a deep breath, and enjoy the official end of Winter here in America. Even if your thermometer will fail to reach 50, as mine will, Opening Day means that lazy summer afternoons, with buddies, beer, and of course, baseball, is around the corner, as it ever is.

Play ball.

Thanks for checking in everyone, and enjoy baseball season. For more, follow @MurraySportTalk on Twitter. The Monday Morning Update will return from hiatus tomorrow, as should the rest of Spring has sprung.


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