March: The Natural Writer’s Block for Sports Journalists

I was quite pleased Saturday morning when I was notified that there would be no need for me to cover the guy’s lacrosse game later on that afternoon due to its cancellation. This isn’t because I’m not a fan of guy’s lacrosse (you boys would have dominated Providence and good luck against Saint Mike’s on Tuesday), or because I do not like attempting to cover a game in the middle of a blizzard (actually that’s a lie; I was not particularly looking forward to that). The reason why I was happy was because I, a lowly freshman on the Vermont Cynic’s sports staff, would be given the opportunity to write an opinion piece on any aspect of the wide world of sports my little heart desired. I got up from my computer, did a little dance of joy, cracked open a Red Bull, and sat back down to focus on what my topic would be. It took a few minutes, but then it hit me like a lacrosse stick to the gut on a cold winter’s day; there is nothing to write about. You see, the middle of February to the end of March is a natural writer’s block for the sports journalists of New England, and I am no different. However, I, being an excellent turner of lemons into lemonade was struck with inspiration: write about the fact that there’s nothing to write about. This year has been particularly rough. New England’s team, the Patriots, did not win the Super Bowl, which was a very disturbing notion for us New England sports writers. There would be no three-week grace period filled with constant jubilation and elation for our football dynasty. What would we do in the barren tundra that is the post-NFL, pre-MLB sports season? Then we remembered that the Olympics, the world’s oldest international competition, were coming and we rejoiced in the prospect of writing in constant jubilation and elation for America’s team. Unfortunately, America did disappointingly alright in Torino with the only news worthy story being whether or not Bode Miller spent more time downing beers than downhill skiing. Sports journalists all across America wept, not because of America’s performance, but because the Olympics were so darned boring. Now here we are at the end of the first week of March. The winter collegiate season is wrapping up and our beloved Catamounts had tough seasons in both men’s and women’s basketball, while the women’s hockey team finished last in the Hockey East and men’s hockey is still fighting for a tournament spot. Our skiing team blew away competition, but that’s old hat. The Celtics and Bruins are both having painfully mediocre seasons. Manny Ramirez took his time showing up to spring training, which may have been news if it was another player, but that’s just Manny being Manny. When will the sports gods drop aid upon our frozen New England grounds? The answer will come in the following weeks with the month’s main event: the NCAA basketball tournament. The is one of the most anticipated spectacles in American athletics and will undoubtedly lead to countless numbers of betting pools sprouting up on college campuses and in workplaces across the country. Although the Catamounts aren’t a lock to be participants in the Big Dance (sorry folks, no “We beat ‘Cuse!” chants this year), it still provides great entertainment and inevitable upsets will be consumed like candy by sports journalists. So stay strong, New England sports fans. Our drought is coming to an end. The weather will soon be getting warmer, birds will be chirping, snow will be melting, the Red Sox will begin playing scrimmages in spring training (and the Yankees too, I guess). Things are looking good. And if such hopes don’t get your juices flowing, turn on the T.V and watch a top-ranked team be upset by a university you had never heard of before in the NCAA tournament. There are few things better.