Ben's Babbles: March roars in sports and weather

April 2, 2011

Over the weekend my friend David and I were discussing which month is the best for sports. We decided March; it was a close race between March and October.

The case for March is pretty strong. Baseball spring training and opening. The NCAA basketball tournament, the NBA and NHL heading in their home stretch toward the playoffs and (especially in the Portland area); the opening of the Major League Soccer season. Heck, if you are a Cricket fan there is even the Cricket world cup.

It's a month of promise; a month of hope. A month that keeps fans of nearly every sport in the world on pins and needles (even the NFL, whose fans are waiting to see if there will be professional football next fall).

It's also a month of misery. Teams fall just short of the playoffs, college basketball teams lose on last-second heartbreakers and baseball teams watch their star players go down to injury before the season even starts.

The old saying goes that March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb.

Come March 31 I was still waiting for the whole lamb bit. As were, I am sure, thousands of athletes and fans throughout the Northwest.

Technically the high school baseball and softball season started several weeks ago. Many teams have struggled to get in close to a half-dozen games so far this season.

On the first day of practice for spring sports, most fields were covered in 6 inches of snow.

Tuesday evening I did my best to shoot lacrosse photos and video in a driving rain.

Thursday night I was covering lacrosse again; this time it wasn't dumping rain but more of a drizzle. However, a stiff breeze made it impossible for me to keep my umbrella.

Fields have spent 29 of 31 days during the month being pounded by rain. When tennis matches were able to be played it was only because roller mops and leaf blowers could dry the courts.

It has been a miserable month, weather-wise.

It may not have given us much light, but the very end of the month gave us hope, at least.

This weekend two small schools will be playing with a chance to advance to the college basketball championship game.

Thursday morning every team in major league baseball was 0-0 - tied for first place.

Tuesday evening, while I was standing on the sidelines of two lacrosse teams for Hood River Valley teams which have hopes for the state playoffs, David, his wife and their 8-month-old son - Timbers fans all - were standing at Merlo Field in Portland watching a 20-year-old goalkeeper named Jake Gleeson earn himself a cult following.

Sure the weather was lousy last month, but I challenge April to produce as many great moments.

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