The Action Is Heating Up

With the Super Bowl two weeks away it gives everyone a chance to sit back for a moment and ponder the wide variety of upcoming sporting events that are just over the horizon. Yes, the Super Bowl marks the end of the football season (Sorry, Pro Bowl) but the sports calendar is chock full of upcoming games and events that will most certainly satisfy most everyone’s taste for action.

Most importantly, pitchers and catchers can report to spring training on Feb. 14. I’m not entirely sure why, but it seems each year I look forward to the beginning of the baseball season more than any other startup in sports.

We are so fortunate here in the Northeast to be situated between the greatest rivals in professional sports, New York and Boston. Everyone who ever paid an ounce of attention to baseball while growing up in and around New England seems to have aligned themselves with one of these teams or the other. Let’s be real: People who don’t even like or follow Major League Baseball have a favorite when it comes to the Yanks and Sox. I can’t wait.

As we head into March, college basketball takes center stage. This year all eyes will be focused on the UConn women’s team as they pursue yet another national championship. The women’s tournament gets going on March 5, followed by the start of the men’s tournament on the 18th. At this point in the season, it’s hard to get a read as far as the UConn men are concerned, but you never know what’s in store come tournament time.

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Not to be overlooked is the fact that the CIAC boys and girls basketball tournaments will be taking place simultaneously with the NCAA tournaments. At the local level, both Gilbert and Northwestern are in the thick of the race for the Berkshire League boys championship, with the likes of Terryville and Litchfield also in the mix for the league title. The Jackets are currently in front, but we still have nearly the entire second half of the season to play.

Regardless, all of the above will be participating in the state tournament with hopes of adding a championship banner to the wall of their respective gymnasiums. (For the real hardcore hoop fan, I’m sure something is going on in the NBA, but they don’t take center stage until early summer).

Last but not least, when April arrives that means it’s time for the Masters. Even if you don’t pay much attention to golf, just the sight of blossoming azaleas, dogwoods and the magnolia trees at Augusta National is pleasing to say the least.

Let’s not forget for one moment that Tiger Woods is the most recognizable figure in sports and possesses a level of magnetism that only the true mega-stars have. As Tiger continues in pursuit of Jack Nicklaus’ record of 18 majors, it seems the whole world pays some level of attention and the interest shown in the Masters is ample proof of that.

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By the way, by the time we get to April, the high school baseball, softball and track seasons are underway and let’s not forget that on the third Saturday of the month, the trout fishing season opens. With luck, something of the aforementioned tickles your palate and helps to brighten your spirits as we enter the middle of the winter season. If not, try a vacation in Florida.

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