February 2013 treated me well and I used the month to improve myself personally. However, I would be lying if I said I am not happy to see it go. For me, February is kind of a depressing month. Sure you got the Super Bowl and Valentine’s Day but besides that it is a pretty gloomy time. The cold still lingers, the freshness of the new year fades, and a feeling of restlessness creeps in. It doesn’t hurt my feelings at all that February is the shortest month of the year.
Thankfully, I always find consolation in the fact that after one of my least favorite months passes, one of my favorite months emerges. Besides the summer months, March is my favorite month of the year. I like March for many reasons but I think the overarching appeal of it is just that the cold is leaving and brighter, warmer, longer days are arriving. Throw some great basketball in that mix as well and you got a pretty spectacular month. For this post I would like to briefly highlight some of the great things that make March so spectacular.
Great Montana Basketball: As you will see as I list all of the reasons for liking March, most of these items that make the month so awesome are constants …with the exception of this one.
Well, I should rephrase that last sentence in regard to my subject. The University of Montana always has great basketball, it is just that this season we have really, really great basketball. Both our Griz and Lady Griz teams are in first place and have great shots at ending the regular season in those number one spots. If this occurred, we would get to host both Big Sky Conference tournaments and I would be in absolute Heaven. But let me not get ahead of myself…
Big Sky Conference champions or not, the first ten days in March will be very exciting as both teams play in crucial games that will decide the outcome of the league. To have the opportunity to travel to Bozeman tomorrow for Griz-Cat basketball and then to work the final two Griz home games next week is something very special and something that I am looking very forward to.
Daylight Savings Begins! – On Sunday, March 10, we will move the clocks forward and trade in sixty minutes of sleep for longer days. Immediately, we will have an hour more of daylight on that Sunday evening and from there on the days will just get longer and longer. I can’t express how much it elevates my mood when I leave work in the evening and it is still perfectly light out. Waking up to the sunshine is another coveted luxury that Daylight Saving’s brings.
Longer days make me happier and more productive with my time out of the office. I notice a change in the people around me too. I can’t wait for the time change to come!
NCAA Basketball Championship Week – Last year I devoted a blog post to Championship Week so my love of this time is well-documented. The NCAA Tournament is awesome but Championship Week just has a whole different element to it. The ten days of conference heroics, court stormings, unknowns made into heroes, storylines, and the allure of having automatic bids to the NCAA Tournament up for grabs makes for incredible basketball.
The playing stakes and the different atmospheres make me adore Championship Week. What makes Championship Week even better? When I get to participate in it! Last year we hosted the Big Sky Conference tournament for men’s basketball and it was an absolute blast. With the chance to host both the men’s and women’s Big Sky Conference tourneys this year, I could potentially have the best Championship Week ever.
St. Patrick’s Day – Who doesn’t love St. Patty’s Day? Sandwiched perfectly right in the middle of the month, I have never not had fun on March 17. Last year I got to experience the craziness of Butte American on St. Patrick’s Day and had a memorable time to say the least. I have also had many good times in Missoula on the holiday as well. Nothing beats dressing up in ridiculous green gear and celebrating the Irish. It is something I look forward to every March 17.
The Start of Spring – On March 20 the season of Spring officially begins. Even though Montana weather won’t always recognize this change in seasons, just the indication on the calendar means a lot to me. Winter is officially over and even though if it happens slowly, conditions will only improve. Spring symbolizes new life and brighter days. All I can say to that is AMEN.
The NCAA Tournament – There could be a month marked by natural disasters, famine, and death but as long as the NCAA Tournament still took place during it, many people would consider it the best month of the year. The NCAA Tournament is obviously one of the best sporting events in the world and what helps make it so fun is that the excitement lasts for a couple weeks, even spilling into April! Of course nothing really compares to the first Thursday and Friday of the tournament where the whole field is in action, making it two of the most exciting days on the calendar year.
Remember how I said there was a certain condition that would make Championship Week even better? Well that condition applies for the NCAA Tournament too! If the Griz or Lady Griz happens to make the Big Dance, the excitement goes up exponentially.
Easter – This year March will conclude with my favorite holiday. Easter falls on March 31 this year and will provide an excellent ending to what is going to be a great month. Easter to me is such a bright, hopeful holiday that brings a lot of peace and joy to my soul. The most significant date on the Catholic calendar, Easter has a lot of meaning to me and my family. Nothing beats Easter Sunday mass and nothing beats the time I get to share with my family afterwards. Easter is not about presents or a huge meal, it is about being thankful for the saving of humanity.
As with the whole theme of March in general, Easter is about renewal and the coming back of life. It is an optimistic holiday filled with brightness and joy. Luckily for me, Easter will be here in no time because this month is going to fly by with all the fun things going on.
Have a blessed March everyone! Make the most of it and improve yourself. Good luck to your teams and have a good one. Don’t Blink.