Spring has sprung. Well, spring sprung, and then spring recoiled in fear of brutal wind and cold and snow. Wyoming: where winter never fully goes away.
When spring did peek its pretty little face out from behind the curtains last week — even if just for a brief second — most of us probably couldn’t help but get that itch for the outdoors. When I pull into my garage, I see my bike and my golf clubs sitting side-by-side, staring at me like sad puppy dogs begging to be played with.
I need to scratch that itch.
With Monday’s culmination of another exciting college basketball season and even more exciting NCAA Tournament, we’ve entered that odd realm of the sports world where we aren’t sure how to react.
The crack of wooden bats tickles our eardrums, but we’re a mere 3 percent into the Major League Baseball season. I don’t think even Mike Gundy gets that excited for spring football, and we’re still at least a week away from the NHL and NBA playoffs, which take months to even complete.
Luckily, we’re just a day away from the only sports weekend that even comes close to rivaling the opening round of the NCAA Tournament. It’s Masters weekend!
Sure, I’m going to sit on my couch salivating at the luscious fairways of Augusta National. I’ll probably set up a putting green in my living room as snow and wind tap my window to remind me that I may have to putt on carpet for the rest of my life.
But if The Masters is the best I can get at the moment, well I’ll take it.
I think I watched a dozen basketball games over the last month in which Jim Nantz commentated. I’m sure he beautifully painted pictures with his words describing the sheer athleticism of 18-year-old kids and told fairytales of Cinderella and her night at the ball.
But all I remember? “A tradition unlike any other.” Seriously, Masters promos got me just as hype as thunderous dunks. Nantz describes Amen Corner like a Sandals ad and I’m in dire need of a vacation.
And I apologize for beating a dead horse, but I need to fan-boy out for a moment. While Nantz’s artfully crafted golf commentary gets me fired up, nothing gets me quite as excited as Tiger freaking Woods returning to Augusta.
I know a lot of you don’t like Tiger. I understand that (I don’t). But having him back, healthy, competing at a high level is great for golf. Even if he’s not winning, everybody can feel the excitement when he struts fairways near the top of the leaderboard.
We’ve never seen anything in any sport like dominant Tiger Woods, and it’s been so dang long since we’ve had that. Maybe it’s unfair to want even more of that; I’ve already been blessed with more than I should have ever expected of an athlete. But coupling Woods’ ability to shred golf courses with the new wave of spectacular young golfers sounds so dang exciting.
We’ve seen Woods win dozens of times, but how much fun will the weekend be if Woods is going putt for putt with guys like Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas and Dustin Johnson? What would we all do if Michael Jordan came back and took on LeBron James and Kevin Durant but played like ‘96 Jordan in the process? My goodness Twitter would explode. As would my head.
Maybe Tiger fizzles out. Maybe he swings too hard on the 12th tee and throws out his back and we don’t hear from him for another year. Maybe Mother Nature continues her reign of terror on Sheridan and I forget how to swing a golf club.
But maybe the sun shines through. Tiger makes a Sunday push, I’m shanking tee shots into the woods and all will be right in the world of golf.