February is, objectively, the worst month of the year. Anyone who says otherwise is lying and wrong. It's only redeeming quality is that it's the shortest--a deliberate decision, because even almost three thousand years ago nobody liked it (" Why is February short? It's a long story..." Observer-Reporter (Washington, PA) 22 Feb. 1987). The reasons for the February hate are numerous: It's dark and gray, it's rainy, and it's cold. If you're single, February has Valentine's Day in it, an overt reminder of your lonely singleness. If you're in a relationship, it has Valentine's Day in it, an overt reminder that you forgot about Valentine's Day. For the sports fan, February is the black void between football season and spring training. It's the most depressing, dark, empty month of the year. It's awful.
The highlight of February is always the end, of course, but the general dark grayness of the month does not mean there are absolutely no bright points. Those bright points are just few and far between. The Super Bowl is in February; even though it's so early it may as well be in late January. I think the timing of the Super Bowl is deliberate because it gives people a chance to gorge on enough food so they can hibernate for the rest of the month if they want to. My fiancée and I made a huge tray of nachos for the Super Bowl. It had three layers, with black beans, sour cream, salsa, guac, cheese, and ground turkey. It was amazing. Looking back on it, I almost think the shopping trip to get all the ingredients for them was more fun than actually eating them. Grocery trips like that are the best, especially when you don't go in with a set plan. "Can we put M&M's on nachos? We can now!" (We did not put M&M's on our nachos, but had the subject come up, I would have seriously entertained the idea).
By the time this gets published, Valentine's Day will have already come and gone, so I'm going to put this in here: Valentine's Day was a huge success and nobody was disappointed! There. Now hopefully it will be a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Another sign of hope is that pitchers and catchers have already reported for spring training. This is great news, because soon there will be some actual games to talk about instead of how Mike Piazza hired a trainer to help him fight Roger Clemens (Piazza, Mike and Lonnie Wheeler. "'There Should Have Been a Fight.'" Sports on Earth. MLB Advanced Media and USA TODAY, 12 Feb. 2013. Web. 13 Feb. 2013). Also, the World Baseball Classic is this year, so we get some bonus baseball where we can watch the best players from every country around the world play against the expendable players from the United States. It's a good distraction if the meaninglessness of spring training games is too much. This will be the second year in a row I haven't gone to spring training in Florida, and I really miss it. Florida in late February-early March is delightful. Spring training games are a lot of fun to go to, because access to the players and coaches is so much easier than in regular season games. The last time I went, I got autographs from Tony La Russa, Jason Heyward, and Adam Jones. I wouldn't have a chance to get any of them if I had gone to a regular season game. They have too many places to hide at those. Spring training games are usually played on glorified high school and college fields, so the number of ways players and coaches can avoid fan interaction is greatly reduced.
February is the worst month of the year, but it also has signs of hope. March is right around the corner, and it will bring with it lots of good stuff: spring training, March Madness (for basketball fans, anyway), season three of Game of Thrones (I can only rewatch the first two seasons so many times...). So grit your teeth and look ahead. It'll be over soon.
Adam Pratt is a 1L at the University of Richmond School of Law. Submit comments and letters to the editor at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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