Spring officially starts next week. It’s one of the four seasons and is the transition between winter and summer. It’s a time for flowers to bloom, trees to blossom, and certain animals to come out of hibernation. But it’s also the ultimate season for sports. NASCAR, golf, hockey, pro basketball, college basketball (March Madness) and baseball. And for every sport there are distinct smells that reflect the activity and bring back one’s memories of past participation or the enjoyment of watching and anticipating the ultimate outcome. NASCAR has the smells of gas and rubber, golf of fresh mowed grass, hockey has a frostiness in the air, basketball has the somewhat salty smell of sweat, and baseball, the different aromas of a variety of foods that waffle through the ballpark.
Sports offers an escape from everyday life (similar to movies) where a person can imagine himself or herself as a player or participant. Screaming across the finish line and getting the checkered flag, taking that last second shot for a 3-pointer to win the game; sinking a 45-foot putt to win a championship, scoring the go-ahead goal as time expires; driving in the winning run or striking out the side with the bases loaded. Sports gives us a chance to dream of what could be or what might have been. A chance to experience, as Jim McKay used to say on ABC’s Wide World Of Sports, “The thrill of victory, and the agony of defeat.” Sports brings together people who otherwise would never be connected, it helps mend our wounds, gives us something to cheer about, provides an outlet to vent our frustrations, and to admire one’s (or team’s) accomplishments. Sports is the ultimate escape and spring is the best season of the year. Enjoy.