March Madness: A Slam Dunk for Bracket Rackets or Missed Shot at Winter Weather?


Except for the spring I taught writing to six University of Kentucky cheerleaders, I’ve paid little attention to American basketball or the phenomenon we in the US call March Madness.

Yes, I know this is a sacrilege for anyone in our Commonwealth, a crime against the athletic prowess that is Wildcat basketball.    I, also, know, as a former professor and alumnus of UK (University of Kentucky)—now ranked number one in US college basketball and favored to win the famous tournament later this month—I should (as a fashion-conscious, Kentucky lesbian), sartorially align with others in my state, wear UK blue, and participate in the party.

Rather than wearing it, however, I’ve become blue–blue about another form of mania this March.  I’m sad, but not, as some of you who know my mental health history might expect, about some springtime bout with bipolar disorder.  Rather, I’m blue about a March Madness here in Kentucky that has meant missing winter almost altogether.

Usually when my basketball-loving neighbors celebrate the arrival of something resembling spring, it’s on the far side of what was unwelcome winter weather.  This year, however, March Madness, for this woman, means the arrival of spring on the heels of having had nearly no winter whatsoever.

What little winter we had here in Kentucky--

It’s true that March came in like a lion—ravaging Kentucky first with tornadoes and then the largest snow storm of the year—but our white weather lasted less than 24 hours, serving only to remind us that we have had no real winter to speak of.

This, in fact, makes me sad.  It almost makes me mad.  You see, I’ve spent the last two winters living in tropical climates, first in Vietnam and then in Haiti.  So, if my partner and I were going to be grounded here in Kentucky this winter, I was counting on snow.  Lots of it.

If we were going to be home from Haiti, I wanted winter to blizzard and blow while we watched from inside, where it’s warm.  I wanted to watch as winter drifted toward a March Madness that celebrated spring as seasonally different from what had come the months before.

Whether I speak for other Kentuckians or not, I wanted March Madness to herald the newness of spring in my state—the end of actual winter weather–not just the beginning of basketball’s bracket racket I’m forever forced to endure.

Basketball's bracket racket--

So, in this season of hoopla over hoops, this one woman is wondering, whether you’re a fan of Kentucky basketball and what kind of weather you’ve had this “winter.”

Does March Madness where you live mean a slam dunk for bracket rackets or a missed shot at winter weather?

Note:  If you are new to my blog, you might like to know that I am writing a memoir and blogging about growing up in an organized crime family.  (The post you’ve just read is not part of that series.)  For a list of my  memoir posts, click here.  If you are interested in reading any of my protected posts, please email me at kownroom@yahoo.com  or let me know in the comments below, and I will gladly share the password with you.

52 thoughts on “March Madness: A Slam Dunk for Bracket Rackets or Missed Shot at Winter Weather?

  1. Living in neighboring Ohio all of my life, I feel like I missed part of my life without winter. I could live “without” winter if I lived somewhere I wasn’t expecting it. But I was expecting it, it did not arrive, so I am missing it. You validate me! Everyone else I know thinks I’m crazy (we will pretend it’s because I wished for winter). Happy Monday. 🙂

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  2. I’m in Florida and we didn’t even get a typical winter – I had my air conditioning on every month, and the furnace has only been used once or twice. I can’t say I miss Midwest winters, though. Hideous. and painful for me.

    I love March Madness – and I’ll be rooting for my beloved Michigan State to win it all. GO GREEN.

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    • Yes, I know most folks don’t appreciate the cold, but I was looking forward to it for a change. And, damn, we didn’t get it. Actually, it’s not the cold I like. It’s the snow–the blanketing of white. At any rate, I will probably cheer for Kentucky just as you do Michigan. We’ll see how it turns out in the end.

      Thanks for reading!

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  3. Where I came from, March meant one thing: Being blue with the cold as we had to walk in our Irish dancing costumes with our school in the St Patrick’s day parade. I never remember it being warm, not once. And that’s remarkably consistent for a country that can’t rub two consecutive days together weatherwise! So what can we take from this? Either a) the universe is generally opposed to parades in March or b) god is a snake and holds it perennially against St Patrick for banishing them from Ireland 1500 years ago.
    Either way, someone was determined to let it rain on my parade!
    Do you know the joke about St Patrick and the snakes?
    Q: What did St Patrick say to the snakes as he drove them out of Ireland?
    A: Are ye alright in the back there, lads!

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    • Ha! I had never heard the joke. So this year, did you have a cold winter or was it unusually warm. Sounds like it was cold–consistently so. Oh well, in my part of the world folks are crazy about only one thing during March–and that’s basketball. Clearly, I may be alone in my mourning about missing winter–but, alas, it’s how I feel.

      Stay warm today, my friend!

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  4. I have to say, I’m thrilled to live in a place where I never have to deal with snow. I don’t miss it!

    You’ll probably move somewhere tropical this year, and then as soon as you leave Kentucky will get pounded with 3 feet of snow. 🙂

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    • Isn’t that the truth!

      Actually, I liked living in tropical climates–but damn–I wanted to enjoy snow this winter for a change. Inevitably, it will snow like mad next year, and we’ll be sweating away in Indonesia or someplace similarly sweltering.

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  5. Perhaps the next time you come home from a tropical climate you should go to Maine. I hear they have plenty of snow up there. 🙂

    I’m totally oblivious to most, if not all, things sports related now that I don’t sit in the freezing rain watching my children play soccer in grade school anymore.

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    • I would probably love Maine, and believe it or not, I’ve never been there.

      I’m pretty oblivious myself–though it’s hard, living in Lexington this time of year, to stay that way for long. Go big blue!

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  6. I am not a fan of winter anymore. Having spent part of this winter in Ohio and the rest in Iowa I am not sad that the winter has not been the usual one for either of those states. I have grown soft—living in North Carolina and Australia has softened me to the point that I dread the huge snowstorms and inability to get around easily. That being said—I am a HUGE March Madness fan—though not a huge Kentucky fan. Pulled for Carolina and was happy that if they had to be beaten for ACC Champs that it was by Florida State and not Dook….

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    • Well, I’m certainly not a fan of the cold, but, gosh, I was looking forward to the snow. I know most people wouldn’t agree. Oh well, we’ll see what next winter brings–that is if we are here.

      My Sara, too, is a big March Madness fan. I suppose I’m alone in my disinterest in basketball, as well.

      At any rate, happy March Madness to you!

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  7. I went to University of Cincinnati so I get the Madness for basketball. My ex-husband (whom I met my freshman year of school) is still a crazy UC basketball fan, but I have to say now that we aren’t together I don’t really watch the games other than to see who is winning from time to time. As far as the snow, I was born in ohio but moved to CA when I was just 4 so I still consider myself a California girl even though I’ve been back in Ohio since high school! Never really got used to the Ohio winters. Now live in Cleveland near the lake and for me this has been a perfect winter. Enough snow to know it is winter, but not so much that the deep depression of being “trapped” inside the house has set in.

    On another note… how does the time change affect you? It usually sends me reeling so I’m keeping an eye on myself this week.

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    • Hmmmm—I’ll have to give the time change question some thought. There was no time change in either Haiti or Vietnam, so I’ve not had as much exposure to it recently as one might expect. However, if yesterday was any indication of the time change’s effect on me–I’d say it was significant. It was a bad day for me emotionally, but whether it was related to the time change, I don’t know. At the same time, I think most change inmpacts people with mood disorders more than others. Hope this this year is better, my friend!

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  8. I miss the snow, too! Being a northerner living in Atlanta, I almost never feel like it gets cold enough here — but we had THREE snowstorms last year — one on Christmas Eve itself!! This year, bupkis. I miss the snow and cold !!
    It’s been way too warm and that doesn’t make for a good spring transition… you have to earn those tulips!!!

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    • Yeah, gotta earn those daffodils, as well. I kind of wonder how much missing snow has to do with growing up in the north. I’m from Pittsburgh and still associate snow with school holidays–freedom.

      Georgia is too hot for me, too. I don’t handle heat very well–thus, two glorious years in the tropics–not the best for me in that regard. Yikes.

      At any rate, Happy March Madness, Betty! May the tulips be with you!

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  9. Here in New York City, it’s been a very mild winter in comparison to the harsh ones of the past few years. I cannot say I mind at all the absence of blizzards and mountains of snow. I just wish we would now have an unseasonably cool summer, one where I won’t feel baked alive waiting for my train on the subway platform. As for where I’ll throw my allegiance during March Madness, I’ve never been much of a basketball fan on either the collegiate or NBA or WNBA level. Maybe it’s because I’m short.

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    • Damn! That’s it. I’m short, too. That’s gotta be the reason for my personal disinterest in this hoopla over hoops. Thanks for the diagnosis, doctor–cause in Kentucky this time of year–indifference toward basketball is, indeed, deemed a sickness!

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  10. Must admit that I had very little awareness of the March Madness syndrome this year…not sure why…just busy with other things….as for winter…well we get most of our rain in SoCal during winter…but this year we have had very little rain…so winter has been different here also…global warming is creating the predicted weather patterns. 😦

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    • Interesting to hear about such wide-spread weirdness in winter weather. Climate change is real.

      About basketball–being out of touch with March Madness means you’re not missing a whole lot–at least, that’s my opinion. Thanks for reading.

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  11. I have never been a fan of basketball, but as a Canadian, I have the blessing of my whole country for preferring hockey. 🙂

    We have not had much of a winter here, either. Some winters at the lake bring hip-deep snow for months on end, but we had 3 days total of being able to snowshoe and play in the white stuff. At least we had that… otherwise it’s been raining, and who in their right mind wants to play/sing in the rain? (Fred Astaire, I’m talking to you!) 😉

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    • How funny. Yeah, there’s not much worse than cold rain. Yuck! Sorry to hear you didn’t have a great chance to play in the snow either. I’ve never snowshoed, but it sounds like lots of fun. Take care, Dana!

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  12. Like many other states, Michigan has experienced some very odd Winter weather – the warmest I can remember! My husband can’t WAIT for the tournament to begin, and he is especially excited that his beloved Spartans are now the Big 10 champs!! 😉

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    • Glad to hear your husband is looking forward to the tournament. My Sara says she is, as well. Also, isn’t it weird that you would even have warmer weather as far north as Michigan? Strange winter, indeed! Thanks for reading, Holly. Happy Monday to you!

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  13. March madness here is the same as the February madness of last month–only in my mind. Not a fan of basketball or snow, so yay! We’ve had hardly no winter at all either, but my heart is not broken. In fact, it’s apprehensive. Will summer be unbearable? I shutter to think.

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    • Then you are in great shape, Sista–except for the basketball part. Does Jim like it? You are probably fortunate not to have had too much snow–as I’d imagine it could be pretty intense coming off the lake. And summer–!!!!! Yikes. I’m with you. I really, really hate heat! Hugs———

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      • The only sport I have to endure is football. I’m not a sports fan at all. The snow does get pretty intense here, but not this year. This is the least amount of snow I’ve seen here in my life. I’ve never had a winter that was this consistently mild. I’m gearing up for a few 100 degree days this summer. There’s no way with a winter this mild that we’ll escape a summer scorcher. I hate the heat unless I can go swimming in a pool. I’m a big water dog but only in pools. You couldn’t pay me enough to swim in the lake.

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      • I’m not into lakes either. I like to be able to see the bottom. I love the beach, but I like to stay fairly close to the shore, where for the most part the water is clear.

        I’m kind of dreading the summer. It’s bound to be infernal!

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  14. You and Barry could have a good gripe session. He’s SO annoyed that this was the first year in recent memory that NO ice formed on the Keweenaw Bay. No ice fishing. (Of course I think it’s all to the good because he couldn’t walk to the hole anyway with his knees.) I wish you had more snow. I really wish that, Kathy.

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  15. I think we all missed our shot at winter. Here in Illinois, we haven’t had a real snowfall for quite a few years. The last couple of winters we would get a couple of inches here or there. Enough to keep the excitement in the air for the kids. The possibility of a snow day is fun for all! But this year, we only had a dusting here and there. Mainly it’s just been cold, rainy, and gloomy. In my opinion, if we’re going to have to live through a cold winter, at least we could have a dumping of snow to keep the excitement and beauty that’s associated with winter.

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    • Yes, you have said it exactly. If it’s going to be cold, at least give us the beauty of some snow. It really is lovely. We only had dustings here this winter until around March 1st, when we had 5 inches–which seemed like a lot after nearly none all winter. But it was literally gone in 24 hours–not a trace of it to be found.

      I think it was growing up with days off school during bad weather that helped me fall in love with snow. Guess I’m just a big kid–an old one, too. LOL

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  16. It’s bizzaro-world. 65 today and 80 by Monday? In West MI? I just keep thinking Mother Nature is gonna roll up her dish towel and snap the you-know-what out of us. T-storms and Tornadoes tonight. Crazy.

    My real fear? An inferno of a summer … ugh.

    but .. as my 81 year old Mom would comment, “Can’t change the weather kid!” and she’s right
    Hugs
    MJ

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  17. I’m so glad I am not the only one thinking this way. I live in the Mountains in Oregon and we have had one mild winter. Most days this winter have been in the 40’s or 50’s and a few days last week was close to 70… people were walking around in shorts. Yesterday we got a little snow and when I was out and about, a woman said, “Are you prepared for it to get cold again?” To which I replied, “Ummmm. It barely got cold in the first place…. ”
    Especially since we live in the high desert and it gets over 100 degrees in the summer which spells pretty big fire potential. Sometimes how people relate to the weather really freaks me out. I mean, just because the calendar says it’s winter doesn’t mean it’s winter. We live in the mountains here, it’s supposed to snow often and much (which is part of why I love living here… I heart snow!). Luckily we did get one storm that actually dumped more snow on our mountain in one day than I believe it’s ever gotten in one season (though we didn’t see that much snow on ground level) and a weather expert told us we are good on moisture for the summer this year. However, I wonder if it will take major catastrophe to get people to see that things are indeed changing. The other day, a friend recomended a book to me called, “The Great Disruption” and it’s all about the huge paradigm shift in our collective world that climate change is going to bring about. My friend says it’s not a doom and gloom read it just goes off the facts of what is happening and he sort of talks about the new world that is coming about. I haven’t started reading it yet, so I cannot say much. Anyway, each day people were outside enjoying our warm winter, I found myself the odd girl out wishing for snow. So, I hear ya. On the note of March Madness, I’ve never been a big sports fan, but I haven’t seen too much fuss over it around here.
    Sorry if I went off on a tangent. Your post really got me thinking about how our winter here has effected the way I think.

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    • Wow, that book sounds really great, Currie. I’m fascinated to think about the ways climate change will affect how we understand and talk about the world we live it–even the impact it might have on language. Thanks so much for mentioning that!

      And glad we’re on the same page when it comes to sports and weather. Happy Tuesday to you! Hugs, as well.

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  18. Kathryn, it’s only snowed twice in my neck of the woods but I am so ready for spring weather! I lived in North Dakota for a year and lets just say that a winter’s worth of shoveling snow left me scarred for a lifetime. At this point in my life, I just wish I could live in Bali, laze in the sun, and sip on a wine spritzer from time to time. I am so ready for retirement! (Notice how the weather got me to this point in the conversation! hee hee!) 🙂

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    • Yikes, North Dakota? Now that’s some serious winter!

      I have to admit, I wouldn’t mind living in Bali either. In fact, that would suit me just fine, as long as I can escape into AC and have access to s swimming pool.

      I’m wishing you a cocktail in the sun sometime soon.

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  19. Although Basketball is one of the few sports I’ve participated myself in the past and one that I can understand and will actually watch (The glory days of Da Bulls…) I’ve never paid attention to this so-called March Madness. Nope. Don’t follow college sports. Sorry! Actually, I am not sorry. 🙂

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  20. Normally a missed bracket, but we woke up to snow in Portland yesterday. This, on the heels of 2″ back on March 1st. Basically unheard of.

    I have never gotten into college basketball…or the NBA really, for that matter. Give me football any day!!

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  21. March Madness is all about basketball in our house as my husband prepares for his ‘Men’s Weekend’ away from us. I missed having a real winter although my feet are estatic over not being popsicles for the first three months of the year.

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    • True, it’s nice not to have had bitter cold. But here it was just cold enough to be miserable, but not cold enough to snow. It was damp and rainy. Yuck! Happy March Madness minus the husband! Great to hear from you today!

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  22. I’m in Minneapolis. As pleasant as this winter has been, and it’s an insane 70 degrees F today, it’s just so wrong. I miss the snow, but not the shoveling. I miss easing into spring with that unpredictable on again off again weather we are so familiar with. I feel your pain.

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    • Thanks so much for your comment. It’s in the 70s here in Kentucky today, as well, but for Minneapolis to be that warm really is weird.

      About the snow– I remember having to shovel lots of snow as a kid growing up in Pennsylvania, and I don’t miss it, for sure. But, like you, I really miss the snow.

      Great to hear from you today. Hope to see you again sometime soon!

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  23. It’s been a season of Winter Madness, with winter deciding not to show. I am so glad I didn’t invest in the snowshoes I planned to buy this year. I suspect I’m all the fatter for lack of a good winter, too. No cross-country skiing or burning calories going up and down the sledding hill. Bah-humbug.

    I’m sorry you missed your winter. Be careful what you wish for, though… you might end up in Siberia next. 😉

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    • Wow, I bet you are glad, Robin! Snowshoes sound fun. It’s been a really weird, nearly nonexistent winter.

      Good God, I better go be sure Sara hasn’t gone and applied for a job in the Arctic I’m not aware of!

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  24. Winter definitely missed us here in Minnesota. One meteorologist is predicting 80 degrees for this Saturday!

    I have mixed feelings about the missing winter. Had we had one, I know I’d have done my share of griping. The fact that it passed us by wasn’t as grand as I always thought it would be. It was still dreary and still made me battle the winter blues as I always do. And I realized today that I’ve hardly taken any outdoor photos in months, because there was little to inspire me.

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    • Sounds like you are going to have an amazingly warm weekend. Here we had little winter, but, like Minnesota, it was still cold and damp. I’m not a big fan of cold rain. Hopefully you’ll be able to take your camera outside tomorrow or Sunday.

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