Archive for Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Time for cold weather to say goodbye

April 2, 2008

So spring "officially started" March 20.

Although there have been a few nice weather days since then, it's not the wonderful "just right" spring temperatures I'm ready for.

I know it's early, but when the other seasons "officially" begin, it's definitely that time of year. Late June is when summer starts, and it's definitely warm by then. And late December for the start of winter? Uh, you bet it's usually frigid by then.

Of course, by the same token, late September is when fall begins, and Septembers can remain pretty warm in Kansas sometimes.

My gripe session is a bit whiny I know. Don't get me wrong, I love Kansas weather in that there definitely are four seasons. However, sometimes those seasons are longer than normal.

That is why I am glad we had such a cold, hard winter. Sure, we haven't had a great deal of just-right warm weather and sustained sunshine, but by the same token, it is spring. And the rain showers are part of the package when it comes to spring. The number of rain delays and rainouts on opening day for Major League Baseball on Monday reinforced that.

But here is my hope: Let's get all of the cold weather out of the way and have an uninterrupted spring. In 2007, a late freeze wreaked havoc on local orchards and other vegetation. Remember when spring in Kansas signaled the start of several fruit trees in bloom. Not just apples and pears, but also apricots? And, if you were lucky to not have a late freeze ruin them, even peach trees, which isn't your normal Kansas fruit. My gripefest now has ended. Thank you for your time.

vvv

Mirror reporter Estuardo Garcia mentioned that he thought there might be a correlation between how lively a team's mascot becomes at a game and the team itself.

Case in point, he argued, was the University of Louisville mascot, Cardinal Bird. He seemed pretty lifeless at the game, according to Estuardo. I watched the first half and listened to the second of the Louisville-North Carolina NCAA Tournament basketball game Sunday. I definitely recall CB just lounging during the first half. Louisville made a furious rally in the second, only to have UNC hold on for a 10-point lead.

If Estuardo is onto something with the mascot theory, then Oral Roberts and Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis should be playing for the national title. During the Summit League Championship a few weeks ago, mascots from ORU and IUPUI had to be separated after getting into a fight on the court. Oral Roberts, by the way, won the game.

vvv

Speaking of North Carolina, the match-up is here.

Roy Williams vs. Kansas.

OK, so it's Roy's former school vs. Roy's alma mater/current school.

Although some in this area want to see Roy lose to KU after leaving the Jayhawks five years ago, it's time to let it go. Sure, a part of you wants to see Williams lose after leaving Kansas when he previously said no years before. For me, it's more about beating North Carolina, which like Kansas, has one of the top basketball traditions in America.

I must say it will be a bit surreal seeing Roy Williams on the opposing bench. But we've all seen him plenty of times in Carolina Blue the last few years against other teams.

In addition, Kansas has fared quite well under Bill Self. The two schools have nearly identical records since Self came to KU and Williams back to UNC.

The only difference? Williams won an NCAA title after leaving Lawrence after the 2003 season and Self has yet to do so.

Furthermore, Williams never won a national title at KU.

However, Williams didn't go 12-for-30 from the free-throw line in the 2003 NCAA finals against Syracuse, a game the Orange won by three, 81-78, against the Jayhawks.

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