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The Good Press - Issue #48: Spring Forward

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The Good Press

March 17 · Issue #48 · View online

A newsletter of observations about life, sports, and/or anything else that comes to mind


As we spring forward each day ever closer to a “post-pandemic” America, sports leagues will once again attempt to lead us toward some potential paths forward.
Happy St. Patrick’s Day to all those who celebrate and commemorate it.

Hello and welcome to another edition of The Good Press, a newsletter of observations about life, sports, and/or anything else that comes to mind.
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I always look forward to sports in the springtime (Photo: AP Photo/Aaron Doster)
I always look forward to sports in the springtime (Photo: AP Photo/Aaron Doster)
Spring Forward
Springtime has always been one of my favorite times of the year.
The weather starts getting more pleasant again, for starters. After all of the wind and snow and ice and frigid temperatures we’ve had this winter, every sunny day that isn’t that cold feels good. When it cracks 50, 55? Break out the short sleeves. Over the last few weeks, my fiancée and I have made several trips back and forth from New York City and the Poconos, and the weather has been predictably unpredictable in both places we’ve been calling home:
Marques Brownlee
It was 70 last week
It was 24 this morning
NYC, I think we're almost there https://t.co/b0ZnxgTies
Nevertheless, springtime brings us birdsongs, beautiful weather (at least occasionally), and for sports fans like me and many readers of The Good Press, springtime brings some of the most fun events of the sports calendar.
March brings us the single-elimination championship tournaments of men’s and women’s college basketball known as “March Madness,” tournaments that fans sorely missed in 2020 in the wake of Rudy Gobert/Tom Hanks Day. For college basketball fans, springtime is the pinnacle, where champions are crowned. (I’m admittedly a fair-weather college hoops fan. When my alma mater of Buffalo is not part of the “Madness,” I’m not so interested in the games or filling out brackets, myself. This year, Buffalo’s men’s and women’s teams fell short. Alas.)
Former New York Knicks star Patrick Ewing, now the men’s basketball coach at his alma mater of Georgetown University, coached his team to a March Madness tournament berth 36 years after he led them there as a player. The cherry on top? They punched their ticket to “The Big Dance” at a very familiar place: at Madison Square Garden, where Ewing played all his home games for 15 seasons of his Hall of Fame career. I hope all my Knicks fans readers can take some pride in that, at least vicariously, and enjoy the celebration:
Tommy Beer
🐐🐐🐐🐐🐐🐐

Patrick entering the Georgetown locker room after winning the Big East Championship is phenomenal content

(video courtesy of irvscotti3 / IG)

https://t.co/rvqDlw9pMd
As college basketball approaches its climax, baseball is ramping up toward its annual springtime-to-autumn marathon of a season. Opening Day for MLB is just 15 days from today, with all 30 major league teams in action on April 1.
For NYC baseball fans, there are sky-high expectations for both the Mets and Yankees this season, as both teams fancy themselves serious contenders to bring yet another World Series championship back to the five boroughs. The ‘09 Yankees are the city’s most recent champion, and yes, a dozen years sans championship is a “drought” by New York’s prestigious baseball standards.
Sometime between now and April 1, the Mets are expected to sign their all-world shortstop Francisco Lindor to a long-term contract that should keep him and his megawatt smile in Queens for over a decade. It is set to be a franchise-record contract for a player who hasn’t played a single game that counts for the team yet, but it is likely to be well worth it for Lindor, a Hall of Fame talent on the diamond whose reputation is even higher off of the field.
Francisco Lindor wants to save baseball with a smile | Sports Illustrated cover story by Tom Verducci
Francisco Lindor makes big donation to FL school
With the best pitcher in baseball, Jacob deGrom (pictured atop this issue that shares his uniform number), leading the rotation, Mets fans hope to see the team pull up a chair at the high roller table to join the Yankees and defending champion Los Angeles Dodgers as perennial title contenders with big-market payrolls. From where I see it, whether or not the Mets succeed, they do seem like they will be a fun team to watch this year at the very least. Just watch how Mets players reacted throughout a 22-pitch plate appearance by backup infielder Luis Guillorme in a spring training exhibition game last weekend:
SNY
Luis Guillorme drew a 22-pitch walk in the 5th inning. Relive the entire at-bat right here 😤 😤 😤 https://t.co/cS57po7ulf
Sure, 22 pitches in a plate appearance would be a record had it happened in a regular-season game, but imagine how the players would’ve reacted had it had happened in a game that actually counted in the standings. I’m all for having fun, and the Mets look like a team that isn’t afraid to show some personality. Fun baseball and winning baseball often go hand-in-hand.
Across town, the Yankees are a pretty fun team in their own right, more fun and with more personality than the franchise is often known to have. While the famous Yankee pinstripes still represent the epitome of class, this group of Yankees players is less starchy and stiff than Yankees teams of yesteryear. And honestly, baseball is chock-full of highly-entertaining, supremely-talented players all over the sport these days. I’m of the belief that high-quality, entertaining ballgames will attract more lapsed fans (and new fans, too) as the sport attempts to evolve and reestablish its place in Americana.
Springtime doesn’t bring any football games, though it does bring the wheeling-and-dealing of the NFL offseason, in which teams try to quickly improve their rosters with free agent frenzies that see players changing teams left and right. The New York Jets entered the 2021 offseason with a lot of space on their salary cap and a lot of draft picks, giving them lots of leverage to build from the ground up under new head coach Robert Saleh.
Their Meadowlands roommates, the Giants? Well, they gave a big contract to a former Jets player, which doesn’t strike me as a sign they are much closer to bringing a Super Bowl back to the NY/NJ area than the Jets are. Time will tell.
Even if you’re not a sports fan, I hope you enjoy as much of the springtime as you can this year, especially with the optimism from the president about freely-available COVID-19 vaccination appointments for all American adults by May 1, at the latest. While 2020 was a year of sports leagues showing us a way forward in the darkness, it’s increasingly possible that 2021’s spring sports schedule could represent the cyclical “dawn” in more ways than usual.
In Other Words
Americans are getting closer to potentially living a post-pandemic lifestyle in time for the beach weather this summer. (I still need to work on that six-pack.) That’s, of course, if Americans don’t backslide into poor pandemic etiquette that sets us back further, even after we’ve begun our hopeful spring forward.
We have to stay vigilant and continue to collectively display the same behavior that’s driven the coronavirus case numbers into a recent decline, lest we bring about another spike in cases. Once we have enough Americans vaccinated to bring about herd immunity in our communities, we’ll all be able to spend as much time in these warm, sunny daylight hours as possible again.
And speaking of springing forward to daylight hours, it’s possible Americans have endured their last foray with changing the clocks every spring and fall. (At least for our offline clocks.) There’s news that a bipartisan group of senators has introduced a bill in the U.S. Senate that, if passed into law, would move to make this past weekend’s winding of the clocks an hour forward to Daylight Saving Time the final timezone shift. That would mean that America would no longer deal with the twice-a-year clock changes of “fall back, spring forward” and the U.S. would stay on Daylight Saving Time permanently.
Bipartisan group of senators pushing for permanent Daylight Saving Time to end twice-a-year custom
Considering exactly zero Republican members of Congress voted to support the American Rescue Plan as it was signed into law last week to provide comprehensive pandemic relief, the phrase “bipartisan group of senators” is enough to catch your attention. However, it appears there are a few pro- and anti-Daylight Saving Time bills kicking around Congress for consideration, and a final decision on what (if anything) to do with DST is far from settled. Opinions are all over the place, so we’ll see if we have any resolution on the matter before the next tentatively-scheduled “fall back” date of November 7.
As we spring forward and push back the nights, experts worry about worsening our ‘social jet lag’
Why a Standard Time activist thinks losing an hour is a big deal and is advocating to end DST in the U.S.
No more changing clocks? History says to be careful what you wish for | Aaron Blake, Washington Post
Parting Thoughts
Because it’s been far too long, I wanted to end with a recipe this week:
Flaxseed flapjacks; flax-jacks, if you will (Photo: @scenariosofdrea on Instagram)
Flaxseed flapjacks; flax-jacks, if you will (Photo: @scenariosofdrea on Instagram)
Who doesn’t love pancakes? Flapjacks? Hotcakes? Griddle cakes, even?
Whatever you call them, they’ve always been a guilty pleasure of mine, and I’m happy to share a healthier alternative that my lovely fiancée found online over at SlenderKitchen.com, which uses flaxseed meal to replace the flour.
Low-Carb Flaxseed Flapjacks | Slender Kitchen
All you need is…
  • 1 cup of flaxseed meal
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 1/3 cup of your milk of choice
  • 1 tbsp of lemon juice
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • a pinch of salt
…and you mix it all together in one big bowl. Add as much of your sweetener of choice as you deem necessary until you like how the batter tastes. With the heat set to medium, pour or spoon some batter onto an oiled pan, flip ‘em after a few minutes, and repeat until you have a plate full of delicious 'cakes.
When we make this recipe (which is fairly often), we usually end up with about a dozen pancakes, enough for four servings of three hearty flapjacks apiece.
Maybe you don’t have ground flaxseed laying around your house, but if you do, I highly suggest this one if you’re trying to be carb-conscious like I am. Flax meal shouldn’t be too hard to come by at your local grocery store, either.
Hopefully, spring’s reinvigorating spirit rubs off on all of us. Stay safe and healthy, and if the weather cooperates, maybe try to catch some rays, too.
I’ve never been the most outdoorsy person (to say the least) but after our long, collective hibernation? I appreciate every hour of sunlight I can get.
Just don’t forget your sunscreen.
Till next time,
-Jon
Previously in The Good Press
The Good Press - Issue #47: Plans
The Good Press - Issue #46: Life
The Good Press - Issue #45: Weather
Catch up quick: The Good Press full online archive
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