The short answer to that question is yes, yes Winter is by far the grittiest month. The reason this question is being posed in the first place is because we in the northern states are currently getting fisted by Winter even though we are technically over a week into Spring. Winter is scratching and clawing well out of its jurisdiction for every inch it can. Winter is the Matthew Dellavedova of seasons. Diving for loose balls on the floor. Playing lockdown D. Not letting Spring get any unearned space towards the basket. Winter has a wide base in the paint, boxing Spring out of any rebounds on both ends of the floor. Winter is at the bottom of every post-fumble dogpile this side of the Mason Dixon line. Winter is the late round pick that the coaching staff just can’t ignore any longer. It’s worked its ass off in the off-season workouts, routinely making the sexier, more talented seasons look foolish in practice. At first the coaches could write it off as the high drafted seasons of Summer and Spring simply having off days. Winter wanted it more in practice, sure, but when the games counted, the talent of the warmer seasons would shine through. Not the case.
Year in and year out, Winter is constantly taking more than its allotted share of the calendar. On paper, Winter lasts from December 21st to March 20th. When’s the last time you remember it feeling like Fall just five days before Christmas? The last time it hasn’t snowed at the end of March or early April? Winter is imposing its will on the weaker seasons and it’s high time we started noticing. The other seasons may have the flashier attributes, but as my fourth grade hockey coach told me “Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard.” Summer has the warm weather and outdoor activities, Spring has the chirping of birds and the long awaited thaw, and Fall has the changing colors and football weather. All Winter has is a chip on its shoulder and the willingness to go to the danger areas that other seasons are too candyass to go to.
And it’s not just the coaches and scouts that constantly underestimate Winter. I’m guilty of it myself. Here I am, with opening day a week in the past, the Masters in full swing, sunsets pushed back to almost 8 pm, thinking that I might be able to squeeze in my first round of 18 on Saturday morning before settling in for a full day of watching Tiger turn back the clock only to get suckered in the face by 5 inches of snow on back to back days. Spring poked its head out for about 4 days a couple of weeks back and Winter immediately shoved it back inside of a gym locker. Not so fast Spring, you’re gonna have to earn your time in 2018. Everyone from Minneapolis to Manhattan was looking past the last few weeks of Winter’s reign, thinking they might start grilling outdoors and leaving work early to catch 9 holes. Not on Winter’s watch. Not while the hardest working season still has breath in its lungs and blood in its veins. Winter is gonna scrap for every single day until it blows out its achilles tendon, and for that I have the utmost respect. Absolutely nothing you can do but tip your cap to the season with the motor that just won’t quit.