Well, my 40 days without sports is coming to a close. As I've said before, I've found the discipline more enjoyable than I'd expected and have even been diligently avoiding accidental sports intake. In fact, I'd hatched a whole plan for the NCAA basketball tournament - on Easter, I was going to sneak in the backdoor of ESPN.com to find the scoreboards for the week the tournament began and then go through the day by day results. In this way, I hoped to experience (sort of) all of March Madness in a much shorter time.
However, I've been doing less music listening lately (mainly because I'm too lazy to pick out CDs for the commutes) and have been trying to do the NPR thing. It's usually a pretty safe haven from sports, and when the local news folks come on, the announcer first says, "In sports . . ." at a predictable enough time that I can click the radio off for the 20 or so seconds they devote to such stories. I'd never heard Carl Kasell ,the basso Morning Edition newsreader, say anything about sports, but wouldn't you know that on Tuesday morning he led with an immediate reveal of which team had won it all? (I'll keep the winner anonymous for any of you on the same Lenten journey as me.) Done in by Carl Kasell! I suppose the lesson is that I wasn't really supposed to be enjoying 'giving something up' anyway, so it was probably poetic justice. (A look at the profile linked above reveals that the mysterious Mr. Kasell is fan of UNC basketball. Who knew?)
With the Red Sox in the midst of their opening week, it's required some real skill to avoid those stories, but so far, so good. Haven't figured out yet how much sports to let back into my life going forward. I'm pretty sure that the cold turkey thing is probably easier than trying to ease back in - once you start paying a little attention, the wandering eye is quickly attracted to this story and that and suddenly you're reading the sports section with your hair on fire. One thing I know - if I ever find myself reading NASCAR stories, I'm getting back on the wagon. And if Carl Kasell starts delivering NASCAR news, I'll know the endtimes are near.