Jack TenneyExtra Point

by Jack Tenney, Publisher

March 2017

Spring training exhibition games are going strong. Can a last great winter storm be far behind?

So often, it seems, our vaunted mud season features thaws and white-outs, cancelled Little League games, and a slow start to golf season locally. Typically, as a May promotion, Green Mountain National Course at Killington offers reduced greens fees if you have a same-day lift ticket.

March, April, and May are tough months for Vermont’s hospitality sector. Ski conditions are iffy. Ice fishing is iffy. Rooms and meals tax revenues tank for the state coffers.

Therefore, you have to find other ways for differentiating one day, week, or month from the other. Of course, it started in February with the Super Bowl and Groundhog Day. But those events were over and forgotten by Valentine’s Day.

So the extra point this month is a reminder of things that will be the highlights of mud season. For sport fans, especially gambling sport fans, March madness or the NCAA basketball tournaments and the NCAA’s poor cousin, the NIT, might keep your interest in current events occupied without watching cable news programs. With more than 100 teams competing in the men’s and women’s tournaments, it’s hard not to find a reason to be exhilarated or crushed by a team you cheer .

Also, March begins to identify the prospects for your favorite Major League baseball team. The exhibition season ends in March and the regular season begins in April. Remember, if you are into fantasy baseball and, as you start making your draft picks, you wonder who the sucker is in your fantasy league, if you don’t know, it’s probably you.

March also entertains you and your pets and peers as you all cope with the change to daylight saving time. My dog is happier being fed earlier in the spring than later in the fall.

Best bet for April — and it won’t cost limbs and credit cards — is the Joe’s Pond ice-out contest. Name the date and time to the minute the weighted marker breaks through the ice on Joe’s Pond and put your dollar down and wait. April 29 was the date in 2014 and ’15. Last year, it was more than a fortnight earlier on the 12th. If you are into the science of global warming, remember that you must first convert to metric.

Better to start thinking about your pick for the Kentucky Derby in May.