Early spring is always a preferred time of year for sports enthusiasts 

Judd

Judd

It's that special time of the year when the stars align and three of our preferred North American sports converge for a month or so.

As a result, the early spring is always a preferred time of year for sports enthusiasts like myself, even if you're only a casual fan.

The beginning of season looming for Major League Baseball, coupled with the onset of the basketball and hockey postseasons truly is music to my ears.

Not to mention, March Madness has reached its apex and a champion will soon be crowned.

Regardless of the teams you root for -- whether it's in basketball, baseball or hockey, professional or collegiate -- the early portion of the spring will forever be linked.

In recent years prior to the pandemic, it started to feel like this time of the year was getting played out a bit too much.

I'm sure we all remember back in 2008 when Fox Sports Detroit, soon to be known as Bally's Sports Detroit, unveiled its "April in the D" marketing campaign.

For an entire month, every other commercial break on FSD featured some kind of AITD tie-in -- usually a cringey Detroit-themed song with the words "April in the D" shoehorned in.

It became a staple and whether you were a fan of those ads or not, each April was, in fact, April in the D.

That is, of course, until even Detroit sports fans grew tired of it, and after some rough years at the Joe, the Palace and Comerica Park, the campaign was shelved for good.

Even though FSD might have gone slightly overboard with that campaign during the previous decade, I believe the overall message of it still rings true, especially after last spring was never allowed to take place.

During normal times, something like a seasonal change seemed so trivial, but for the last two years, that change has had a much deeper meaning to it and it's a sign of how far we've come.

While last year the spring symbolized a sad end for sports and many aspects of life as we know it, this spring can hopefully be a symbol of a new beginning and provide us a path moving forward.

Spring sports can once again provide a healthy distraction from the harshness of the real world at the harshest time most of us have had to endure.

I still can't believe it's been over a year since this whole mess began, and while we aren't quite out of it yet, a spring reminiscent of years' past at the diamond, court or rink is exactly what many of us needed.

Joe Judd is a reporter for the Pioneer. He can be reached at Joe.Judd@pioneergroup.com.