The calendar told us it began on March 20.
But there are two events this week that signify the beginning of spring to sports fans.
On Wednesday, Major League Baseball gets under way. Although ballplayers are best known as the Boys of Summer, baseball stretches from the spring to the Fall Classic, which sometimes ends as late as November.
More than any sport other than a marathon, baseball is indeed a marathon.
Its 162-game schedule tests its teams like those in no other sport.
Yet, as much as baseball is billed as the national pastime, it no longer can claim that moniker. Football clearly has become America's passion. Baseball has become too slow for the modern-day sports fan. Its games last four, sometimes five hours, far too long for the modern-day attention span.
Virtually every sports fan has a favorite baseball team for who they have rooted since their formative years. Baseball fans are loyal. No matter who is wearing the uniform of their favorite team, it still is their favorite team. Following baseball is like any other hobby. The more you understand the game, the more you will enjoy it. It looks so simple, yet it so complex.
While strategy has changed over the past century with closers and designated hitters, the game remains virtually the same as when Babe Ruth put it on the national map.
Once baseball conducts its Opening Day on Wednesday, it will be time for the main event of the week -The Masters. The first major golf tournament of the year and the only one annually played on the same course.
Watching the world's greatest golfers stroll among the Georgia pines for four days lets us know spring really is here.
The Masters always has a lot of great story lines and this year is no exception.
Tiger Woods' first win since 2009 couldn't have come at a better time as he is now the 4-to-1 favorite at Las Vegas sports books. Rory McIlroy, who many are billing as the next Tiger, is 5-to-1. They are the only two golfers whose odds are less than 10-to-1. In fact, Charl Schwartzel, the defending champion is 40-to-1. Considering he was the best on the same course a year ago, those are pretty enticing odds.
Golf is now a worldwide game and the best of every continent will descend on Augusta.
You'll have long-hitting Americans Dustin Johnson and Bubba Watson, who can eagle any hole.
A huge European brigade led by Irishmen McIlory and Graeme McDowell that also includes Lee Westwood, Justin Rose and Martin Kaymer. Australians Adam Scott and Jason Day. Asians K.J. Choi and Ryo Ishikawa. South Africa's Reteif Goosen.
It will be a fascinating four days that will make us decide whether we want to spend them inside watching others play golf or get outside and enjoy the game ourselves.
Contact Dave Poe at email@example.com