And so, while watching the congressional hearings on steroids in baseball, I couldn't take my eyes off Rafael Palmeiro, who appeared to be one part man, five parts tan. Bud Selig, Jose Canseco and Palmeiro were like conjugations of a strange baseball verb: Chuck Tan, Chuck Tanner, Chuck Tannest.
Even the leathery faces of several congressmen appeared to have been softened with neat's-foot oil, bound with rubber bands and placed under the mattress for a couple of months. This was my sole focus for nearly 12 hours, inspiring what ought to be a new network slogan: See man. See tan. C-SPAN.
Me, I'm whiter than the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. I look like the love child of Old Man Winter and Edgar Winter.
Speaking of which, I turned on the women's NCAA basketball tournament, saw Wynter Whitley of Duke and was immediately seized by seasonal affective disorder. Basketball also has Tex Winter and Brian Winters; baseball has Champ Summers. But watching spring training games televised from Florida is a cruel tease. Last week on my street a father played catch with his two sons in a snow-covered front yard, evidently believing he could will winter to end. It's the same delusion that compels people to repeatedly press the call button in the hope that the elevator will come quicker, a phenomenon the comic Rich Hall calls "elecelleration."
The truth is, there is little we can do except mix ourselves another March-a-rita--chipped ice, road salt and tequila--and brace for one more week of Indian Winter.
As I write this, a flock of geese is returning north in a flying chevron. It should come as a hopeful sign. But all I see in that honking V is the wedge of a kick-return team. This puts me in mind of spring football practice and, by extension, the green fields that have yet to arrive. And once again I am disconsolate.
For a collection of Steve Rushin's columns, go to SI.com/writers.