Murch: Now that it’s March, April isn’t that far behind

I’m a little distracted with worries that March will go out like a Lion. Well, maybe not …

* There’s been a lot of talk in the newsroom about how quickly the first two months of the year went. While I’m not a huge fan of winter – especially that last week or so with a cold that has given my voice uncontrollable range from Barry White deep to teenager-hitting-puberty squeaky – the year could slow down a little. I’m not looking to have a fly-by summer.

* When we go to the polls in November to elect two Alpena Municipal Council members, it will mark the fourth time in a 24-month period that we would have voted on council. November 2011 was for two council members and mayor; November 2012 was a recall; February 2013 was a special election; and November 2013 will be for two council members. If it seems like a constant vote on council, there’s your reason.

* Anyone who has followed Dennis Rodman at all since he was drafted in the second round in the 1986 NBA draft by the Detroit Pistons knows he is a little different – the odd behavior, the dysfunctional marriages, the wedding dress (his, not a wife’s), etc. But telling Kim Jong Un he has a friend for life is right up there. Either Rodman is being naive and doesn’t get that Kim is a possible danger to the United States, or he is making sure he has a place to go should North Korea decide to go nuclear (which wouldn’t be all that safe of a place to be when the bombs start flying). Or maybe Dennis Rodman is the key to diplomacy. OK, sorry. I had a Rodman moment.

* While it’s only March 2 and a lot can happen, so far this has been another winter where I don’t think the City of Alpena has enough to determine whether the snowmobile route into downtown works well. This past week gave us some snow, but up to this point every snow was followed by warmer temperatures. I would say council should approve it again for next year. Maybe we’ll never have a good snowfall to see how much of an impact the route could be, but the city needs to keep on trying. The potential boost to the city’s economy is there, but without the snow to bring people our way, it’s all speculation.

* I gave up watching much of the ESPN family of networks outside of live games a long time ago. Any non-game coverage seems to be a lot of criticism and yelling. There is very little analyzing anymore. There are exceptions (E:60 is very good, and the ESPN Films continue to be outstanding), but it seems like every time I switch by one of the channels someone is raising their voice. Unfortunately the other day I paused a little too long on ESPN2 and First Take. When did loud take over for facts? I remember there was a time years ago when Skip Bayless (one of the loudest of the loud along with Stephen A. Smith) was a sought-after columnist.

* I’m a European football (soccer) fan, and I’m a fan of broadcaster Gus Johnson. So I’m excited about the union of the two. Johnson is being groomed to be the World Cup voice for FOX when it takes over in 2018. Johnson is highly entertaining and emotional and has a legion of fans, especially from his work with NCAA basketball and football. If there has been a knock from people in some circles on American coverage of World Cup, it’s that there hasn’t been an authoritative American voice. Maybe Johnson will become that voice. I, for one however, enjoy Ian Darke on ESPN and could not care less what nationality the announcer is as long as he does it well.

*?NCAA March Madness is right around the corner and this season has been filled with lots of top 10 teams getting beat. Charging the court by the student body is almost a nightly thing, and madness all by itself. On Thursday, Virginia beat Duke and, as if on cue, the students rushed the court. At some point players’ safety has to be addressed. There will come a time when a player of the losing team gets jumped by a student and that player is going to retaliate. Who do you think is going to win, an everyday student or an athlete who trains to be the best every day? And the player would have every right to protect himself.