Springtime, when a young man's fancy turns to thoughts of Massachusetts Street
Random thoughts while pondering whether Roy Williams will be a national champion by the time the newspaper hits your doorstep Tuesday morning...¢ It's a proven, scientific fact that people are 30 percent more beautiful during the spring. You can look it up somewhere, I'm sure.The bulky layers of winter clothing come off, and men and women strut down Massachusetts Street like they own the world -- in their heads, I think, they believe that if the weather is so gorgeous, then they must be gorgeous as well.And why not? There's hundreds of other people on the sidewalks, sitting in front of restaurants and cafes, some of them playing guitars or djembes, most of them just watching the world go by.There are many reasons to love Lawrence, so many reasons to revel in this town, and I've certainly done my best to count them all. But for me, spring tops the list.Downtown slumbers for no season, except for the very worst ice storms of winter. But it takes on an added vibrancy -- electricity, even -- during the first warm days of the year. Everybody, it seems, wants to be outside and everybody, it seems, would love to do a little window-shopping or iced tea drinking or a little strolling along the way.There's few places like it.¢ Speaking of spring, it's time for baseball season to begin.I kind of gave up on baseball after the 1995 work stoppage, but the last two postseasons have brought me back to fold. The Yankees-Red Sox and Cubs-Marlins league championship series in 2003, followed by last year's Red Sox World Series were just too compelling to ignore.It's worth noting that this is the 20th anniversary of the Kansas City Royals' championship season -- the last time, in fact, that they ever made it into the postseason.That means I was 12 last time the Royals were in the playoffs. There's a whole generation of college students who weren't even alive last time the team played in October. Who even remembers Buddy Biancalana now? I started last season with a lot of faith, listening to games on the radio on the road. (Denny Matthews is oh so comforting.) But it's not worth the pain to hitch yourself to a team for 100 losses. That's 100 easily avoided bad feelings every year!Given baseball's the-rich-get-richer economic structure, I might not ever see the Royals win a World Series again. I'll settle for them not being awful.¢ Whatever your thoughts about the Journal-World, at least you generally get the news in it.The death announcement of Pope John Paul II hit the world about 2:30 p.m. Central time on Saturday - about 3:30 p.m. on the East Coast.When I bought my New York Times on Sunday, however, the front page was about the pope's "illness." Apparently, the print edition of the Times was none-to-nimble with the breaking news; if you relied on The Paper of Record, you wouldn't know that the pope was dead until Monday morning.That's why we have the Internet.