I’ve always found that the roughest time of winter is right before spring. Sure, the snow and ice aren’t exactly pleasant, but you had become resigned to it, learned to work within the elements.
No, without question the roughest time is right before spring. You hear birds in the morning, and some green begins to peek through the brown, bare spots of land and piles of leftover dirty snow. But the weather’s still miserable, with arctic winds that don’t seem to remember it’s “almost” spring. We expect it to magically turn into spring overnight, but it just doesn’t happen. Yet.
IndyCar Silly Season is much the same way. Oh, I was a restless spirit in December, January, February, but I knew it was the offseason. I was desperate for IndyCar news, but could frame it within the expectations of that offseason. My poor wife, whom I fully expect will have a martyr’s statue of her outside of the IndyCar Spouse’s Support Group Headquarters one day, had to endure daily dissertation of Why Bertrand Baguette Should Return To IndyCar, or Why This Household Shall Support Simona De Silvestro So Long As I Am Head Of It.
But we were hunkered in, knowing that the Streets of St. Petersburg would not come for months yet. And so we wrote, and posted, and speculated, and dreamt.
Now, we are a few weeks away from spring. Teams are testing, at Texas, Sebring, Barber. The first race is finally just around the corner—just a couple more weeks!—away. But we don’t just want testing. We see other series racing. We want IndyCar—our cars, on the track, racing, now. We want the driver scenarios at all the teams decided and public. We want to see IndyCar on TV, check timing and scoring, see how all the questions we’ve asked in the months prior begin to be answered.
But outside, it’s still winter. For a few weeks more. And so we become more anxious, more excited. Some of us bear it manfully, patiently, wise with a lifetime of racing seasons and offseasons. Others of us cannot do so, and rage mightily against anything in our path. Still others of us attempt to lead normal lives, but can barely contain our impatience for IndyCar to begin once more.
It’s part of being a fan; the waiting, the anticipation, living and dying on every rumor and announcement that surfaces. Once, our fathers and grandfathers underwent the same ritual, ready to see Vuky, Sachs, Foyt, Sneva, Mears on the track once again. They waited for the scream of engines, and dreamt of a perfect prelude to May.
Maybe it makes us irrational, maybe it even makes us insufferable to our loved ones now and again, but it is part of our being. Because we know, just as winter must give way to spring, the green flag will again soon wave. And the wait will have been completely and fully worth it.