Steven Morrissey, known to rock ‘n roll fans as – simply – Morrissey, is nicknamed the Pope of Mope. I feel like I’m channeling him this week in my preamble. If you are unware of who he is, and you have not heard of his 1980’s game-changing band The Smiths, look him up, and listen to some of his tunes.

I hate spring break for numerous reasons. If you care to know, feel free to ask me why I hate spring break if you see me running around town and decide not to retreat in the opposite direction.

If you’re traveling please travel safely, nonetheless, and as far as I’m concerned, better you than I. Part of the spring break issue is flavored with some sour grapes, truth be told.

This morning I’m likely already in some glamorous port like Ann Arbor, Cleveland, Columbus, or Indianapolis enjoying a long weekend, salvaging the limited time I can typically get away each year at this time.

I’ll have good visits, dine well, buy stuff I don’t need, and sit around thinking about what I want for lunch after I finish breakfast, so it will still feel like a typical vacation. I’ll also romanticize some sort of janky sight-seeing I do upon return as if it were the best thing ever.

All this will be in the midst of perennially predictable lousy tristate area weather.

For those of you who wanted parity in men’s college basketball, who wanted to see the bluebloods like Duke, Kansas, Michigan State and North Carolina watch the action from home your wish came true.

Sports programming execs at CBS, on the other hand, see the Final Four field as a ratings nightmare.

5-seed San Diego State will battle 9-seed Florida Atlantic while 5-seed Miami battles 4-seed Connecticut to see who plays in Monday night’s championship clash.

This is testimony to how collectively weak the top-seeded teams were this season. None of the one-seeds made it to the Elite Eight, in fact, for the first time since seeding the tournament began in the 1979 40-team field.

I wonder if the way to predict who survives and advances in future pools requires the conventional wisdom to identify the following things among the 68 invited teams:

1. Who has the most upperclassmen?

2. Who looks like they know where the weight room is located, and has some height to boot?

3. Who consistently plays the best defense?

You know most of these young men have trouble hitting more than 35%-40% of their contested shots.

I’m curious what percentage of the bracket-betting populace were part of pools where the winner has already been declared since no one higher than a 4-seed is playing tonight.

Major League Baseball opened regular season play this past Thursday and most venues will host the action in lousy… Northern spring break weather. You couldn’t hand free MLB tickets to me before Mother’s Day is here and gone.

I am excited, however, to try to catch as many televised games when Ohtani Shohei is playing. It will likely be the first and last time we see someone like this in our lifetimes, even among you younger folks.

Although I’m behaving like a mope, April 27 gives me hope. Millions of NFL fans will tune in prime time, on a Thursday evening, to watch the first round of the NFL Draft.

The switch to prime time on Thursday was one of the most brilliant sports television programming moves made, and of course the NFL, who realizes they’re just as much a television program as they are a professional sport had the brains to make the move.

I’m still waiting for MLB, on the other hand, to shed its dogma of late March opening days and cram its product into better programming and media real estate with a May-to-mid-August regular season, and an expanded late-August-to-September playoff.

Back to the professional league who almost always gets things right, the NFL.

Once fans around the U.S.A. evaluate how their season will look, the league will release its regular season on or around May 11. Each team’s fan base – who because of the league’s brilliant scheduling patterns – already know who their teams will be playing.

The challenge, however, is taking a guess on how many games their favorite team will win because of whom they play after a bye week, or what elite quarterback (and his team) they’ll have to face in a road game in either a blustery or wintery late-season game, or in a more welcome early fall setting.

My childhood friends who were, and still are, avid Cleveland Browns fans, will make their Pollyanna pigskin predictions, and I’ll rain on their parade posting why their 11-6 or 10-7 predicted won-loss records will finish closer to 7-10 or 6-11.

Some tell me to pound salt, but others are curious enough to ask me to point to specific games where we disagree on the outcome. They’ll also tsk-tsk and tell me, “Oh, you’re still a Ravens fan, aren’t you. Are your relatives on speaking terms with you yet?”

To this day, the Baltimore Ravens are and, and always will be, the REAL Cleveland Browns.

The NFL draft and the regular season schedule release dates are closer than it currently seems, and I feel like the Pope of Mope is beginning to leave my body and brain. There’s even a little sunlight shining into my window.