I wonder if somewhere around the fifth week following Tom Brady’s retirement announcement he woke up and enthusiastically asked his progeny, “Good morning kids! What are we doing today?”

My guess is the kids collectively responded, “Ummm… WE?”

Among a span from 2012 through 2016 I was taking vacation the third full week of June each year. I had spent years in previous positions taking long weekends and little tranches of days off for numerous reasons.

I was fortunate, as well, to work for an employer who stood by their word of not interrupting vacation time with requirements to call in to, nor attend meetings.

I realized I was cramping their summer style although I perceived they would enjoy a week’s staycation with me sprinkled with some fun day trips, and maybe a jaunt to their aunt’s and uncle’s place on the shores of Lake Erie.

Sounds fun and relaxing, right?

Once kids engage in more activities independent of parent accompaniment they tend to gravitate toward those activities. They have greater social options, too.

I’m certain the Brady kids, whose wealth circles mine in multitudes, have plenty more options. Kids are well-intentioned, but they also need to appropriate external influences they’re experiencing during their adolescent years.

These thoughts made it clear Brady’s return was neither shocking nor surprising. Furthermore, Brady – in business and in his sport – is a competitor. I’ve seen what happens to people who retire with a lot of fire in their belly. They miss the strokes. The miss the wins.

I’m looking forward to his return. I believe his retirement was an angle to move from the Tampa Bay Bucs and finish his career in turn. Kyle Shanahan, the San Francisco 49ers’ head coach, was visibly absent from a league-wide coaches meeting the same week Brady was in San Francisco.

The NFC South – even if Deshaun Watson signs with one of the three other division teams vying for his services – will still be an easy division to clinch for the Bucs in 2022. Welcome back to TB… TB.

For what it’s worth, in an anecdotal conversation with a gentleman at a high school basketball game last weekend, I guessed what two class levels would play at the Elkhart semistate tipping off this afternoon: Classes 2A and 3A. This and two dollars won’t afford me a particularly good cup of coffee these days, but I enjoy trying to predict semistate location outcomes.

I’m enjoying the three-to-four weeks of almost no high school sports events to cover before the deluge of spring sports is upon us. I enjoy the volume of events because they are tightly compressed mostly between spring break and Memorial Day.

The folks operating and managing those events, however, who are getting set for the most challenging scholastic sports seasons to manage, are your area athletic directors (AD), their office team, and their event workers.

It’s the time of year to say, “thank you for your hard work” to area ADs and their staffs for preforming great work in the tightly compressed, weather sensitive scholastic sporting event schedules of the scholastic athletic year. If I were an AD, I would not use ink to write anything during the spring sports season. These area staffs will be turning on a dime looking for a playable ball diamond, alternate opening dates, and they’ll get their feet muddy repairing fields, pits, and pitches.

I remind you to ask yourself, during April and May, “have you hugged any of your athletic department’s staff members today?”

I completed my “here goes nothing” March Madness men’s basketball brackets Thursday morning. We’ll circle back in two weeks to see where I was right and where I was wrong.

My Final Four are Gonzaga, Baylor, Arizona, and Auburn. Arizona will defeat Baylor for all the marbles.

For those counting, it’s three one-seeds and one two-seed. It’s neither daring, nor creative. I don’t care because I haven’t joined a pool since 2017, and the stakes for my 2022 bracket’s success will be who is picking up a restaurant tab during a yet-to-be-scheduled April meal.

I believe the Big Ten (I like typing “B1G” better for what it’s worth) received more love than it deserves, and Wisconsin is the only team who will advance from this weekend’s action. I also leaned favorably toward the Southeast Conference. They look collectively better than the most recent seasons, and they’ll enjoy a fruitful weekend.

I’ll leave you with “what I believe.” Sorry for pirating one of your bits, Steve Martin.

I believe the upper echelon of the men’s basketball field is comprised of at least eight teams who could hoist championship hardware Monday, April 4.

I believe the bottom half of the field is chock-full of unwatchable teams.

I believe my brackets will have imploded long before the Times-Union Weekender’s press time, Thursday around dinnertime in fact.

I believe I’ll be enjoying a hearty breakfast in Vermilion, Ohio followed by a walk along Lake Erie when you’re getting around to reading this.