It’s 50° in Chicago today, after a month where there were only 3 days above freezing a number of days in single digits, and a few below zero. There has been about a foot of snow on the ground since Christmas.

And today it is 50°.

It’s almost impossible to explain what that has done to my mood. I left the house this morning wearing one of my IU sweatshirts and no jacket. I drove with my window down. I was in such a good mood I almost sang along to Elton John. It is a joyous moment when, after a long winter you get a glimpse of spring.

It’s actually easier to explain how I feel today than I thought at first. It’s how I felt after we beat Iowa on Wednesday night.

After struggling through a month’s worth of losses, some of them close, some of them not at all, when it felt like the sun my never shine again on IU basketball, even though logic said that it would, finding a win on Wednesday was like waking up to a 50° Ferbruary day in Chicago.

Now, I know it’s only February. And thanks to the predictive powers of Punxsutawney Phil I know there are at least six more weeks of winter ahead. 50° today does not mean that there are nothing but warm days and pleasant nights ahead. Just as one Iowa win doesn’t mean we’re going on a winning streak that will take us to the NCAA tournament.

But joy, even if it is fleeting, is still worth embracing. Celebrating.

Spring won’t officially be here in Chicago until the restaurants put their sidewalk cafe tables out. If you don’t now, or never did, live in a big city this may not mean much to you, but trust me when I say that seeing those tables and chairs outside is the happiest day of the year. It means that businesses have decided that it is financially viable to provide outdoor seating. The market has decided it is spring, and there’s no stopping the market.

Spring won’t be here for IU basketball until next season at the earliest, but that doesn’t mean that we won’t have some unseasonably warm days here and there.

Let’s all enjoy them. I think we’ve earned them.

Today’s theme song looks back and forward to warmer days.

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