March Madness

Mad as a March Hare!
“In like a lion, out like a lamb” aptly describes the month of March.
As the goddess Flora descends upon the Renaissance city, the days gradually grow longer and warmer. The chill of winter is quickly forgotten, and the countryside beckons us with vibrant buds and fragrant breezes.
To sports enthusiasts, this time of year means March Madness- the tournament season for men’s and women’s college basketball.
According to the Illinois High School Association’s webpage, the term first appeared in print over 75 years ago. Henry V. Porter, who edited the IHSA’s journal, coined ‘March Madness’ in an essay for the Illinois High School Athlete dated March 1939.
“March Madness” originally referred to the mating season of the European hare. Come spring, these gentle creatures, usually shy and predominantly nocturnal, run around in frenzied circles during broad daylight. Sometimes, they can be seen “boxing” with one another; males competing with males or females fighting off males. It is this behavior that inspired the phrase “Mad as a March hare!” In honor of March Madness, here is a tasty recipe for Tuscan Hare Stew (Lepre in Umido).
C. De Melo
Author of SABINA and several other books