By Dan Bernstein–

Too often we take for granted the fact that we’re lucky to live in a high-major professional sports market that affords such big things as yesterday. Four teams in meaningful action — two of them on broadcast TV – all while the Masters tightened to a dramatic end.

Here’s what you (meaning “I”) needed to make it work: an early rise to get things checked off the list to clear time and TV entitlement (cardio, garbage out, some light bulbs changed, grocery trip, dishwasher loaded and run, and the stack of clean, folded clothes by the dresser finally, actually put in the dresser), the kids in the suburbs with grandparents for the day, a special channel list arranged on the DirecTV remote, the wisdom to know what to watch at any given time, and the dexterity to zap there.

Brunchtime hockey got it going, with bitter rivals skating on slush as they hacked at a flubbery puck. The crisp call of Mike Emrick, enthusiasm of Ed Olczyk, and the win-and-in tension combine to the effect of strong coffee.

Then the Bulls tipped off in Orlando, still trying to match the Spurs for the top overall record in the NBA. Hot shooting early by Derrick Rose and his teammates appeared to predict the expected blowout of a team missing Dwight Howard, but turnovers and bad defense kept the score close enough to merit interest.

Just after 1:00 PM, both baseball teams begin and final-round golf coverage resumes. It’s 80 degrees outside, open windows are letting the strong breeze push long-missed spring air through the house, and the plasma glows.

Sox rake early, and Gavin Floyd is throwing strikes, commanding all his pitches. In Milwaukee, farmhand Casey Coleman holds his own on a day where Yovani Gallardo seems without his best stuff. Tiger Woods is posting red numbers and staying on the first page of the CBS leaderboard.

Baseball can wait.

Hawks fall miserably, despite a late power-play chance. Playoff spot looking bleak, it’s back to the Bulls for the DRose show, with the game exemplifying both the Bulls’ joys and concerns: Rose is spectacular, but shouldn’t have to be. The defense must operate on full-tilt effort to be effective, and Joakim Noah and Carlos Boozer are playing smaller and weaker than their statures and reputations.

Jameer Nelson’s game-tying three-pointer was late. Ballgame.

Woods shreds Augusta’s front nine, going birdie-birdie-eagle on 6, 7, and 8. I forgot how much sheer fun it was to watch Tiger stalking a major. Big names keep emerging to contend into the afternoon.

The Sox are missing only picnic tables and beer kegs as they cruise over the punchless Rays. Three more homers back Floyd on a wind-whipped day. Meanwhile, Kerry Wood leaves a hit-me fastball on the outer half of the plate for Casey McGehee, who crushes it to the opposite field to give the Brewers the lead in the eighth. Marlon Byrd on base as the tying run in the ninth, with hot-hitting Aramis Ramirez up against combustible closer John Axford, and nobody out, and Byrd inexplicably and inexcusably tries to steal second, and is out. By a mile. Cubs lose.

For the first time since 11:30 AM, the remote can be set down on the coffee table, and it’s back to golf. Tiger lips out his 4-foot eagle attempt at 15, and we get the feeling it’s over for him. Even without much of a rooting interest, the tight finish compels. Congrats to the Clarbl Pretzel guy.

I’m full. The afternoon-long banquet has me ready to doze.

But I’m still keeping an eye on the Stars/Wild game, first on the internet gamecast, then back on the TV after getting the tip that it was on. Empty-netter, improbable upset, and the Hawks squeak in as the eighth seed.

I didn’t have room for dessert, but I ate it anyway.

Dan Bernstein

Dan Bernstein has been the co-host of “Boers and Bernstein” since 1999. He joined the station as a reporter/anchor in 1995. The Boers and Bernstein Show airs every weekday from 1PM to 6PM on The Score, 670AM. Read more of Bernstein’s blogs here. Follow him on Twitter @dan_bernstein.
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