The population of Minnesota is around 5.5 million, which makes sense given that I counted about 5,499 million people outside this weekend.
A good million of them were on the Stone Arch Bridge in Minneapolis.
The rest were on the trails — running, biking, even a few in-line skaters. Or they were showing up in my social media feeds teeing off at local golf courses. Or they were just on any patch of brown grass they could find, where I saw Frisbees, footballs, baseballs, soccer balls and an impromptu lacrosse practice.
When the temperature hits 60 in mid-February in Minnesota, everyone loses their mind (when they aren't, of course, worried about climate change).
Imagine if we have this kind of weather during the Super Bowl next year. Minnesota might double in population.
The warmup insanity looks as if it will last until Wednesday; by Friday we might be blasted back into winter with a good old-fashioned blizzard.
We will all shrug and say, "That's Minnesota for you. Last weekend we were in shorts. Now we're shoveling." But then some of us might be left with seriously messed-up sports body clocks.
See, when it warms up like this, I start to think about the first day of the regular season in major league baseball. Fact is, the Twins don't even have their exhibition opener until Friday. We're six cruel weeks away from the real thing at Target Field.
That game is Monday, April 3 — same date as the NCAA men's basketball title game. It feels as if it could be tomorrow based on all the shorts-wearing people outside my window.
Of course, some years it's still brutally cold in early April. One could argue that this weekend's weather had more of a mid-April feel. Can't wait for the NHL playoffs, which are just around the … wait, actually they are still a long ways off, too.
For those who don't care as much about the watching as the doing, this midwinter reprieve was wonderful but also akin to a big tease.
I ran outside in shorts this weekend. Twice! I played pickup basketball. Outside! On Feb. 19. What is going on here?
And now you're telling me that we probably won't have another weekend that approaches that in AT LEAST a month, maybe more? Yeah, it's like a warm-weather vacation without leaving the state, but it's also setting us up for what amounts to another mini-winter.
All in all, this is not a complaint. The weekend was amazing, and so many of us clearly needed it. But I am officially ready for spring, and all the sports that come with it — and it officially doesn't start for a month.
Everything that feels as if it should be happening already is actually still a long way off. We'll adjust. It will be fine. But it just seems strange.