IT IS HERE - the calm after the storm, the teapot without a tempest.
Sunday's Super Bowl was one of the more exciting ever, with New England beating Seattle, 28-24.
Still, just moments after Seahawks coach Pete Carroll made the worst decision in Super Bowl history, the thought that crossed my mind was - OK, what now?
The NFL is done.
The Sixers and Flyers are both having seasons that yield little optimism. The Phillies are still 2 weeks away from pitchers and catchers reporting to Clearwater, and frankly, considering the last-place projections for them, who much cares?
February is the worst month of the sports calendar. It's like coming off a sugar rush, because the NFL has ended.
We have now entered the "Winter Wasteland" of sports.
But for two entities in sports, February could offer a great opportunity. For Major League Soccer and women's collegiate basketball, the month that offers the least could be an opportunity to strengthen their niches in the American sports arena.
Taking advantage of an unusual break in a crowded sports calendar might be a way to boast the profile of both.
For MLS, it would be about drawing attention to the fact that your sport is about to kick off. The 2015 MLS season starts on March 6, with the champion Los Angeles Galaxy playing host to the Chicago Fire.
On March 7, there are six games, including the Union playing host to Colorado, and the first week concludes with three matches on March 8.
By then, spring training games already will have started, and while it is just exhibition season, baseball is going to trump coverage over MLS every time.
MLS, which plays from March into December, has rejected the notion of switching to the FIFA calendar, which would move the bulk of the league's schedule to the winter instead of the summer.
But there isn't a good reason why MLS could not start a month earlier, adding four games to its 34-match schedule and giving it the same number as the Premier League, La Liga, Ligue 1 and Serie A.
Part of the argument against MLS switching to the FIFA calendar is that more than half of MLS teams are located in cold-weather cities. That certainly would be an issue if MLS was trying to play the bulk of its season during November, December, January, February and March. A move to start in February, however, would not be that big a difference than starting in March.
The climate in most of the cities that would be a concern - Montreal, Toronto, New York, Vancouver, Chicago, Denver, Boston, Kansas City and Philadelphia - does not vary greatly between the middle of February and early March.
Would the potential weather conditions really be that different if the Union were playing this weekend in PPL Park than on March 7?
Soccer isn't like baseball. Players in England, who don't get a winter break, do fine playing in winter weather.
An MLS schedule beginning in February could be manipulated so that warm-weather franchises host early-season games.
For women's basketball, February would be about showcasing its biggest event - the Division I NCAA Tournament.
In the top conferences, the average operating deficit for a women's program is around $2 million. But Title IX ensures that as long as schools give scholarships for men's sports, they must give an equal number of scholarships to female athletes.
The best solution is to provide women's basketball programs with enough resources to become more self-sufficient. Every dollar earned by a successful women's program helps balance the actual amount of money that is put into the program. Exposure is the most important factor for the growth of women's basketball, and moving the women's tournament to February could potentially provide much more exposure for the sport.
The Women's Division I Basketball Tournament has grown into the biggest event in women's college sports. It is the best-showcased and best-promoted women's event. Still, it gets swallowed up by the March Madness that is the men's tournament. Playing its tournament side-by-side against the men guarantees a stagnant growth.
Having women's tournament games on days when the men are off or playing at odd hours after the men are done has not increased the television ratings for the women.
Scheduling the women's national championship game on the day after the men's still keeps it lost amid the next-day coverage of the men's champion.
The women's game needs a time frame when its championship has no major events to compete against. Playing the tournament in February, when sports fans and reporters are searching for something to get interested in, potentially could provide the women's game a signature event with an undistracted audience that might give it a try.
Women's basketball traditionalists always have fought against doing things that would make the sport appear that it is not on equal footing with the men. The simple truth is, the women's game is not.
The WNBA was criticized when it decided to play a summer schedule, while the American Basketball League said women professionals should play when basketball is traditionally played - in the winter, competing against the NBA, NHL and college basketball.
This summer the WNBA will play its 19th season. The ABL lasted just 2 1/2 seasons before ceasing operations.
The sports market is saturated, and any opportunity to potentially increase exposure should be exploited. If MLS were starting this weekend and the women's tournament was starting this month, both could have advertised those facts to a captive audience during the Super Bowl.
Perhaps it would be to no avail, but it certainly could not hurt.
Traveling into the desert is the best way to find an oasis.