-- ORLANDO, Fla. -- The countdown is officially on.
Come on, don't even pretend like you don't know what I'm talking about.
You've already changed your computer's wallpaper from a photo of your kids to one of Magnolia Lane. Your phone's ringtone is now the famous opening piano notes to "Augusta" -- better known as the Masters theme song. You've started referring to last week's leftover tuna casserole as your champion's dinner. Everything you say about everything is quickly followed by you declaring it "a tradition unlike any other."
Spring has sprung, the azaleas are nearing full bloom and the 80th edition of the Masters Tournament is right around the corner.
You're allowed to be excited.
Check that: You're allowed to be unconditionally and irrationally permeated with overzealous anticipation at the prospect of what could become an instant classic.
Hey, we're all looking forward to the Masters at this point on the calendar each year, but there should be a little more enthusiasm this time around. Or maybe a lot more.
This one could be different. This one could be special. This one could be -- read these words in your best Jim Nantz voice -- one for the ages.
On Sunday, Jason Day won the Arnold Palmer Invitational, which was merely his sixth victory since the beginning of last year. Like you and me, Day absolutely loves the Masters. Unlike you and me, he actually has a terrific chance of winning it this year, having finished in second and third place already this decade.
Even so, Day might be the only one who doesn't wish the year's first major championship was starting immediately.
"No," he said, shaking his head with a smile. "I need some rest. I'm really tired. I wish it started in a week."
Not me. And presumably not you, either.
Especially not after the year's first two-and-a-half months, which have essentially served as the longest Masters pregame show in history.
Defending champion Jordan Spieth has struggled a bit lately, but he has also shown the form needed to win again at Augusta National. Same goes for Rory McIlroy, who has been littering his scorecards with birdies and double-bogeys.
Three-time winner Phil Mickelson has been trending in the right direction toward a Tiger-tying fourth green jacket. Bubba Watson is just a month removed from winning -- and he finished runner-up at Doral, which was the same precursor to his previous two Masters titles.
Day's triumph on Sunday was the culmination of a Florida Swing that saw Adam Scott and Charl Schwartzel combine for the other three victories. And as any red-blooded Masters fanatic with encyclopedic knowledge of the tournament knows, they just happen to be a couple of past champions.
Then there's Rickie Fowler, Henrik Stenson, Dustin Johnson, Justin Rose, Patrick Reed -- all of whom have performed well, all of whom are among the world's best players, all of whom should be considered Masters contenders.
These aforementioned players have also assured us that just like everyone who has the dates April 7-10 circled in green hearts on their desk calendars, this week means a lot more to them than any other, too.
"I really feel like I'm trending toward a really good Augusta," Day said this week. "Winning big stuff like that certainly catapults you to No. 1 -- and that's what everyone watches, too."
So, let's go over all of this one more time: The world's best golfers are playing the world's best golf in advance of the world's biggest golf tournament.
You were allowed to be excited before now, but the end of the Florida Swing marks the beginning of Masters insanity for the next two-and-a-half weeks.
Go ahead. Dye your favorite jacket green. Start referring to everyone as patrons. Gorge yourself on pimento cheese sandwiches.
Any irrational behavior will soon be justified, because the game's biggest stars won't just soon converge on Augusta for the tournament -- they'll arrive in the kind of form that has each of them believing they'll win.
It could be special. It could be one for the ages.
The countdown is officially on.