Monday, February 18, 2008

Is There Life After the Super Bowl?

It’s been more than two weeks and the first signs are setting in. Sunday afternoon arrives and you’re a little edgy. Actually, you’re a lot edgy.

You turn on the TV and madly surf up and down the channels looking for a football game. But all you get is a golf tournament, a bowling show and a bunch of old movies.

I’m speaking, of course, of football withdrawal. If you’re like most men, Sunday afternoon is your time or at least it was until February 3rd. The TV, the remote control, your beverage of choice and several football games. It was your manly oasis in this sea of stress we call life.

But now it’s over. The Super Bowl is finished and therefore so, too, is the entire NFL season. Luckily, there was last Sunday’s Pro Bowl which helped ease the transition to a football-free life. But the Pro Bowl’s not a real game. It’s kind of like giving methadone to a heroin addict. It’s just a temporary substitute to help make getting clean a little less painful.

So what’s a guy to do? The first preseason game is almost six months away. How are you expected to last that long?

Well, as Vince Lombardi might have said, when the going gets tough, the tough get cable, as in the NFL Network. With 24/7 coverage of everything football including old games, gridiron news and nonstop analysis, it’s the true addict’s summertime fix. It’s not the real thing but it may be enough for some.

But what if you don’t have cable? Or what if reruns and replays don’t do it for you? What then? Are you expected to survive on a diet of basketball, baseball or even hockey? Not likely.

A real man will look fear in the eye and he won’t blink. He’ll suck it up and play through the pain. He’ll give a hundred and ten percent. After all, no one said it would be easy but it can be done.

First, check to see if your wife or girlfriend is still there. If she is, that means she really loves you despite your obsession. Maybe you could do something nice for her. Give her some flowers, say, or take in a basketball game together. In other words, show her that you care.

If you have kids, don’t forget; they can be lots of fun. Consider taking them to a hockey game or maybe even on an afternoon outing to a sports bar. Nothing says family like time spent together.

When all else fails, try tackling a few of those household chores you’ve been putting off. Maybe now’s the time to repair that leak in the roof or replace the missing skylight in your bedroom.

Have you thought about cleaning out the moldy contents of your basement after last summer’s flood? If you’re not a handyman, how about a little politics? Luckily for you, there’s a Presidential election this year with all kinds of exciting primaries and nominating conventions.

I know it’s not football but it’s tough and it’s nasty. Plus you can bet on it. Phone up your friends and suggest putting together your own political fantasy league. (Here’s a hint: Don’t pick Mitt Romney or Dennis Kucinich.) The best thing about politics is that by the time it’s all over, we’ll be well into the next football season.

I know it looks bleak right now. It’s the middle of winter and there’s no football in sight for months. But if you’re the kind of man who can watch three football games at once week after week, then you’re also the kind of man who can do without.

If you feel yourself faltering, just call a football friend for support. Remember, we’re all in this together, there’s no "I" in "team" but there is one in "quit." Hang in there and I’ll see you in the fall.

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