So, what are we going to do with ourselves if the NFL lockout continues into the season? Really, think about it. While going homicidal is certainly a viable course of action, I think it behooves us to explore other options first.
Football and its peripheral activities take up a significant amount of time every Sunday, and that's just for those of us who are watching it at home. I have to get some food ready, make sure I have beer, and snacks. Then I have to chase down the sacrificial chicken. I don't know how they know, but they know, and catching a properly motivated chicken can take a while. We all know what I'm talking about.
I was thinking about using a sacrificial pig for a while, but if they figure out what's going on, they're liable to bite.
But I digress.
There are other considerations at play here. Carving out this time on Sundays was a process. You had to explain to friends why you couldn't go for a five-mile hike (You would think that would be self explanatory), or couldn't help them move, or bury a hooker, or any number of things that didn't actually kill the relationship, but certainly didn't help it. What about you married fans? How hard was it to make your spouse understand that you were absolutely, definitely, without a doubt, going to take that time every football Sunday to watch the Steelers? No matter what she had on that F******g list! If your spouse isn't a Steelers fan, you weren't getting sex even if the Steelers won. It was a stand you had to take. You had to be firm, so to speak. You had to endure the questions, the doubt, the arguments, the abstinence. But you did it, and every Sunday you could do what you loved in relative peace.
What if you just started dating someone? Someone who still thinks they can change you? Well, this article is not for you. You're screwed. Good luck.
Friends, family, loved ones...They're just waiting for something like this lockout to establish a beachhead on your Sunday time. If you don't think they have been paying attention, you're making a BIG mistake. BIG. If you don't start planning now, you could find yourself, one Sunday in September, without a plausible reason why you can't help de-worm the homeless (And that's a good scenario, trust me).
You have to start developing an intense interest in something else now. Note that word, INTENSE! Nothing else will suffice when you refuse to delouse Aunt Myrtle.
I'm sure some of you can do a convincing job of getting back into stamp collecting, hunting Snipe (The really fun part is inventing explanations as to why you never get any), or your healthy participation in the Ernest fan club. But, there's the rub: you had to have had a well-documented interest in something other than football that you can go back to. Your mother is going to have to vouch for the fact that you used to be a devout Sunday mime, because nobody's really going to believe that. Not even if they really love you. Your dad is going to have to haul out photos of you ballet dancing if you want to convince your wife you're getting back into the troupe, but only on Sundays.
None of that's for me. I've decided to "Develop" an "Intense" interest in another sport. As I have no prior "Passion" to fall back on, I feel this is the most plausible course of action at this point.
Some of you may feel the same way. So, I thought I would go through the available candidates as I see them.
Here we go:
NASCAR (I think that stands for: Not Another Stupid Circle Around Rednecks, or something like that, I never cared to find out):
- This "Sport" already has a huge following, and while you wont exactly fit in without losing some teeth, you can make a case that you too are a fan based on hard numbers (Warning: Number of fans may be exaggerated by the networks to make advertisers pay more).
- Since the cars only ever make left turns, you wont need your heart pills...ever.
- While the drivers heart rate may be slightly higher than yours, they don't get much more exercise than you do watching from your couch, so I don't know if this can technically be called a sport (If it is, then I guess, technically, playing a race game on your X-box is a sport. Tell your mom)(And I guess, if you think about it, you do get more exercise than the drivers because you get up and get beers and take the occasional trip to the bathroom).
- If you have any ability at all to use history to tell what is going to happen in the future, this "Sport" will be a hard sell, excitement wise. The only exciting thing about this "Sport" is the wrecks and that's like watching Football for the injuries.
- Again, the huge fan base (Sure, they're mostly foreigners, but you can play the bigot card if anyone points that out).
- Your child can explain the rules to you.
- Your child can explain the rules to you.
- Beer. At the games, on your couch, beer is really the first, second and last reason to watch a game. I sometimes think baseball was invented as something to watch for those already drinking beer.
- There is still such a thing as cheap seats. And, they're actually kind of fun because you can see teenagers drinking beer. Then you can see teenagers vomiting beer (Last time I was at an Orioles game).
- One hundred and sixty-two games. If you're passionate enough, you can get out of some serious chores/responsibilities, like raising your children.
- You have to stay sharp if one of those people who has their eye on you watches the game with you, because the beer combined with the excitement level may cause drowsiness. That just wont do if you are trying to convince them baseball is your passion.
- One hundred and sixty-two games. If you're not passionate, you could quickly fall into a comma around game one. This puts you in danger of waking up in the year 2020 and missing more than the one year of NFL play that was lost to the strike.
- Um...It's played indoors?
- Uh...If you go to game you have a chance to see an old, fat celebrity, or an overrated movie director?
- Having to watch basketball. Period.
- The Pittsburgh Penguins! It goes: the Steelers, sliced bread, then the Penguins, unless you're on the South Beach Diet, then it's the Steelers, then the Penguins.
- You wont have to redo the color scheme on your man cave, or your...What?.. Lady nook?.. Woman's den?.. For the love of God, what?
- This is by far the most believable of your options.
- You don't have to watch basketball.
- The flipping rules. I know I've had them explained to me on several occasions, and for the life of me, I can't remember what that stupid blue line means. Two line pass? Icing?
- You have to wear a cup to the game because you never know when Punxy will be attending.
- It's fun to watch a bunch of guys try to smack each other in the testicles with sticks.
- You once took it in college for a phys-ed credit, so it's plausible that you have rediscovered it, if your spouse, boyfriend, girlfriend or dog really loves you.
- It's like hockey for people with a heart condition. The pace is not as fast, the ball is made of softer rubber, the grass is cushier, and there's no f*****g blue line.
- Even when you're in danger of loosing your Sunday time it's really, really-reallllly hard to convince someone you're into this sport. Oooo, the Native Americans played it, big deal. Do you see them playing it now? Wonder why?
- Has yet to be given the feminine touch by Roger Goodell. I mean, I've heard of guys being knocked out twice in one game. That means you wake up, and go back in the game.
- Rugby shirts. They did right by me in college. Of course, mine were Polo, because I was a pretentious little prick, and the girls seemed to like that, the Polo shirts I mean.
- Fosters. If you need an explanation, you clearly need to start drinking more beer. You're never too young to start (That is to say, if you're already drinking beer, then you are clearly already twenty-one, which means you could always be drinking more beer. Does that satisfy the lawyers?)
- I think you have to be up at two in the morning to watch one of these games on television. That might be a little too early to start drinking beer. I know, you're thinking, just stay up the night before and continue drinking. But watching a violent sport and the end of your drinking spree can lead to a hospital visit.
- Astoundingly, one of the most watched sports on television, although, I've never met anyone who actually watches, ever. But, like NASCAR and Soccer, you can point to the numbers and give your most honest look as you espouse your love of watching others handling large balls.
- The pageantry. Nothing can match the pure spectacle of two wooden lanes, two "Athletes" and two spectators in their seats (A little help here).
- Telling people you're a bowling fan.
- Asking the bartender at a sports bar to turn the channel to bowling.
- This is the perfect sport to watch if you have ADD, as it is rarely interesting for more than a couple of minutes.
- If you're watching this sport, man or woman, it will greatly increase your physical self image.
- - The fashion. Pool shows you what seventies fashion would have become if it hadn't gone out of fashion in the seventies.
CRICKET (I included this because ESPN just reported the other day that the Cricket world cup final is the third most watched sporting final in all of sports. The Super bowl isn't even in the top three! Really. It goes, the Soccer world cup final, watching Lindsay Lohan appear before a judge, and then the Cricket world cup final):
- When you and your job are moved to India, you will have a leg up on the most popular sport.
- Since these games can last up to three days, conceivably, if you show enough passion, you could get out of a day of work.
- You get to say things like, "That was a wicked googly" (No, I don't know what the hell a googly is).
- It has to be exciting to score two hundred and sixty points in one game, right?
- Two hundred and sixty points over three days, using eight hour days, is 10.8 points per hour. Maybe not that exciting, but still more exciting than baseball.
- No one in the U.S. knows anything about this sport: Where it is played, what the rules are, or even where to view a game (Match? I don't know).
Those are some of your options and their considerations. Sure, there are a ton of other sports out there: curling, skiing, figure skating...ect. I just went through a few of the most popular ones (Popularity being determined by the amount of air time the sport receives). It is up to you which direction you go.
But I caution you, choose wisely, because your precious Sunday free time is at stake here.