10 Things that get me through the Offseason.

TV and Movie Mediagameofthronespic

TV Shows – At the end of the day, I’ll take anything, really. But, the shows that make me read page after page of online chapter summaries like GoT are what really make the year go by fast. Luckily, between binging on Walter White, Don Draper and Frank Underwood, I’ve had some really great options over the last two years.

Game of Thrones – This is, hands down, the greatest show on television right now. Even if you aren’t in to dragons and zombies there’s still boobs and gore to keep the action moving. The plot lines are fresh and varied and this show isn’t afraid to knock off the most beloved characters at inopportune times.

House of Cards – Man, where did Frank Underwood and this show come from, amirite?!? This web-series show is amazing, congrats Netflix! I generally don’t get into political dramas—I never saw a single episode of West Wing—but this show, and Kevin Spacey specifically, is too good to pass up.

Orange is the New Black – No, this is not simply an opportunity to watch gobs of hot women being forced to live with relatively few male counterparts. Actually this is yet another amazing Netflix original web-series that combines unique storyline with electric upstart talent.

Breaking Bad – Walter White is dead. But man, if you haven’t binged every episode of this show you might want to wait until February 2015 and thank me later when you wake up from your blue-meth-induced coma right before NFL Kickoff 2015.  It’s primarily how my wife and I got through the Summer of 2013.

Mad Men – I’ve binged on this all spring/summer long and now I’m ready for the Spring Finale! Long live Dick Whitman!

Summer Movie Releases — Technically, I haven’t been to any summer movie releases this year, but you get the idea. They’re fun, they’re epic and when I was in my late teens, I once led a dozen dirtboys-in-training to the release of the epic action-drama Armageddon and watched all of them (myself included) lose all sense of self by shedding tears like running backs shed would-be tacklers.  Though none of them would be likely to fess up to such “unmanly” acts.

2014nfldraft

NFL Off-season activities

NFL Draft – There’s an inverse relationship between how much a football fan enjoys a particular year’s draft and how well that fan’s team played in the prior year. So, I suppose it’s a good thing that for the last decade or so the NFL Draft has been ho-hum for Saints’ fans. It’s definitely panned out better for us lately than a Ditka-Williams infused draft-day.

Free Agency – Who will get the big Free Agent talent? This year, just like in 2006, WE DID!!! WHODAT!!! Every April just before the draft, teams align themselves so that they can be in good position to at least poll that year’s best and brightest free agents. Not all teams sign the best players, and not all rumors are true; but, odds are, if you have a favorite football team, they’re involved in a trade or FA signing rumor.

NFL Network – Between the innovation of the Redzone Channel and the application of NFL Rewind, the NFL Network has been shortening the gap from Super Bowl to Training Camp.

College Football Offseasonnatlsigningday

Spring Football – For most folks, Spring Football is simply an opportunity to have a small, lightly observed tailgate in the spring months. If you live in the south, you get 30 some odd days of this and you call it college baseball. Regardless, Spring Football is a good chance to see early enrollees get some playing time and also a perfect opportunity to second guess your coaching staff before any meaningful snaps are taken.

National Signing Day – Leave it to football fans like me to romanticize a non-event event such as National Signing Day, hashtag NSD2014. I actually took a day of leave from work for this year’s version and kept track of LSU’s signees minute by minute. I mean, I’m staring at a computer screen refreshing every couple of minutes to see if a state university has received a signed document from a teenager. That’s it! And people actually think I have sane tendencies!!!

LSU Baseball

Listen. If you don’t love college baseball there is something horribly, horribly wrong with you. But I’ll offer you this. I parallel a person’s lack of affection for college baseball to an atheist/nonbeliever’s lack of commitment to any particular religion. Just because a person doesn’t know how awesome a thing is doesn’t mean they should be turned away from the promised land. However, if a person witnesses the wonders of college baseball and still doesn’t willingly partake and unconditionally love the sport of college baseball…? well, fires of hell for them. Kidding/Not Kidding.

This thing called Pro Baseballmlbopeningday

If you don’t like college baseball there’s still a good chance that you might like major league baseball. The start of the MLB season is one of those few events during the American sporting season where your average employer totally understands if you call in sick and take your kids to the ballpark. Unfortunately, most pro baseball teams have been eliminated by mid-year, which makes for a very long season for most fans. If your team is playing well (like my A’s are this year!!! Watch out WS2014!!!) it can really liven up some otherwise empty summer weekends.

March Madness

There’s not a whole lot that can compare to the first weekend of March Madness. College Baseball’s postseason has a tremendous first weekend, but until ESPN or another cable sports outlet gives them the airtime (actual network airtime; see: not online) they deserve, they simply won’t garner the same size national love and appreciation.

NBA Season

It’s the professional version of basketball competition and really they do just about everything wrong. SEE: ARTICLE

fifa-world-cup-2014-brazilInternational Competitions

FIFA World Cup – Because Soccer exists, no matter how much we try to deny it.  Yes, I love my country.  Yes, I’ll support them whether they’re playing cricket, football or soccer.

FIBA World Cup – This exists.

World Cup of Baseball – This too.

Olympics – It’s hard to get a good year where you’re both interested in the sports being played (see: Summer Olympics) and also have a year where the games are being held in a city that isn’t time zone prohibitive. Case in point was this year’s Winter Olympics which had neither of the fore mentioned qualities. It was a) the Winter Olympics (because, curling) and b) held in Sochi, Russia which is 9 hours ahead Central Time—which meant that prime time events were held at 10am, right around the same time you were on your second cup of coffee…at work.

boobsBoobs

You know, life has many boobs. (I might very well be one of them) But boobs do make the world go ‘round. I happen to know this first hand because a) I’m a self-proclaimed “boob-man” and b) my wife has boobs. Why is that second point important? Using the transitive property, let’s follow the logic train:

1. Boobs are widely respected and found on every continent, nation, state and city in the world. No matter where you go, boobs are likely only an arm’s length away.

2. My wife has boobs.

3. Football exists because my wife allows me to enjoy it. (enjoy football, not boobs–but yes, I do enjoy her boobs as well)

(also important to note that the presence of an offseason allows my wife a needed respite between seasons, without which, there would be no tolerance for said regular season)

4. Football is likely the greatest human invention ever.

Kids

Naturally following the preceding discussion, we have kids. Kids are pretty cool. And, contrary to what I’d like to tell you, they can be awesome even when they’re awake. Why, just this past weekend I watched all three of my kids learn and recite a full Blues Brother’s quote and without even the slightest bit of bribery. See? Life is good. Just like item number 8, if you have a handful of kids (like the wifey and I do), time can really fly.

 

Vacation

Summer is vacation time. No matter where you live, it seems like everyone enjoys getting the hell out of wherever they call home and ruining someone else’s home just to be able to make it through the rest of the year. There’s the normal summer vacay period, which can cover either all of the kids’ break between spring and fall semesters or there’s the holiday period of July 4th but there’s also Spring Break and a handful of other offseason break periods to get a football fan safely from season’s end to kickoff.  Also, some vacations are better than others.

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