Run with me for a second through the hypothetical situation below:
We are, about two weeks into September 2011, and the NFL’s players and owners are still squabbling over how to split up their egregiously large sum of money. There hasn’t been an agreement reached yet and there’s really no end in sight. Both parties seem content to ride out the year without a season in hopes that the other side will cave.
If you’re an avid NFL fan, like myself, this is the worst possible scenario. And if you are an avid NFL fan, again like myself, in the scenario I outlined above (which really isn’t that outrageous) you will find yourself with a lot of free time to fill on Sundays (and Mondays and Thursdays…). I mean really think about it. I spend about nine hours every Sunday, and an additional three every Monday, watching the NFL’s product. That’s a lot of time I’d be getting back that I haven’t really had to work with in years.
So how can we fill that extra time we would suddenly be left with? Well, let’s run down the options. Life without the NFL might not be as bad as you think.
This is my #1 NFL substitute right now. My plan is to go golfing every Sunday when I would normally be watching the NFL. By all rights, this should be phenomenal. How many Sundays during the fall are you sitting inside watching football when it’s absolutely gorgeous outside? Time to get out and enjoy that beautiful, global warming aided, unseasonably warm fall weather. And you don’t have to be a pro to enjoy this. Go hit the local pitch and putt. Golf is a useful skill to have, especially if you are planning on going into the corporate world. I know it’s expensive, but take a gander at GolfNow.com. You can find some great deals on tee times there ($30-40 at nice DC area courses).
- College Football
If the NFL starts missing games in September, you better believe the NCAA is going to capitalize on that opportunity. There’s going to be a nation of football fans without anything to watch on Sundays and the NCAA is going to hear cash registers going off in their heads. There will almost certainly be some college games moved to Sundays to take advantage of that. I myself am not a huge college football fan, but I will probably take a greater interest in it this coming fall if there is no NFL. Hey, it’s still great football and any real football fan can appreciate that!
Buster Posey is part of a huge crop of great young MLB players.
Every year people jump ship early on baseball season to run back to football. I know it’s hard to follow two sports at once, but I can’t understand why you would bother following the first five months of the baseball season only to abandon it before you get the great payoff of pennant races and the playoffs. Well, there’s no excuse this year. Immerse yourself in fall baseball and enjoy some of the greatest young (and clean) talent the game has seen in quite some time.
- College Basketball
Similar to baseball, but in reverse. People tend to ignore the entire out-of-conference part of the College Basketball season because they are so immersed in football. Well, as we have seen this year and in years passed, that is a pretty big deal in the eyes of the NCAA Tournament Selection Committee. Not only that, there are tons of early season tournaments that pit big-time teams from different conferences against each other. What’s more entertaining than watching storied programs like Kentucky and North Carolina or Duke and Michigan State go at it?
Oh yeah, fire up that grill baby! Charcoal, propane, heck even the old meat smoker! Who cares? Let’s clog some arteries! Some of you might have already done this on Sundays, but I find myself too distracted by football most weeks to break away for an hour to grill up some steaks or what have you. This also gives you a good excuse to invite your buddies over and crack open a few brew pops. It’s a win-win.
- Work out
Yeah, I know I just lost a bunch of you. But seriously, if you substitute a run or a visit to the gym for a day of sitting on the couch watching football while eating chips and chicken wings, just imagine the progress you could make! I know it’s tough for lots of people to get to the gym during the week because of work, but if there’s no NFL on Sundays, you really have no excuse that day (except maybe the ones above).
- Take a nap
Some Sundays it’s like a flashback to high school when I was trying to stay awake in class. I find myself fighting off exhaustion because I don’t want to miss some of the great games. Not a problem anymore? Fantastic! Nothing better than a solid mid-day nap. Wake me up when those ribs are ready.
So you see guys, life without the NFL might not be as bad as you think. You know darn well those NFL executives are sitting in a board room right now, willing to flush the upcoming season down the toilet, because they believe that we, the fans, will come running back with our tongues hanging out, thirsting for their product. Well let’s not give them the satisfaction. I don’t plan on giving the NFL one cent of my money in the near future, and if you want to stick it to a smug organization that views you as a walking dollar sign, like the NFL does, I suggest you do the same.