Summer Survival Kit For The Football Addict

The NFL off-season began for real this week. The Chiefs have been telling us the off-season was here for months, but there was always something exciting to look forward to for diehard Chiefs fans – until now.

After the Chiefs win against the Bengals and the Lions couldn't bail them out against the eventual League Champion, we knew there would be no post-season, so we looked forward to a Dick Vermeil retirement announcement.

After Dick Vermeil retired, we looked forward to a Carl Peterson interviewing a cast of head coaching candidates (wink, wink).

Upon Herm Edwards' hiring, we eagerly anticipated the three important coordinator positions and then filling out a staff of assistants. Then we set our sights for the draft with the combine, individual workouts, Senior Bowl and all the other preparatory work that goes into prospect evaluation.

Free Agency began in the middle of all our draft preparation stuff, but this year brought even more NFL "off-season" excitement in the form of the Collective Bargaining Agreement. That was the drama we felt would never reach a conclusion. After half a dozen delays and extensions, suddenly it was over. Most of us have already forgotten about that distraction.

Some NFL executives have suggested there is no NFL off-season any longer. They would be wrong.

Except for the handful of teams for which June first cuts will be significant, there is nothing happening until training camp starts.

When NFL junkies are accustomed to finding their next fix just a few days away, the wait between mini-camps and training camp is pure torture.

I realize I'm rehashing a lot of stuff you already know. I'm depressing you. The Brigade offered little in the way of off-season relief. You're trying to get into NFL Europe but that's pretty darn hard to watch, isn't it? You'd watch the CFL if you could find it on TV somewhere, wouldn't you? You know which local sports team is missing from this? That's right but we're not going to put that name under my byline.

We're all in the same situation, friends. We're all jonesing for that football fix that isn't likely to arrive.

Here are some things you can do to get that football fix and pass the summer quickly:

1. Celebrate Memorial Day correctly. Yes, that family picnic is important but make sure you take some time to recognize what that holiday is actually about.

2. Videos. I'm talking about Chiefs games from the past. You may wish to skip a couple of recent years, but Chiefs football is still better than Frasier re-runs, right?

3. Go throw the football around with family or friends. I know few of you possess an arm comparable to that of Brodie Croyle or myself, but there is nothing as satisfying as watching a tight spiral snatched out of the air by your buddy or your three-year old. There are actually plenty of things as satisfying, but for the purposes of today's column, there aren't.

4. Go reserve yourself a Tamba Hali jersey at Sportsnutz. You weren't expecting that advertisement in the middle of a column, were you? They're a good friend of Warpaint. Please take care of them and also let them know who sent you.

5. Spend some time getting to know your friends on the Warpaint Illustrated message boards. Getting to know one another is encouraged and an important part of building a tight community. That's the ultimate goal at Warpaint. We want a whole bunch of friends who can hang out at a cool place on the internet. We're growing and we want you to come along for the ride.

6. Practice your tailgating routine. I just dropped a large Boston Butt into a healthy overnight brine. In a couple days I'll be feasting on some of the best pulled pork on either side of the Mississippi.

7. Turn off the TV and the computer and go outside. I recommend an overnight camping excursion and a canoe trip on the Missouri. You can do that even if you don't own camping equipment. Many campgrounds have cabins that are equipped similarly to a motel.

8. Take in a live music show. You don't have to pay ticketmaster $100 to see live music. There's plenty of local talent available free or for a nominal cover.

9. Ignore any and all Ty Law news. That guy isn't going to sign anywhere until 2 days before training camp ends.

10. You fill in the blank here. Go to the Arrowhead Club Forum and tell us how you'll pass the rest of May, June and July.

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