Off-Season Blues

I monitor the information that comes in regarding my team on a daily basis. I look for any news that might be out there to keep me on the cutting edge of fanhood on any given day. And there is always a point in time during the off-season when there is more of a trickle of information than a rush, and it is time to take a break from the monotony of daily football news, and find other things to do with our time. We have officially reached that point.

Draft speculation has been rampant for months now. Will we take a QB? Maybe we have our eye on an offensive lineman? Perhaps a corner back would best suit our needs? Ah, I am betting we will go for a wide receiver! There is no end to the guessing that takes place in the off-season as veteran armchair quarterbacks and junior general managers prognosticate on and on about what they think the front office will do to bolster the roster.

Do we know anything about the mindset of the people actually making the decisions? Do we have a pipeline to the inner workings of the organization that would provide us with some insight that a million sports writers have not already addressed?

At some point, talking about some kid in Dubuque, IA that runs a 4.4 40 yard dash with great hands becomes a bit monotonous. Especially when it has been done a thousand different ways. So, as a service to my fellow football fans currently suffering from withdrawal, I have compiled a list of suggestions for how our time can be better spent during this wasteland of time known as the off-season.

Suggestion #1: Time to do those much-needed projects around the house. Why, just today, I looked at the house and thought it could use a good pressure washing. I went inside, checked my email, draft sites, and other NFL sources for information. I made the determination that there was nothing going on. I went outside and pulled the pressure washer out, tried to start it, and gave up after three tugs. I went back inside, revisited the same sites I had been on fifteen minutes earlier, and considered that project fulfilled.

Suggestion #2: Spend time with the family. This past week, I took the opportunity to spend some time with my wife and daughter. It didn't hurt nearly as much as I thought it would. We went shopping. I bought a new hat for my favorite team, checked out the soon-to-be-discounted items from last season, and checked on the status of the year-in-review video to find out when the 2002 season would be available. All in all, I'd say it was a good day for the whole family-bonding thing!

Suggestion #3: Catch up with friends that you have not seen in a while. I spoke to a buddy of mine that I hadn't talked to since the season ended. We caught up on how the families were doing, how he had just bought Madden 2003 and our team kicked butt, and how he had relocated his season tickets to a better location. It's always good to see my friends coping well with the off-season withdrawal like I am.

Suggestion #4: Try charity work. I hear it's a wonderful, and fulfilling thing to do. I'm not much of a doer myself. But, I do donate to a lot to charity. In fact, I cleaned out the drawers of all of my older NFL tee shirts in anticipation of the new stock I discovered while following suggestion #2. I took these down to my local Salvation Army and made a tax-deductible deposit. It's always good to help out those less fortunate than myself. Plus, that's more people on the street wearing my team gear!

Suggestion #5: Get a hobby. I'm working on this one currently, and I think I have found something I enjoy doing. I have decided to build a deck on my house with the intention of using it to entertain for away games this season. I'm working on the wiring right now for the speakers that I will put on the deck so that the audio is almost stadium-like. Not being the carpenter type, I am still working out the whole wood cutting thing, but it can't be that hard to do, right?

So, as you can see, I have found valuable ways to enrich my life during the off-season in a way to alleviate any of the withdrawal pangs that might be endured during the off-season. With only a couple of weeks to go before draft day, I fully expect to enjoy this little bit of down time to get back in touch with my family, friends, and myself!

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