14 Things Football Fans Do During the Offseason
Everybody has come across the saying “laughter is the best medicine” at some point in his or her life. Well, at this incredibly low point in the year for football fans, I thought everyone could use a bit of medicine. There really are only two times of year for people like us: Football season, and everything else. This piece contains some of the most common methods football fans use to cope with the temporary loss of their favorite sport. Warning: this will make you realize how desperately we all need the month of September to hurry up and get here.
- Basketball becomes a guilty pleasure.
As the NFL season ends, March Madness and the NBA playoff race begin. Does it get any better than that? (Well yeah, football season.)
Basketball and football were designed to live together in perfect harmony, as nobody could care any less about the portion of the NBA/NCAA season that overlaps with football. Really it doesn’t matter. This process of switching interest temporarily to basketball also includes studying everything about the basketball teams that have made it into the playoffs, just in an attempt to try to simulate some semblance of the sports conversation you get during football season. Eventually, we all come to the painful realization that we really don’t know anything about basketball. It doesn’t matter, they don’t tackle enough anyway.
- Trashing on baseball.
Now, after an entire season of high stakes, intense sporting events, between the NBA, NFL, and March Madness, something about the 4,000 game long baseball season just seems to be a let down. Games really don’t matter in the MLB. Then comes the worst part: an endless stream of baseball on ESPN. There is something about baseball highlights that don’t stack up with those aired during the football or basketball seasons. Oh wait, now I remember- they’re not as good.
The day marking the end of basketball, and the beginning of baseball as the only major sport in season, is the greatest let down in this country and should be at the top of Obama’s agenda heading into his final year in office. Seriously, I don’t care how you do it. Just anything but baseball.
- Praying your favorite player doesn’t end up in jail.
An unfortunately common thread in the NFL has become players getting arrested for various acts of stupidity that occur when they stray too far from the structure of training camps, OTAs, or football season. This includes, but is not limited to DUI/DWI/Spousal Abuse/Rape/Possession of Illegal Substance/Drunken Disorderly Conduct/Child Abuse/Assault/Possession of Unregistered Firearm/Murder. If I missed one let me know.
Or maybe if football never ended, Aaron Hernandez wouldn’t have killed those people, and Ray Rice wouldn’t have landed a Mortal Kombat finishing move on his wife Janay? So there you have it, all we have to do to eliminate crime is to make football season year-round. Sounds like a plan.
- Proclaim that it is “Our Year”.
No matter how convinced you are that it will be a huge year from your team due to some draft pick or key signing, just try to keep a lid on it. There is so much that goes on during and leading up to an NFL season that it is really impossible to declare that it is “our year”. No, it is never unreasonable to say that you think your team will make progress, or that the year will be better, just please for the love of god stray away from saying it is “your year”. I’m speaking loudly to fellow Dolphins’ fans: we know, it’s been our year since 2009. And somehow, nobody learns the lesson.
Also under this category for fans of any NFL team: please stop proclaiming this is the year that Brady and Belichick decline. It won’t happen. 70 year old Tom Brady will still be dropping dimes on NFL defenders, and Belichick has a pact with the devil and will never age.
- “Mock Drafts are so dumb.” *Reads 15 of them*
We all have a love/hate relationship with mock drafts from about January to March. Fans often see these acts of somewhat controlled randomization as a way for analysts to validate their ability to scout players, when in reality it is a way to generate views, and attempt to peer into a crystal ball and predict the future. Yes, mock drafts can be fun, but one would think that we’d learn our lesson after reading 600 of them and having none of them be accurate. This is another example of filling the void in the offseason. We see our team’s name up on the screen? Press it before that fleeting moment disappears.
- The Utopia of NFL Network Reruns
There is one thing that saves football fans from the hateful baseball programming on ESPN: NFL Network. Oh yes, we are willing to sit around and watch reruns of the same Top Ten, Sound FX, America’s Game, A Football Life, and NFL Top 100 episodes until we can recite them line by line. Seriously, anything to avoid watching baseball highlights. NFL Network is our special slice of heaven and security. “Don’t worry, you’re safe now. Baseball can’t hurt you anymore.”
Wait, that picture of Warren Sapp just reminded me that I left soliciting a prostitute off of the arrests list. Thanks, Warren!
- Get hyped for stupid things like the Schedule Release.
Events like the Schedule Release (which could be done just as easily with a press-release) give football fans something to look forward to in the offseason, and they give non-football fans another reason to laugh at us. Seriously, there are very few people I can explain the schedule release hype to who would actually understand. And I wouldn’t expect them to, because honestly neither do I. But even they would understand that a schedule release is better than watching some unthinkable types of programming. Just off the top of my head, something like baseball. *shudders*
- Study film and grow obsessed with an undrafted rookie who wont even end up making the team.
Attention all Dolphins fans- Jeff Luc and Zach Vigil are not going to be the savior at middle linebacker. Yeah, it is fun to talk about the underdog, and how excited you are for this undrafted rookie to become the next Kurt Warner and grocery bag your team to the Super Bowl, but it really doesn’t ever happen. Don’t be that guy who pencils the player in as a starter, just to see him cut the next week. It’s embarrassing. Really, not just for you. For society.
- Twitter Fights
One of the NFL Off-season’s greatest past time: arguments with strangers on twitter. This is partially a product of how much time NFL fans spend using this social media
outlet during the offseason. Seriously, people refresh their feeds like dudes checking Tinder to see if they got any matches.
Often, you’ll see someone on twitter saying something so asinine that you feel the need to put them in their place. Yes, it is often deserved. People say some DUMB shit on twitter. Everybody has experienced someone with an egg as their default picture who is talking about how Ryan Tannehill is going to throw for 6,000 yards, or that they are “100% sure” that the aforementioned undrafted rookie is going to be a stud. There’s no other way to put it. Then after wasting an hour of your time arguing with this complete stranger, you realize there is no progress to be made, and decide to let them keep basking in their ignorance.
- Realize you have friends and a family. Yes, other than the people you watch games with.
“Wait, I have a girlfriend? Since when? What’s her name again? When was the last time I saw her?” The answer my friend is probably early-September. Yes, often everyone in our lives disappear during football season. It’s one of the strongest types of tunnel vision. Just read articles, debate with friends, count the minutes, and try to keep your head down until Sunday. During the offseason however, we actually get to appreciate our loved ones, and can allow them some uninterrupted quality time. However, make sure you remind them that this is VERY temporary, and that come September you are back on lockdown. Don’t let them get any ideas.
- Establish that there are some friends that you cannot start a conversation with to save your life UNLESS it is about football.
Any football fan can relate to befriending someone during the season, then struggling to start a conversation with them from February to September. Well, that’s not true. We talk about the draft, the schedule release, training camp, and other pointless things because we KNOW that we couldn’t start a conversation about anything else. Yes people, it’s true. Don’t be ashamed by it. There is a mutual understanding among these friends that conversation will be reserved for the time of year when 300lb. men run into each other at full speed for money. Essentially a 4 month long Christmas.
- Continue to trash on baseball.
No people, it does not get better. Baseball will continue to be the exact same thing every night on ESPN. “Look how incredible this is he ran into a wall and caught a ball!” “Wow he picked that up and threw it to another guy so fast!” Please for the love of god, euthanize me.
- The media blows up stupid things like deflated footballs (No pun intended).
Yes, we all know about the media’s tendency to make gigantic deals out of relatively unimportant issues. It’s a fact of life, with a slow media cycle heading into the dead season of NFL news. Often, we will act like it’s an unbearable chore that we couldn’t even fathom having to tolerate. But secretly we love it. It is 100% a guilty pleasure, and ESPECIALLY so when it revolves around the Patriots. Which it often does. Because they cheat. But whether it is the media blowing up Deflategate, the Dolphins’ bullying scandal, or what Peyton Manning decided to put on his Papa John’s pizza, we can all agree that it gets frustrating at times.
- Read articles like “14 Things Football Fans Do During the Offseason”
Guilty. As. Charged.