Sunday, February 11, 2007

No football for 7 months! Arghhhhhhhhhh!

True story: I was out washing the ride today (it was a gorgeous 75 degrees in F-L-A) and my neighbor, Robin, was doing the same to her Jeep. She's a die hard Eagles fan (which made for some contentious yard-to-yard exchanges before the Pats/Philly Super Bowl), and I said to her "it sucks with no football to watch, huh?"

"I'm walking around here in a fog" she replied.

I knew exactly what she meant.

This is a dark, disappointing day on the 2007 calendar; for the first time in 7 months (excluding the ridiculous week between the Championship games & the Super Bowl) there will be no football to watch this Sunday. Sure we'll have football-related news, mini- camps and eventually exhibition games between now and Sep-tember, but for all intents & purposes the NFL viewing mach-ine will grind to a halt for the next 7 months.

Oh, the humanity!

Q- What's worse than this first Sunday without football?
A- Being Howard K. Stern

So get out those honey-do lists, grab the rake and lawnmower, pick up a baseball glove and get set for plenty of yard work, house work and quality family time because Sundays are once again open for family business.

I repeat: Oh, the humanity!
No football also means I will have to find other things to blog about, at least until the baseball season begins in 2 months.

So here are some of the things we can look forward to viewing while we sit in our favorite recliners staring at the TV with forlorn looks on our faces until the race to Super Bowl XLII in Glendale, Arizona begins next September.

1.) Grammy Awards Tonight, 8PM CBS
Tonight the music industry's best & brightest stars take center stage for the biggest show in the business. In the midst of this overcrowded awards season the Grammys stands out as one of the true heavyweights, along with Oscar & Golden Globe, and tonight's lineup promises to make for at least decent viewing for this bloated, normally out-of-touch-with-reality gala: Mary J. Blige (has she appeared on every music awards show for the past 3 years or what?), Christina Aguilera, Gnarls Barkley, Ludacris, Beyonce, Chili Peppers, Carrie Underwood, Justin Timberlake and last & certainly least The Dixie Chicks.

2.) Basketball
The only thing that has fallen faster & farther than the popularity of the NBA is the career of Britney Spears. Nobody I know watches the NBA anymore except The Sports Guy, and with as many articles he writes about the Association I'm convinced he's on David Stern's payroll as well as ESPN's.

Today there are a couple of decent regular season (read: mean-ingless) contests on ABC, Spurs/Heat and Lakers/ Cavs, but the trouble with the NBA is that those 4 teams plus Dallas and Phoenix constitute 100% of the teams worth watching. That's it. Six teams out of 30 that anyone gives a damn about outside of cities with franchises, and even in some of those cities the fans don't give a crap about their own team (see: Boston Celtics.)

Not to mention that the NBA is about as balanced as the NFL, conference-wise. Just like the balance of power was located in the AFC this year, the majority of dominant teams in the Association reside in the Western Conference. Although both conferences sport 7 teams with .500 or better records, there is just 1 team with a percentage above .600( Detroit) while the West boasts 5 such teams, including an .820 team (Dallas), a .780 team (Phoenix), and a .660 squad (Utah.) Translation: the West should dominate in the playoffs and it's about 99.9% certain that the champ will come from the West, just like everybody KNEW the Super Bowl winner would come from the AFC, hence no playoff suspense.

College hoops is definitely more enjoyable than the pro version, and now that football is over I have started to get back into it. There are numerous star-quality players (Texas' Kevin Durant, Ohio State's Greg Oden, Wisconsin's Alando Tucker, Ok. State's Mario Boggan) and a bevy of teams that have a shot at winning it all (Florida, Wisconsin, UCLA, North Carolina, Texas A&M).

Plus, March Madness is just around the corner and everybody knows that is one of the best events in sports.

So we got that going for us.

3.) Oscars & nominated movies
The Academy Awards are next Sunday night and there are a num-ber of nominated flicks that you can catch on video before the big night:

-Out now
: Little Miss Sunshine; Devil Wears Prada; United 93
-Out 2/13: The Departed; Babel; Half Nelson

Most people are going out on a limb and predicting a stuffy, boring event full of few surprises and fewer memorable moments. But let's face it, for movie fans it is the biggest night of the year, yawn-inducing acceptance speeches be damned, and although Ellen DeGeneres is the host instead of Billy Crystal or Chris Rock, it is still worth watching.

Plus you always have to tune in to see if Marty Scorsese is going to get snubbed yet again in his quest for his first Best Director Oscar.

4.) Major League Baseball
It's only 2 weeks until pitchers & catchers report and 17 days until the first Grapefruit League game begins. After that it is 6 months of uninterrupted hardball viewing, a feat that will be made much more difficult thanks to MLB's impending deal with DirecTV, stripp-ing cable subscribers of their right to watch their favorite teams all summer.

But for fans of baseball it is a great way to pass the months without football. For non-baseball fans, well it sucks to be you. You've got a LONG summer ahead of you!

5.) The Anna Nicole Saga
This story is sure to captivate (or sicken) the public for weeks and months to come, at least until we find out how she died and who the father of Baby Dannielynn is. The latest in this sordid soap opera include rumors that Smith's deceased ex-husband, billion-aire J. Howard Marshall, is the father of 6-month-old Dannielynn. How? Frozen sperm, of course.

How weird could this thing get? My mother told me another baby daddy rumor that has Anna's dead son Daniel as the potential father. All together now: "ewwwwwwwwwwww!"

Either way there is going to be wall-to-wall coverage of this story as news develops, so get used to it now.

6.) Family Time
Now's the time to make amends to your family for ignoring, neg-lecting and aggravating them for the past 22 Sundays. In fact I just got back from taking my son to the batting cages/arcade.

So go on walks with your spouse, clean the garage, play ball with your son, take your grandchildren to the park, and use the next 29 Sundays to bond with your loved ones.

Because come next September I think I can speak for all of us in saying that we will be ready for some football.

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