Vacations are good. Plain and simple. Vacations are good and many people take them in the summer. And then they come back to work. And work is okay but we can’t agree that we all love work the same way we all like vacations. So it’s summer and it’s warm but maybe it’s hot and maybe it’s too hot and then we get crabby and we start whining at someone. Even if it’s the cat, someone’s gonna piss us off. What’s there to look forward to? Depends. Friday night? Maybe. But Friday could be four more days away. Four days is a long time and we don’t have time to wait for four days. I mean that’s four days. Four showers (presumably four showers and, yes, I’ll judge you if it’s less), four breakfasts (Some people don’t eat breakfast every day but I stand for a healthy America and why not start a movement? This also isn’t to discredit lunch and dinner either; I’m an advocate for those meals as well.), and four alarms going off (I set four every morning but that’s just me).
Let’s face it: the every-day sports fan simply can’t wait four days during this time of year without a dark, lonely feeling. You need your nightly escape from co-workers who complain about everything under the sun and you pretending to care. You could watch baseball, but you don’t care about Oakland vs. Baltimore on ESPN, and your team already played today. Basketball? Not happening. Football? Still got over a month, homie. This time of year blows.
“Oh, sports fan person, it’s not that bad,” you might hear. It who your what? It can’t be that bad? Can’t be that bad?? I just Googled “hobbies that you can pick up in less than a week” and you just told me it couldn’t be that bad??? (Disclaimer: the previous situation was hypothetical. Now, if I didn’t run this site and podcast, then we might be talking on literal terms.) Okay, not-sports fan person, let me give you some context. Let’s pretend it’s December. Hell, pretend it’s September – even sooner. If it’s Monday, then the broski’s and I have a star-studded football game to watch tonight. Okay, maybe that was too easy of a scenario to make up to compare to summer sports. Lots of people know that Monday’s during football season can be filled with anticipation. Let’s pretend it’s Tuesday. There’s no football on Tuesday. Except there is. #MACTION BABY. Also my favorite podcasts and shows regarding the weekend’s games are on Tuesday. Still too easy? Okay how about Wednesday. Well, the Vegas odds are out now. I can start making picks. Oh, and Adam Schefter just tweeted that Tyrod Taylor is a no-go on Sunday due to a pulling of his groin when he was trying to hurdle one of his own lineman who was in his way (oh Browns). Wait. That means. YES. Baker Mayfield! Baker! Mayfield! AND MY FANTASY LEAGUE’S WAIVERS ARE CLEARED BECAUSE IT’S WEDNESDAY! The league was too scared to draft him but now I can ADD THAT STUD OF A SOONER to my team, “Full (Bradley) Chubb.” (Actually, that sounds like the name of my brother’s team.) Thursday? Thursday Night Football. Friday? Friday night lights. Maybe even some #Maction there, too. At the very least, in-conference college football. Which leads us to Saturday’s full slate of college football games. Then, of course, Sunday NFL Football. What. A. Week.
I could go on. In January the sports world gathers to watch playoff football, and primetime NBA matchups are a nightly thing. Then a couple months later, it gets to obsess over March Madness, followed by an April of first round NBA playoff basketball. Take any time of the year besides the time we’re at right now, and you have a more enjoyable sports experience. Forget the term “Dog Days of Summer.” These are the Death Days. Things just really suck eggs right now, and if you’re not a Suns fan like me who got to watch nearly the entire roster of his favorite team play, things are probably at the point of sucking total eggs. Regardless, if it hasn’t already your sports spirit will eventually be killed in this season.
So what are we going to do? Good question. I’ve had the same inquiry, although I’ve never been in as dire of a situation as that, young padawan. These are the Death Days, however, and we all need our sports. Luckily, yours truly has compiled a list of six things to do to help you feel less dead. (Notice: I did not say “Make you feel alive.” There is no cure for the Death Days of sports, just like there is no cure for a bodily death.)
1) BRING OUT THE MEMBER BERRIES
Thank the Lord God for YouTube. (Thank Him for everything but this instance is anecdotal.) (Also, so/o to James and the Blue Waffle – his house – for embracing this tactic before the publishing of this article. They witnessing the 1980 U.S.A. Hockey “Miracle on Ice.”) Pick your poison – you can watch game after game after game of Michael Jordan, John Elway, or whichever old-timer superstar you want. Especially if you’re a youngin’. Prove to your less-educated friends on how wrong they are in a debate about older players by improving your acumen on the games of old. Hell, throw a party with ‘em. Bring out the chips and dips and dress in your favorite Hall-of-Famer’s jersey. (I apologize to all fan bases such as the Bears’ who have to do this on a regular basis in order to forget the pains of Grossman past.) You could even trick yourself into thinking it’s way-back-when by throwing your phone away or something like that.
2) “@” KEVIN DURANT
See also: The Origins
3) WORK OUT
You should already be doing this on somewhat of a regular basis BUT IF YOU AREN’T, start with these various famous methods of getting into shape. Remember, I’m here to form a healthy America.
4) HAVE A MADDEN TOURNAMENT
Video game tournaments bring out the best in us and worst in us. Madden has a notorious history of exposing our friends for the inferiors they really are… if you’re any good. Madden tournaments can also boost your testosterone just as well as a training session with Lance Armstrong can. Be careful, however. Poorly planned Madden tourneys can lead to too much waiting and watching of someone else play a video game. It could also lead to depressive drinking and more wallowing in the fact that you’re in the Death Days. Be prepared. Make a bracket. Buy good beer.
Other acceptable games for tournaments: FIFA, College Football 14 (if you’re an OG), 2k.
Unacceptable games: Fortnite, (if you have to switch controllers), NBA Live, (come on, man) and MLB The Show (I’ve yet to meet anyone who doesn’t just swing on every pitch. And if you have, that guy would probably shift the playing field to a “Warriors vs. everyone else” type situation). Fortnite isn’t a sports game, but it is super-common of sports fans to be fans of this game. And with the all-new basektball/Joakim Noah and golf emotes, there’s even more to love.
5) Pick up a Rec Center Sport
Table tennis. Racquetball. Rock climbing. Handball. Pickleball. You’ll thank me when you’re 60.
This one is the toughest and the most dangerous. I only recommend this as a last resort because it’s basically lying to yourself. What it consists of is watching a sport you don’t know or follow religiously (track and field, cycling, sand volleyball, etc.), following it as closely as possible (getting to know everything about every athlete involved, understanding all of the rules), and then rooting vivaciously for one particular person or team as if you grew up with the sport. It’s like meeting someone new. Conversations with new people tend to last longer than with people you already know: pretending to be a fan of a sport that has cult followings can be a similar experience. Plus, you’ve only got a month, so if you get tired of watching it, you can just forget it ever happened. (See how practical this list is?) If you decide to partake in this sixth replacement method and get hooked on something in an honest way, I would actually love to know. Also, you’re welcome.
In the end, none of these will satisfy your thirst for 7 hours of commercial-free football via NFL RedZone, or a Dodgers-Astros playoff game consisting of copious amounts of home runs, but they do have the capability of distracting you. Before you start any of these activities, please be safe: remind yourself that these are the Death Days, and you will be sad. Like, really sad. Borderline depressed. Too high of expectations can lead to sports angst. Too low of expectations are impossible to have, so just be sure that you don’t go into this season pretending that it’s going to be okay. Because it’s not.
Welcome to the Death Days, and happy coping.