You've probably noticed something is different this week. That weird tightness in your chest isn't there. Your weekend plans don't involve packing a cooler or leaving the house at 4am. You don't have to arrange for bail money to be available at four different locations throughout Ann Arbor.
Yup. It's the bye week. That dreaded weekend for every football fan where your team takes a weekend off to get healthy, your liver gets a chance to regenerate, and you are left to a Saturday without your favorite team in your stadium or on television. It's damn near unbearable. I mean, think about it. We spend eight months without football and then, in the middle of the season, football takes a week off!? What the hell!?
I know, I know... there are reasons of this. I've heard 'em all: "the Team gets healthy," "extra week of practice," "repaint the helmets," "get the civil trial out of the way," yada, yada, yada. Whatever, hippie. The bye week sucks to be a football fan. You've struggled to ignore your family for almost two full months and now you've got to spend "quality time" with them because you don't have an "excuse" not to. If you're married, it means taking little Suzzie to her ballet recital even though you'd rather slam your hand in a car door 15 times than watch a bunch of 10 year olds trip over one another for an hour and half. Or it means a trip to see your parents, whom you've successfully ignored, to talk about what to do with the sun room. Paint the house, take out the trash, take little Johnny to the hospital because he hasn't pooed in three weeks... that kind of, excuse the pun, crap.
For you "relationship" people, it means all kinds of free time to talk about your relationship with your non-football significant other. My parents want to see us. Why are you so distant? Does this hat make me look fat? Let's watch Oprah. If you're single, well, it means going back to the sole crushing loneliness of your empty existence. No bar, tailgate, or alumni event to go to in an attempt to find human interaction or maybe, please god, physical contact. Well, you're probably not that bad off, I mean seriously, you're reading blogs so you must be cool. I bet you're 6'2", strapping and dashingly handsome. And yes, that Magic the Gathering T-Shirt looks totally awesome on you.
I'm telling you the bye week is the DEVIL. And not the pointed horned bastard we've all come to love and make side deals with in order to get what we want (remember you said a redFerrari in exchange for Stanzi's soul). The real devil, the one that makes life difficult to enjoy. It sucks. But we're here to help. It may be the bye week but that doesn't mean you shouldn't be able to enjoy yourself this coming Saturday. So we've got a couple of suggestions to get your through to next weekend when Michigan travels to Penn State and our football resumes.
Option One: Pick a College Football Program to Root FOR
Admit it. There are other football programs you root for on Saturday. It's well documented here on Maize n Brew that I've got soft spots in my football shaped heart for Notre Dame, Georgia, UCLA, Iowa, Miami (Da U, mfer), and a few other college football teams. There's never really a reason for some of your psuedo allegiances, but sometimes there are. I married a Domer, hence Notre Dame. Georgia, I love Dawg Sports which is one of my favorite sites on the internet. UCLA, a shout out to my homies at Bruins Nation. Iowa? Too many friends went there. Miami? I just loved watching a coked out Michael Irvin run wild over all of college football as a kid. You've got a secret football crush, so follow up on it.
Option Two: Pick a College Football Program to Root AGAINST
I also love to root against certain teams. Who's playing Michigan State, who's playing Ohio State, who's playing Oregon, Boise, TCU, etc... Hate makes you strong. embrace it.
Option Three: Exercise
Option Four: Spend Time With Your Family
Also not recommended.
Option Five: Booze
As close to a football Saturday as you can get without football. Anticipation, euphoria, let down, vomiting. It's like you never left the stadium. You'll meet new and interesting people. You'll eat things you'd never even be able to look at in daylight. You'll get yourself in trouble with your friends, significant other, family, local law enforcement, mafia, etc. All you have to do is put on your favorite gameday attire and hit the bars.
Option Six: Video Games
Not one of my favorite time wasters, but it'll do in a pinch. There's nothing like lead Akron to a national championship on your PS3. The only downside is that if you take the setting off of rookie, you'll lose every game by fifty. So don't get too cocky.
So there you go, six perfectly reasonable options to pass the time until next weekend. If you've got better suggestions, I'd love to hear them, so leave 'em in the comments