No Football? No Problem: What to Do During Super Bowl Off-Week
Back during the dawn of man, there was a time when there was no dead-week between the NFC and AFC Conference Championships and the Super Bowl, and it was a good thing. The white-knuckled excitement of fans and bloodlust of players had no moments of repose to take a breath and ratchet down their combined tension. Then, one day, someone in the league office got the bright idea of taking a week off between the playoffs and Super Sunday so that players had an extra seven days to get into trouble and the press had ample time to cover it. Needless to say, this development was frustrating. Who wants to sit around a whole week waiting for the biggest game of the year when you've had football every other week leading up to it? In recent years, however, my opinion on the seven-day pigskin hiatus has changed a bit.
Now, instead of silently cursing the Super Bowl off-week, I try to embrace it. More specifically, I try to use this week, and this weekend in particular, to take care of some very important tasks in advance of the big game. Here's just a sampling of what I'm talking about.
Everybody in the Pool! If you haven't secured a spot in at least one Super Bowl box pool yet, you really need to get on this. Time is running out. Get down to your local tavern, restaurant, delicatessen, whatever, and get in on the action. Be reasonable though. Don't enter a thousand-bucks-a-box pool if you don't have that kind of disposable income. Find something a little more affordable and/or get a friend to go in halfsies with you. Barring that, start your own pool. It's not too late. Make it five or ten bucks a box and you should have no problem finding people to fill it. Bottom line, you don't want to be caught watching a potentially boring game without a few bucks riding on it.
Commercial Interruption. If you do nothing else this week, try to avoid commercials like the plague. You'll be bombarded with them next Sunday and then spend the following Monday listening to so-called experts tell you which ones were the best. Think of it this way, steering clear of commercials this week is sort of like emptying your stomach in advance of a hot dog eating contest. Come Super Sunday, you'll find all those ads just a tad more palatable.
Garbage Time. Speaking of food consumption, now might be a good time to give up those healthy eating habits you adopted for 2013 and slowly start introducing some junk food back into your system. Unless you've been invited over to the Surgeon General's house to watch the Super Bowl, there's a fairly good chance you'll be eating and drinking a whole lot of garbage that day. This is by no means a bad thing, just make sure your stomach is prepared. The last thing you want on game is to be pouring five layer dip and bacon-wrapped everything into a gut that's used to grilled chicken and a sensible salad.
Go Tubing. For those of you who are incredibly thrify (and we're being kind here) and want to watch the Super Bowl in all its hi-def glory without the cost, this is the weekend you go out and buy that enormous flat screen that you plan on returning after the game. You don't want to wait until the last minute to pull this little ruse, as the folks at Costco, Sam's Club, and other big package stores get more suspicious as the day approaches.
Who Wants Shots? No, not those kinds of shots, we're talking about inoculations here. Aside from the seasonal flu, which is running wild across the country like Adrian Peterson, you should really make sure your kids have their Harbaugh booster shots. This many Harbaughs on screen at the same time could prove too much for young and old alike. Get immunized, people. No one needs a SB Party with Harbarf everywhere.
Screen Pass. This week off also provides the perfect opportunity to take your significant other to all of those Oscar-contending flicks that you missed this year due to... well... football. So grab a bucket of popcorn and check out Zero Dark Thirty or Argo or smoking hot Jennifer Lawrence in Sliver Linings Playbook.
Booze Cruise. Maybe the most important thing you can do this weekend is go out and stock up on whatever spirits you plan on serving/consuming during the Super Bowl. There is nothing worse that going out the Saturday before the game and braving the crowds at your local grog shop. Seriously, if you do nothing else over the next couple of days, please make sure you have your bar in order. And, as always, please drink responsibly.
Hope some of these tips come in handy while you're waiting out the off-week.