I remember when the letters CBA only conjured up laughter and thoughts of a defunct basketball league that Isiah Thomas ran worse than he did the New York Knicks or his dating life.
Now, those three letters make me piss myself in the sheer terror of the dark visions that encompass all things NFL lockout 2011, and are summed up thus:
The CBA blah blah blah, rich owners blah blah blah, and rich players blah blah blah. No football blah. Screw the fans triple blah.
In the meantime, our very sanity is toyed with. Seriously, I need NFL football. It is what gets me through the rain-filled, dark at 2 pm, pacific northwest days without axing through my bathroom door and declaring "Here's daddy."
It is obvious, I cannot leave my sanity solely in the hands of the bargaining powers that be. I need to be armed with alternative activities. Here are my 23 best ideas to help get me, and maybe you, through these tough times.
"Why 23?" You ask.
"Because that's how many I came up with," I say. Feel free to share yours in the comments.
Note: All ideas are in fun and should not be attempted or valued by anyone
No. 23: Learn The Names Of Our Children
I have really skated by on nicknames and pointing up until now. "Hey Sport, your blocking the TV."
You know, nothing to exotic—just the usual, "Buddy, Champ, Sweetheart" nicknames. Come to think of it, one of my kids may actually be named Buddy. Who knows? I'll have plenty of time to figure that out next fall!
No. 22: Hide and Tackle
You know the deal: one person hides and the other person looks for them.
In this game, however, the seeker does not simply say, "I found you." How's that going to help us get our football fix? This version does not end until the seeker flying tackles the hider.
No. 21: Lingerie Football
We are already trained to watch football on Sundays. I don't know about you, but I'd prefer that I didn't have to break that habit.
If I ran the Lingerie Football League (where do I apply?) I would already be making a schedule to fill the huge void created by the absence of NFL action.
I would then tighten up the purse strings on the fabric budget for the uniforms, and increase the incentive for in-game fights. You say sexist. I say good business.
No. 20: Role-Playing
This one will cure the boredom for us and the NFL players. Here's my idea and there are countless others:
I am going to dress as Mike Shanahan. Then I'll follow Donovan McNabb around and call for a back-up. "McNabb! We need to hurry up. I can't let you finish this shopping trip. You don't know the list well enough. Take a seat."
No. 19: It's New To Me
Think of your favorite Raiders season that you weren't around to see or you don't remember seeing (which for me pretty much leaves everyone in play). Then live it like it was happening anew, week-by-week.
1976, here I come.
No. 18: Become a Monk
The quest for enlightenment has always intrigued me. I was just never sure I'd be able to reach total enlightenment in the span of an offseason.
Without football, I'd be able to Monk it up year round—even on Sundays.
No. 17: Investigate The Al Davis Theory
There's a nasty rumor floating around that Al Davis actually died two years ago, but is roaming the earth while he has God tied up in litigation.
With us both free on Sundays, I figure I can get close enough to get a quick body temperature reading, or check his pulse, and investigate this theory.
No. 16: Recreate The Action
Who says we can't have an NFL season? I am going to recreate each game of the season on my electic football board.
I'll get one person to represent each team and play it game by game, at the same time they are on the schedule. Obviously, in the name of authenticity, we will host the Super Bowl in New Orleans. I have no idea where the Super Bowl is supposed to be next year—I just want to go the Big Easy.
To prevent head injuries, each team representative will wear a leather helmet while the action is taking place.
No. 15: Climbing the 12 Steps
I can't just quit football cold turkey! I am going to get by with a little help from my friends...at the local methadone clinic.
No. 14: Become Homeless to Better Myself
Remember when the name Ted Williams conjured up images of one of the most amazing men to ever walk the planet? Somewhere along the line a disputed severed head was thrown into those images and now a golden voice homeless man is thrown into the mix.
Anyway, here is my plan: I am going to ditch my house. It's not like I need it to watch football anyway. Then I shall stand on the side of the road and wait to be discovered.
I'm not exactly sure what talent I'll display yet, but keep your eyes on youtube if you are interested.
No. 13: Pay It Forward
Maybe I shouldn't, but sometimes I feel guilty for forgetting my loved ones exist every fall Sunday.
I say take that time to reconnect with your spouse or other loved ones. Try to erase any future guilt, by sacrificing yourself to a day of their favorite activities.
No. 12: Check Out The Other Football
Football is only football to us in America—everywhere else football is soccer. This year will be as good a chance as any to see what all the fuss is about.
I'll aim my unused football fandom and energy towards the other football. I'll be the guy at the soccer game in a Jack Tatum jersey, holding the D-fence sign and screaming "block that kick" ...a lot.
No. 11: Be a Responsible Citizen
It would be foolish and downright reckless to think all the hostility I direct towards our AFC West rivals is just going to dissipate, because they aren't playing football.
I certainly do not want this to find an outlet in undeserving sources. So, I will simply follow players around, and taunt them like I normally would. Only they won't be playing football.
"You call that making pancakes! You can't make pancakes in this house, baby! Yeah, suck it, Philip Rivers!"
No. 10: Go, Rake, Win!
The players and owners won't be the only one missing cash flow if there is no football on Sundays. Let us not forget about the holders of the pom-poms.
I am always surprised at how little money NFL cheerleaders make. In fact, I think for a less than a bank-breaking amount, I could hire a cheerleading squad and have them follow me around.
This way, when I was doing something like raking the leaves, I could do it to the cheers of "Push 'em back; shove 'em back; waaaaay back!"
Call me Mr. Jones and keep up with that neighbor.
No. 9: Reality TV
I am not saying watch reality TV—that'd be stupid. The only reality TV for me is sports. I say make a reality TV show. It's easy; takes no talent, and it doesn't cost anything.
My idea (patent pending) is to follow T.O. and make a reality show of him making his reality shows.
No. 8: Virtual Reality
We'll make these guys play in NFL stadiums one way or another.
Sure, this is just avatars of the players, but I could certainly appease my football hunger for a few Sundays by playing Madden Football on the Cowboys giant video screen.
No. 7: Good Deeds
Our favorite football players may be gone next season, but it doesn't mean they need to be forgotten. Take some of your free-time on Sundays to help them out.
Jay Cutler was injured so badly in the NFC Championship game that he could no longer play. If doctors are not forced to amputate his leg, he is going to need some serious rehab.
Here's the plan: throw a walker in your trunk, keep an eye on Jay and when he tries to walk, get out the walker and assist him.
No. 6: Start A New League
The product demand is already there. This is a goldmine waiting to happen. It will not only fulfill my insane desire to have professional football to follow, but make me rich in the process.
I don't have the funds to start this, but I am confident I can get Donald Trump to back me. I already have a name: The Ultimate Super Football League. This is foolproof.
No. 5: Become a Therapist
Look, we aren't the only ones who are going to have a lot of free-time on our hands. Think about the NFL players? The lack of football could be enough to drive some downright crazy.
I am going to capitalize, did I say capitalize?--I mean help, players with this.
"I know it's hard Ray Lewis, but when you feel that you just HAVE to tackle someone, try petting this stuffed pink rabbit instead."
No. 4: Dirty Deeds
Therapy is not for everyone, and some of these guys have enough trouble staying out of trouble even when they are playing football. Half of this glorious league may be in custody if this lockout persists.
This is where my new business comes into play. I will drive players when they are drunk; I will hold their drugs while they board planes; I will illegally carry their fire arms and shoot my own leg; and I will dress up like their wife or girlfriend when their domestic anger is about to get the best of them.
No. 3: Play Pac-Man
This is definitely going to be the most fun. I am going to dress up like a ghost, go to strip clubs waddle around through the crowd, and when someone asks me what I am doing I'll tell them:
"I'm chasing Pac-Man."
No. 2: Re-Focusing of Effort
Football consumes a lot of my time. I mean, it's not just the hours I spend watching it, but also the hours (pretty much all of them) I spend thinking about it.
If we band together and focus the mental power that had previously been devoted to football, I estimate we could devise a cure for cancer.
That's just in Week One. We'd be staring at a Utopia in Week Two and intergalactic exploration by the playoffs.
No. 1: Get in Shape
This one is the most obvious, isn't it? As we've seen in the past, and in movies, the owners are going to throw someone out there.
I've got no problem being a scab. Put me in coach, I am ready to pull a hammy!
Remember, pain heals, chicks dig scars, and glory is forever.