Things to do in the Off Season
We are about 3 weeks into the Off Season and I don’t know about you but the crying and drinking is getting a little boring. So I thought now would be a good time to go through some of the other things that exist when NFL players aren’t currently hitting each other… The rumour is there is stuff that goes on during the season too, but I couldn’t care less about that.
Filling the Sunday void.
Last Sunday I was in the middle of starring at a blank TV screen when I received a text message. It read “Sunday without the NFL is seriously depressing”, and it was from fellow gent Charlie. It was at this point that I said to myself “NO MORE”, no more will Sundays that are filled with constant action between September and January, be dull affairs filled with Top Gear and Antiques Road show between February and August. So let’s have a look at what we can do to cheer us up During the Off Season.
So for starters during the Off Season a Sunday evening becomes a great time to go to the Cinema and what a great line-up we have. X-men- Days of Future Past (July), Captain America – The Winter Soldier (March), Amazing Spiderman 2 (April), Grand Budapest Hotel (March), Godzilla (May) and obviously not forgetting NFL themed movie, Draft Day. So dust off your Cineworld pass and hit the Cinema.
Then there’s always TV…Oh ok that’s pretty pants, but there are some highlights…maybe, ok I can’t find anything, except Sunday is a great day for marathons. I personally like the non-stop Man vs. Food marathons that seem to be on almost monthly.
I’ll get into alternative sports a bit later, but it’s hard to avoid including Formula 1 which is another sport exclusive to Sundays. F1 fans will also vouch for the fact that the hours in which they watch it are somewhat anti-social. So maybe just record it and play it at 6pm on a Sunday evening. Regardless F1 is often exciting and easy to get into.
The last thing I would suggest you try on a Sunday might be the most desperate. Maybe line up the NFL Season with the Off-season and watch Redzone from 6pm every Sunday. I personally might be getting to this in a couple of weeks.
The Off Season or Not.
Let’s be honest. If we want any NFL fix, we can get it. There is NO NFL Off Season, just a period of time with no games to watch. With that let’s take a look at the big NFL events coming up to fill your time with.
Firstly there’s the NFL Scouting Combine (Feb 22-25th), We get a good look at some of the top College prospects going through a series of tests that will ultimately scrub out whatever the player had done during the previous season or in fact increase their draft stock even through poor play during the College season. However unimportant it is, it will give people a chance to look into their teams needs and who they could possibly bring in to fill these needs. Also there is always one high end pick that fails the drugs test that will have us all face palming. Finally hearing the inside gossip about the team interviews is always fun.
The First Day of Free Agency (March 11th), is always entertaining with a surprising flurry of activity, considering teams aren’t meant to be talking to each other! Regardless there is always a surprise move and teams tend to get a lot of their business done in the first week. For that week in March it gets very exciting and you can watch your team get considerably better, or make some seriously strange moves that will leave you scratching your head. Jerry Angelo I’m looking in your direction (sending Greg Olsen away and taking on Roy Williams, what the hell).
Probably the biggest event of the NFL Off Season is the NFL Draft (May 8-10). Here we watch teams fill gaps and ensure future success, oh and the Raiders make a succession of head scratching draft picks. There really isn’t much to say about this. We all know who we want our team to take and will all get mad when our team make. What we see as a silly move, there really isn’t a great deal to say. just sit back and enjoy.
Training Camp starts on July 24th. This is when we find out a number of things. Has your favourite player spent the Off Season eating? Is your Diva Receiver holding out? Also is the new Head Coach having a positive effect? Did you get a bargain in the draft? Regardless you’ll find out a little more during training camp about how good your team is.
That should lead us up until the NFL Pre-Season starts. For the gaps in-between this we have the NFL Gamepass, but after 6 hours of the same episode of total access and after watching every single NFL top 10, maybe we need something non-NFL related to do.
If none of this is enough, why not try playing the sport. There are local clubs popping up everywhere and the BAFA season runs through the summer, so hit up www.bafanl.co.uk and find your local team to try out for or follow and show your support for the British teams.
The Gaps In-between the Non-Off Season
So for those that need a break from the NFL, there are plenty of activities in the outside world. Yes the outside world can be a scary place and I for one will rarely venture outside. But for the more adventurous there are a variety of options.
For starters, those who do brave the outside world and have a craving for violence should head down to watch their local Roller Derby team. Take the violence of the NFL and add some speedy Roller Skates and you get one of the fastest growing sports in the UK for both Men and Women. The best thing about it at the moment is that there is no specific season and bouts go on all year round. So get yourself down to a bout and start rooting for your favourite crazily nicknamed skater. I personally would recommend going to www.londonrockinrollers.co.uk
Another option is watching giants without pads pass an egg shaped ball backwards. Yup Rugby. If you’re looking for an in why not start with the 6 Nations game this weekend between England & Ireland and then a variety of matchups between 6 of the best teams in Europe over the next few weeks. Well worth a watch if you need a fix of giant men hitting each other. If you fancy playing it, there are plenty of local teams, but if you’re pretty good hit up www.whittonlions.co.uk who are always on the look out for new big men to join their current crop of big men.
For those who like me, fear leaving the house, there is a slew of sporting events which should take us up to the start of the NFL Pre-Season.
Currently we have the Winter Olympics, which should cover all of our needs for crazy people, doing crazy things with their bodies. At the very least give the ice hockey a watch, which should promise at least a little violence. Other than that so far it has been really watchable so maybe hit it up over the next few days.
Whilst on the subject of Ice Hockey I thoroughly recommend watching some NHL games, in the words of my good friend and honorary Gentlemen Mike, “Why would you not want to watch toothless Canadiens hit each other with sticks with knives strapped to their feet. The last team standing’s captain is then required to lift a trophy as high, wide and heavy as he is, above his head whilst using the knives to balance on ice”, in truth it’s a nice alternative to the NFL for the next few weeks and well worth a watch.
When the Premier league season ends, we have the World Cup, which despite my disinterest in Football, will always capture my attention. Seeing the top players in the world take on each other in the most popular tournament on the face of the planet. Anyway you know about the World Cup so I’ll shut up.
There are plenty of other things to do in the Off Season. I for one will be taking solace in the NFL Off Season programme and an extended amount of time in front of the XBOX. I promise, the season will be back before we know it.