Lockout Survival Guide


Hello again fellow Eagle fans, and happy holidays to those of you just wrapping up the day’s parties, dinners or barbecues. Today, if you haven’t heard, is Easter Sunday, which for many of you means a day of family, friends, food, and festivities. Egg hunts and glazed ham, too much wine and a mid-day nap. For others, however, today is just another Sunday, a random blip on the calendar when everything closes early and there’s nothing left to do after 2pm but watch HBO and maybe order a pizza. My sympathies to those in this latter group. God knows there’s nothing worse than a wasted Sunday, except maybe being forced by your significant other to spend the day “spring cleaning.” Ug.

Unfortunately, thanks to the ever-deteriorating NFL labor situation and the molasses-soaked gears of the United States court system, football fans throughout the country may soon be facing an 18-week gauntlet of similarly wasted Sundays, if and when the lockout is legally solidified. Luckily, we here at ITI have been preparing for such a situation.

In an effort to provide our loyal readers with a sort of survival guide – a battle plan to keep you off the couch and out of your girlfriend’s clutches this fall – we’ve compiled a list of football-replacement activities for all those long, boring Sundays ahead. We’re hoping it won’t be necessary, but in situations such as this it’s always better to adopt the Boy Scout motto and remained prepared at all times.

Lockout Survival Guide

1)      Hobbies are good, especially those that generate an income. Try building sculptures by gluing hundreds of beer bottle caps on random household appliances and selling them on EBay to rich, smarmy art collectors. Describe them as “post-modern commentaries on the commercialization of American culture as seen through the eyes of a former NFL fan.” This hobby has the added benefit of giving you a reason to drink hundreds of bottles of different kinds of beer.

2)      Two words: fantasy fishing.

3)      Quitting football cold-turkey can be a painful and dangerous process, especially when a fan has been co-dependent on other drugs such as fantasy football and football blogs. It is best to wean yourself off of football slowly, by gradually stepping down to arena football and then hockey. It will not be as satisfying and there will still be some withdrawal symptoms – including irritability, depression, alcoholism, and increased hatred of one’s job – but it will be significantly better than stopping abruptly, which could risk a relapse and cause you to spend twelve hours every Sunday watching 2010 highlights on NFL.com. You don’t want to go there.

4)      Stock up on propane, build a smoker, and grill every kind of meat you can find. Get weird and order exotic meats like kangaroo and elk off the internet, have a pig roast, etc. It will give you the impression of tailgating and provide you with a much-needed shot of testosterone before beginning another lifeless week at work.

5)      Design a cell phone app. I honestly have no idea how to do that or how it even works but if you can figure it out you should definitely do that. People would pay $1 for an app that told them their own phone number as long as it looked cool and had a cool name. Seriously. Buy a For Dummies book and create a two-player, network-based Mario Bros. app for the IPhone. You will make ten million dollars.

6)      Start a football blog. Just kidding.

7)      Buy Madden 12, start a new season with the Birds, go to Options and select SIM ALL GAMES, then sit back and watch it all play out. Combine this survival strategy with numbers 1 and 4, maybe throw in some gambling, and you and your friends might actually end up having fun on a Sunday night. Then you could start a Madden Fantasy League, design an IPhone app to keep track of all the stats and matchups, sell it for $1 and place ads in it for your post-modern beer-cap sculptures.

Yeah. Come to think of it, a year without football might not be that bad after all. All you need is some ingenuity, a little hard work, a positive attitude and…yeah. Who am I kidding. If there’s no football this year I’ll probably end up doing a cannonball off the Ben Franklin. And I’m pretty sure I’ll have to wait in line.