Sunday, February 13, 2011

Withdrawal Symptoms Kicking In

The first Sunday after the end of every NFL season is a hard one to handle.  The usual game day rituals of the entire fall and winter are disrupted.  I find myself twitching.  Instinctively reaching for the remote.  Harboring the anticipation of another week of football – only to realize… it’s over.

The withdrawal symptoms are even more severe after this year’s Championship run.  Today is the first time in 26 weeks that there isn’t a Packers game to look forward to, save the bye week and the week before the Super Bowl.  It was an exhibition loss to the Cleveland Browns on Saturday, August 14 that kicked things off for the 2010 NFL season.  At least during the regular season if the Packers weren’t playing on Sunday, I could control my symptoms by watching other NFL games (Lions vs. Bills, anyone!?), and take comfort in the fact that my regular fix of Packer football would soon return.

Now it’s all over.  Like so much confetti on the floor of Cowboys stadium.  The TV is silent this Sunday.  And I’m not sure I know what to do with myself except sit on the couch, fidgeting, and pining away for next season.

Perhaps the worst part about the first free Sunday in a half year is the household chores that I can now no longer avoid.  Here’s a sample of what I’ve got on tap today:

Clean out the garage – like most Americans, my garage is a mess.  Living in California, it’s fortunate that we don’t need to use our garage to actually park a car in.  We also, like most California homes, don’t have a basement or useable attic.  The consequence of all this is that our garage looks like an episode of Hoarders.    I think I’m going to start with a shovel.

Fix the phone – nobody knows how long the phone line at our house has been out of service.  We noticed it several weeks ago.  It could have been down for months, given how infrequently we use it.  And, being primarily users of cell phones, we haven’t bothered to try to fix it since then.  Our land line is really just a conduit for telemarketers.  We realized we didn’t even know who our land line phone provider was.  “Pacific Telesis?” I guessed.  “No, I think it’s SBC,” said my wife.  Finally, we discovered it’s back to AT&T.

The toy mound in our "playhouse" was declared unsafe by OSHA.
Purge the toy mound – we have a pile of toys in the kids’ playhouse – or, as I like to call it, the “toy graveyard” – that are no longer played with and must be taken to Goodwill.  We follow a “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy with these toys.  If the kids haven’t played with them for over a year, out they go.  If you make the mistake of asking them, “Do you still play with this cymbal-clapping, wind-up monkey clown from the 1950s?” they will grab onto it like an orphaned puppy.  There are toys at the bottom of this heap that are going through a molecular fusion with each other and could emerge as a robot-train-dinosaur hybrid.  Best to just bulldoze it all.

About the only task I’m actually looking forward to this weekend is re-reading my favorite posts from this season’s TriggPack.  With no game to cover, here are my top 10 favorite posts from the glorious season that was:

10) McCarthy’s March through the Playoffs
9) Is James Starks as Good as Ted Thompson Thinks He Is? -- I should caveat that this post wasn't actually a particular favorite of mine, but it was the most popular among TriggPack readers -- setting the single article readership record with 1,689 page views.
8) Latest Packer Controversy: Nut Gate
7) Controversy Erupts Over Green Bay Street Renaming
6) Additional Reports of Anti-Packer Discrimination
5) Why Green Bay is the #1 NFL Market
4) Brat Coma
3) Can’t Trust Minnesotans
2) The Lucrative World of Sports Blogging
1) What’s a Packer?

If you're a regular reader, and your favorite post isn't included here, I invite you to add it in the Comments section.  Can't wait for next season!

One other thing to look forward to today is my 8-year-old son's playoff basketball tournament -- the only team for whom my loyalties run deeper than the Packers!

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