Football Is Over, Now What?

Derek Dimino, Staff Writer | 

As the NFL and College Football seasons rapidly wind down from the peak of their excitement at Super Bowl LI and the National Championship, the football blues comes rolling in once again. For more than five months’ football fans will be without the sport they hold so near and dear to their hearts. While much will happen in the NFL before the 2017 preseason, fans withdrawals will stem from the lack of heart-wrenching passion and grit that is displayed, both physically and mentally, on the field every Sunday of the last six months.


There may still be 204 days until the 2017 NFL regular season opening kickoff, but that doesn’t mean football fans everywhere need to give in to the seasonal affective disorder that has been clouding their mind for about a week now.


Over the course of the next month there will be plenty to look forward to in the world of sports, both here in Oneonta and throughout the rest of the world. The Oneonta men’s and women’s basketball teams have both clinched a spot in the SUNYAC playoffs. With only two games left to play, both teams are in position to get home court advantage as the third or fourth seed at Dewar Arena for the first round of the playoffs on Tuesday February 21.


While quality national sporting events may be sparse through February, there will still be the NBA All Star weekend from February 17 to 19, the start of MLB spring training on February 22, NASCAR’s Daytona 500 on February 26 and the NFL Scouting Combine from February 28 through March 6.


The NBA All-Star weekend with feature Aaron Gordon and DeAndre Jordan in the slam dunk competition and Klay Thompson and Kyrie Irving in the three-point contest.


The NFL Scouting Combine will provide us with freak-like athletic abilities as we watch aspiring NFL football players show why they deserve a spot on an NFL team’s Draft Board. The combine will test athletes at the 40-yard dash, bench press, broad jump, vertical jump, and three cone drill, as well as different positional skills drills.


If we look a little over a month ahead, the always-electric March Madness Basketball Tournament will be underway. Warren Buffett will get your hopes up for another chance at $1 billion for a perfect bracket, just in time for your dreams to be crushed due to an upset in the first game of the tournament. With many of the same favorites leading the way of the 16 teams already invited, we will have to wait to see who catches fire and makes college basketball history.


The excitement of March Madness will carry us right into early April where we will be overwhelmed with significant, possibly season-ending games in the Stanley Cup Playoffs and the NBA Playoffs. Hopefully the NBA and NHL playoffs will be as mesmerizing as last year, with a six game NHL Final round and the Warriors blowing a 3-1 lead to LeBron (people forget that) in the NBA Finals. We will also get the riveting pace of Baseball back in early April and the drama of the NFL Draft to close out the month. If this draft has anything like last year’s Laremy Tunsil situation, we may feel bad but we won’t be disappointed.


If you’re tired of ordinary sports but want that perfect football-like combination of physical and mental toughness, you can always try watching or attempting Chess-Boxing or Cheese Rolling. Chess Boxing and Cheese Rolling are exactly what they sound like. In Chess Boxing the objective is to either check-mate or knock-out your opponent, while in Cheese Rolling, competitors chase after a wheel of cheese that is rolling down an extremely steep hill; first person to catch the cheese, wins. These sports are the perfect balance between strategy and CTE. There will be an Intellectual Fight Club on April 7 in Berlin, and a Cheese Rolling event on May 29 in Gloucestershire, England.


Before we know it, it will be the first week of August, the Football blues will be gone, Commissioner Roger Goodell will be trying to suspend someone else, and J.J. Watt will try to give us more proof he’s the biggest try-hard in the history of man-kind. Cherish the time you’re given to detox from Football and remember it’s the lows that let you appreciate the highs, unless you’re the Browns, then the lows are good enough.

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