For football fans, this is always a tough week.
For the first time since September, there’s no real football to watch. Oh sure, with 800 channels on the dial I’m sure you can find some kind of football to watch, whether it’s Canadian, Australian, Arena League or some dudes playing two-hand touch in a backyard.
And, yes, there is tonight’s Pro Bowl. I’m sorry, but the Pro Bowl doesn’t count. It’s basically the “dudes playing two-hand touch in a backyard” writ large.
For many fans, today is simply “the week before the Super Bowl.” For reasons that are most certainly financial, the NFL always takes a Sunday off between the conference championship games and the Super Bowl.
So, we get an extra week of hype and an additional 2,974 stories about how Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning yells “Omaha!” and how Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman yells, well, everything.
While there’s no real football on today, there is still plenty to do. In fact, I’ve come up with a few ideas you might embrace. I’m calling it the Senior Staff Writer’s Handy Dandy Guide to the Week Between the Conference Championship Games and the Super Bowl, or SSWHDGWBCCGSB for short.
OK, I’m still working on the title. Nevertheless, what follows is a look at a couple things you might want to get into on this No Football Sunday.
The Honey-Do List — Sorry, guys. But, you know you’ve got to do it.
Since September, you’ve been watching college football on Saturdays and NFL ball on Sundays. If you’re lucky, you’re married to a woman who is at least somewhat understanding. She allowed this foolishness to go on for almost five months. She also knows next week is the unofficial national holiday known as Super Bowl Sunday.
So, it’s time to pay the piper today.
If your wife asks you to do the laundry today, you do it. She wants you to go with her to pick out paint colors for the spare room? You go with her.
She asks you to construct a 1,000-square-foot addition to the back of your house? Break out the measuring tape and the circular saw.
Next Sunday, you can watch six hours of pregame, four hours of football, a ton of expensive commercials and dine on nachos, wings and pigs-in-the-blanket.
But, today? Today you unload the dishwasher, hang those framed pictures she’s been asking you to put up and fight your way through a couple episodes of “Real Housewives of Whatever City They’re in Now.”
Read a book — Yes, a book. Preferably one with many pages of paper bound inside a cover. But, if you simply must utilize a Kindle or Nook or some other e-reader, then so be it.
I just finished John Grisham’s latest, “Sycamore Row.” Simply put, it’s an outstanding book.
“Sycamore Row” is a sequel to Grisham’s first novel, 1989’s explosive “A Time to Kill.” In this one, attorney Jake Brigance finds himself in the middle of an estate battle with millions of dollars on the line. As you might expect from Grisham, taut threads of race, class, the law and life in the South permeate the novel.
I recently tweeted “Sycamore Row” is the best book you’ll ever read about probating a will. Greenwood County Probate Judge Travis Moore tweeted back and said, while the book is “a little far-fetched” it also is “surprisingly legally accurate.”
Grisham has written more than 30 books, many of which have been bestsellers. Most deal with the law, though his subject matter broadened through the years.
Still, the best Grisham books are those set in the South, particularly the ones — like “Sycamore Row” — that take place in the fictional Mississippi town of Clanton.
My all-time favorite book, ‘The Last Juror,” is set in Clanton.
Grisham’s books make me want to go to Clanton. I want to meet Harry Rex Vonner and sit in on one of Judge Atlee’s trials and eat lunch at Claude’s and read the Ford County Times.
That’s what a good book does. It makes you want to visit a place that doesn’t actually exist.
REALLY, THERE ARE LOTS of things football fans can do to fill this No Football Sunday.
Take a long walk. Avoid the Pro Bowl. Go to the movies. Replace your bird cage liner with this column. Read one of Richard Whiting’s many letters to Penthouse, all of which start with the same 8 words: “I never thought this would happen to me...”
The possibilities are endless.
As for next Sunday, I’m looking for a close, physical game. Final score: Seahawks 27, Broncos 24.
Trainor is the senior staff writer at the Index-Journal. Contact him at 864-943-5650; email firstname.lastname@example.org. You can follow him on Twitter @IJCHRISTRAINOR. Views expressed in this column are those of the writer only and do not represent the newspaper's opinion.