Fall weekends are supposed to be for football, no matter what our wives may say. They are not for yard work or for honey-do lists, even if we have to do those things. They are for sitting in bleachers with friends or on the sofa together with buddies in front of the TV with a beverage in hand.
We know that the bye week is part of football. But every so often, like Halley's Comet, we lose local football for Saturday and Sunday. This is such a case. ASU is off and so are the Cardinals.
What makes this even worse is the week it fell on. Kids throughout the East Valley (not sure about the rest of the metro area) have had the week off of school. So either you had time off to take a trip or just spend time with your monsters, you came home to kids that were bored, you came home to kids that made a mess, you came home to kids that were ready to do things with Mom or Dad, or a mixture of all options.
In any case, this week of all the weeks is one where football therapy would be particularly necessary. Of course there is just watching other college and pro games, but it just isn't the same as rooting for your local teams. So what are we to do? Here are some other options to itch your football scratch, er, the other way around.
Classic Football Flashback: This is a fancy way of breaking out old games we taped, recorded, or cam find on the Internet. I would recommend almost any ASU game from the 1996 season or, for the Cardinals' fans, the playoff win against Green Bay last season. I do not recommend the 2008 Super Bowl or 1996 Rose Bowl. Too painful.
Anti-Fan Football Watching: The Arizona Wildcats face the Washington State Cougars in Pullman (oddly enough, facing the Cougars is almost like having a bye). The San Francisco 49ers have the Raiders coming across the Bay Bridge to play. This first alternative football activity is common-rotting against the team you hate. You can get the guys together and have the beverage, just this time root for bad things to happen to the evil teams and enjoy when they do. Unfortunately for ASU fans, this year it has been as frustrating watching UofA do well as it has been watching ASU lose close games to good teams. It has been great, though, watching San Fran find ways to lose every week.
Football yard work: We have to do the yard work and are jonesing for football. Why not mow yard lines and endzones with the teams' names? It would give just enough creativity to an otherwise brutal task when it is still almost 100 degrees in the middle of October.
Cardinal/Sun Devil Connection: You get together with the buddies and beverages and watch any game. The competition is to see who can make the most connections between the players/teams/coaches/announcers on TV with either ASU or the Cardinals. The winner is treated to the meal of his choice at the establishment of his choice.
Table Football: Maybe it's because I am a moron, but I used to entertain myself for hours when I was a kid with the folded up triangle paper to be a football and the dinner table. You start from one end (the end zone) and get four attempts to flick the "ball" across the table and have it end up stopped with a part hanging over the other end of the table. That is a touchdown. Then do the "placeflicking" with a buddy making goalposts with his hands for the extra point or for a field goal if you choose not to go for it on fourth down. Get the guys together with food and beverages. You can play for fun, for food, or even with wagers.
It might not be the Sun Devils or the Cardinals, but it is football and friends. On a weekend like this, following a week like this, how else can we get our football fix for our teams? At the very least, it will keep us from having to start projects we otherwise would have an excuse for delaying until January or February.