It’s tough. We know it’s coming. It doesn’t take away any of the sting. After such a big day, we know there is going to be a little bit of a hangover. Many of us have been preparing for this day since the New Year. But the day after the Super Bowl is one of the worst days of the year, because we know it will be September before our next glimpse of a real football game.
It doesn’t help that the day comes after a national hall-pass has granted permission for unlimited consumption of craft beer, non-craft wing sauces, and a collection of recipes in which Fritos are an anchor ingredient. That Monday there is a mental bell ringing all day, as it’s the closest I think a man can get to the feeling of Cersei Lannister’s GOT shame walk.
The suits at the NFL seem to do their best at training the body for the imminent withdrawal symptoms we are about to experience. The off week between conference championship and the big game allows us a taste of the void that is inevitable.
Sundays go from being for football, to being for lame shit like reading and self-care. No longer getting out of mowing that lawn on a Sunday. Might have to head outdoors to pretend your children don’t suck at baseball for a few hours. Not worth the guilt of faking the back pain to get out of sitting in those church pews Sunday morning.
The mind knows it’s coming though. Fantasy football ending a couple weeks early before the season ends makes it easy to tune out that garbage Thursday night NFC East matchup with no vested interest. When the RedZone channel signs off that last week, it feels like a race-horse at the top of their game must be put down for a broken leg. As the weeks pass in the playoffs, there is a growing sense of excitement for the final matchup, but also reticence about the reality that another year is coming to its conclusion.
SportsCenter tries to pretend that we care about things like the draft, free agency, and baseball; but we really don’t. It’s all just filling the emptiness of football in our brains but mostly hearts. But every year we must do it. We must wake-up that February Monday, wash the whiz out of our beards, apologize for yelling at our brother-in-law for double dipping in the pizza ranch, and try to explain The Weeknd memes to mom.
It feels like that buddy from work we eat lunch with every day just got shit-canned, and we have to find someone else to spend that time with. We know. It’s tough. But only 213 more days. And even less until Hard Knocks.