Dear Sports Fan,
What should I watch now that football is over?
Once the Super Bowl has passed, there is a period of about a month and a week that is very quiet in terms of sport. Oh, sure, there are lots of interesting sporting events if you’re a die-hard sports fan but none of them are truly vital. If you’re an unaffiliated sports fan, I can give a few recommendations for exciting events to watch. If you’re a sports fan living with a non-sports fan, my best advice is to give way in the entertainment choice arena.
If you’re a sports fan living with one or more non-sports fans, you’ve probably been a little selfish recently. Whether you’re aware of it or not, you (and the power of the National Football League) probably dominated in terms of choosing what was on the television over the last few months. You’re probably going to want to have your way again in a month or two when college basketball enters its conference championship season around March 11 and then March Madness begins on the 15th. Later in the spring, the basketball and hockey playoffs will be on. It’s time to, for the purposes of fairness and as an investment for future television domination, watch some other stuff! Here are some non-sports possibilities:
- Downton Abbey is back! In some ways, this show is the antithesis of sports. It’s hard to imagine Lady Mary or her grandmother, the Dowager Countess of Grantham, putting on shin guards and cleats to play soccer. At the same time, it’s not hard to imagine David Aldridge doing a post-game interview with either of them after a social event. “You got a couple of real zingers in there against cousin Isobel. What were you thinking when you made your move?
- Watch The Station Agent! I know, I know, it came out in 2003, but I just recently discovered it and it is wonderful! Not only is it an enjoyable and off movie (starring Tyrion from Game of Thrones) but it’s also one of the best representations of my home state, New Jersey, that I’ve ever seen.
- How about BATTLESTAR GALACTICA? Another oldie, once you get past the title and the fact that it’s science fiction (unless you’re into that stuff) this show has everything you could wish for. Great characters, real issues, the fate of the human race, etc.!
The important thing is not what you watch, it’s that you make sure the people around you know that you appreciate their giving way during football season and that you are willing to pay them back now. Whatever they want to watch, give it a chance!
Now, if you are an unaffiliated sports fan or someone who got into football and is now wondering what other sports there are to watch, you’re in luck. Although the major national must-see sporting events don’t start back up for another month or so, there are lots of compelling smaller events between now and then. Looking at our handy 2015 in the United States of Sports map there are eight featured sports things between now and March Madness.
- On February 13, the USA Sevens rugby tournament begins. This is an international tournament of the faster and easier to follow seven person version of rugby. It’s lots of fun to watch, although the U.S. probably won’t win.
- The NBA All-Star Game and skills competition is in New York this year on the weekend of February 14 and 15. Although the game itself can barely be called a competitive sporting event, it often is good entertainment.
- On February 18, the North Carolina Tarheels play the Duke Blue Devils in men’s basketball. Although this is just a regular season game, the word “just” can barely ever be used to describe the atmosphere when these rivals meet up. This year, both teams are very good, so the rivalry will be even more tense than normal.
- If you’re into fishing or watching other people fish, the Bassmaster Classic on February 20 is the event for you. If you’re a fish, stay away!
- On February 25, Rhode Island hosts the US Figure Skating Synchronized Skating Championships. This sport is surprisingly mesmerizing. If you’ve ever wanted to see what 15 Russian women dancing in unison on skates to Whitney Houston looks like, you’re in luck!
- March 4 is the official start of college basketball conference tournaments, including the Women’s SEC Basketball Tournament in Arkansas.
- The most famous dog sled race in the world, Alaska’s Iditarod, begins on March 7. If you’ve ever wanted a behind-the-scenes look at that race, you should read Brian Phillips’ piece on it from 2013.
There you go! Football may be over, but there are plenty of wonderful entertainment options in the sports world and beyond!
Thanks for reading,