Freedom!

Ever since the NFL moved the Pro Bowl to the weekend before the Super Bowl, we’ve been forced to go cold turkey at the end of the season. If the Super Bowl is our ultimate high, we’ve been robbed of our football methadone to ease us back into to society.

We’ve had our little pity party over the close of the 2013-2014 season, so it is time to admit there are also upsides to the offseason. As Ape pointed out in our daily email sessions, it will be nice for the cable bill to get back to normal without the added cost of the NFL Sunday Ticket. Sure, the extra money will be nice but it’s more than that. The first weekend without football, well, it sort of tastes like freedom. Not the freedom you feel when you ditch out on work or drop the kids off with the grandparents, more like the freedom you feel when your partner is away on a short trip. No worrying about taking care of everything else that goes with football; fantasy settings, pick’em leagues, snacks, obsessively checking roster moves and injury reports, scouting reports, coaches press conferences, player party pics and Twitter. You care about football, but it will be nice not to care about football for even just a few weeks before the combine.

Plus, we get our time back. I love to hike, but that goes out the window every fall at the start of football season. Getting our Sundays back for sleeping in (West Coast) after Saturday night debauchery. Brunch where someone bring me coffee and I’m not running to the kitchen during a 30 second timeout for a refill. Sunday Q&As with William Friedkin at the Cinematheque will not be taken up the Panthers being destroyed by the Niners. Concerts, the beach, finally unpacking the boxes I moved more than a month ago. Even Saturdays will be more relaxed since all the weekly errands can be spread over two days and not compacted into a few short hours running place to place, listening to college football games in the car and trying to figure out what the hell the Mississippi or Alabama announcers are saying because you’re trying to keep tabs on a potential high draft pick.

How do some of the other members of the KSK team feel now that the season is over? Surprisingly, we’re all pretty unified in happy to have some of the life we give to football back.

Ape – I look forward to people I know IRL who follow sports in an ESPN-centric way and have a vague sense that I write about sports for a living not asking me for HOT TAKES about what’s going on in the NFL.

RobotsFightingDinosaurs - Being outside on the weekends is a big one for me. As a fan of both college and pro ball, one, or both, of my weekend days are completely blacked out by football games. This means no brunch at Ann Sather, no walking down to the lake, no biking the trail, and no street fairs. It’ll be nice to have midday back.

Trevor - I’m looking forward to getting more than six hours of sleep on Sundays because I’m on the west coast and I still like to get whaled on Saturday nights and see what kind of adventure my city has for me. Also, I’m looking forward to not having my hipster friends come over and drink all my Fernet (it’s not that they’re drinking my booze, it’s that that Fernet is for sipping, not for drowning in a glass of Coke) and asking me things like “Who’s the guy who has that cameo in that one movie? I think he nailed Paris Hilton,” or “Why do they lose a down for grounding?” or any one of the myriad of questions I’m sure I asked my father when I was little. I should just start responding like he did, with either a grunt or a “What do you want exactly? Are we out of chips?” I suppose I’m also looking forward to not having to justify my love of football to my current lady friend. At the risk of sounding reductive, she’s an art school student and I try to play down my shouting at the Chiefs secondary to play bump and run like “Goddamn fucking adult men!” and try more to find insight into the clean lines of Japanese architect Fumihiko Maki because our relationship is new and I still want to seem more suave than I actually am.

Big Sandy - Now that the NFL is done for the season and having just recently moved, I’ll get to know my new neck of the woods better. I’m going to actually get outside a bit on Sundays, getting some necessary Vitamin D and letting the dog stretch his legs. Also, I’ll get ready for the next big round of sports because… you see… I have a dark secret, KSK readers.

I, Big Sandy, am a baseball fan and I am looking forward to baseball filling the void in my life football has left for now.

But don’t worry, I’ll be drunk all day Sunday just the same.

Old James -  I’m a baseball guy too. But no football will also be replaced with CBB, grilling/smoking out, golf, vacations, etc. On the other, more ranty, hand it’s also wedding season, and I’ve got like seven or eight to go to this summer.

Ooof. Wedding season. Yeah. That’s back. I think I’m down to two this year. In the summer. In the deep south. Maybe all this free time is overrated after all.

No, no. Let’s enjoy this time while the mood still strikes us. Because in a few weeks we will be watching the combine, pawing at the TV like a small kitten waiting for our football to come back.