Freedom!

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It’s hard to believe we were just about at the halfway mark of the offseason the last time we did one of these confessional “how are you doing without football” pieces, but that sort of how the offseason always goes once you’re on the downhill. The time away from football starts to feel interminable, the next thing you know you’re looking at a calendar that says August on the next page thinking, “Shit, I need to plan a weekend away before football takes over my life for the next six months. What’s Aruba like in August? Hurricanes? Well, whatever. They make special glasses for cocktails in case one lands.”

David Rappoccio: 

So this offseason I’ve lucked into tickets to a couple of Arena Football games. I haven’t been able to see too many due to my work schedule, but what I have seen has made me die a little inside. I detailed my experiences in a comic my first time going, and I’ve recently been to another, which proved to be a more fun experience than the first one, if only because it somehow was more pathetic.

The first time I went, the Portland Thunder put on a great show, at least when not playing football. They brought out dancers with good routines, launched T-shirts aggressively, and while the game was garbage and we lost I had a good time. This most recent outing I saw the Thunder play the LA Kiss, and things were different. The Thunder was 4-10, the Kiss 3-11. They were fighting for the last playoff spot. Yes, a 3-11 team was in contention for the playoffs. We beat them, and are probably going to the playoffs as a 5-12 team because the next two games are against less terrible teams.

Half the dancers from the first game were gone. The Halftime show was literally some local Bro singer lip syncing Party Rock and Black Eyed Peas while a grand total of two dancers gyrated at midfield, unsynchronized. No more t-shirt launches. At one point the Thunder forced an LA Kiss WR to fumble the ball. LA immediately challenged the play, and the ref walks out on field and goes

“Spokane is challenging the ruling on the field of an Interception”

So basically this offseason I discovered where the replacement refs ended up.

Trevor Risk: 

While waiting for football to start, I’m internally running over scenarios of how to break the news to my new wife how she’s going to become football-widowed in a few months. I mean, she reads the site, and occasionally comments (Hi, Preddy!) but we met near the end of the season last year, so she doesn’t yet truly understand the scope in which this takes over my lifestyle, in which I foreshadowed here. (“Art school lady friend”? Were we ever so young? Oh, we’re both the same age as when I wrote that? Well…) I bought a Christian Okoye shirt off Ebay which i guess I’ll wear on opening day or something. I subscribe to the “drunk Trevor buys sober Trevor presents off the internet in appreciation for sober Trevor cleaning the house for drunk Trevor” custom, and drunk Trevor seems to think sober Trevor likes t-shirts, even though he only really wears the same three or four and owns about two hundred. Other than that, my band is playing lots (our NSFW video just hit one hundred and eighty one thousand views), and I’ve enjoyed DJing for indie drag shows and strip shows recently (the gay community knows how to party) in addition to my regular cisgender (just learned that word!) gigs, and trying to date my wife when we have a few hours in between our respective schedules. I hope that when our Sundays turn from country drives and listening to the Undertones into me screaming about shoddy secondary play at 10am, she doesn’t Dear John my ass.

Ape:

The last few weeks have been like pulling teeth as far as generating stuff for KSK as not a whole lot goes on this time of year in the NFL aside from the random arrest. Next week, however, I’m off for a week on vacation in Colorado, a state I’ve somehow yet to visit. My girlfriend and I are starting out in Denver for a few days, where I will buy legal weed (my girlfriend abstains because she has a job with the federal government) and the both of us are going to a show at Red Rocks and a Rockies game. Other than that, nothing’s really set for the first few days other than me being high. We’ll probably also visit a brewery. The rest of the week, we’re visiting a friend of my girlfriend who lives in the western part of the state. She boasts of hosting an adventure tour for several buddies who have come to visit her, entertaining them with such things as rafting on the Colorado river, horse trail rides, rappelling, Jeep tours and more. Also, my vacation coincides with the return of Peter King from his, which is a huge bonus.

(Editor’s note – GAAAHHHH I SHOULD HAVE READ THIS MORE CLOSELY BEFORE NEXT WEEK. I HAVE PK DUTY NOW. EEFFFFFFFFFF.)

Big Sandy:

I survived on the World Cup like a man lost in the wilderness, munching on crickets and rainwater, suddenly discovering an In-and-Out Burger in the jungle. But, lo, even that comes to an end and I have subsisted on baseball and binge-watching The Shield and – shudder – actually reading books. Then, baseball went on its All-Star Break which is even LONGER now, thanks a lot Bud Selig, and, as they say, it’s always darkest before the dawn: I watched an entire CFL game. Winnipeg versus Edmonton. Training camp can’t come soon enough.

Johnny Sugar:

I’m gonna make it… I think. I actually watched a CFL game last night. Drew Willy – quarterback of the UB Bulls during my freshman year – is now playing for Winnipeg, so I figured I’d watch. Naturally, he had his worst game of the year. I can never get used to the 2-and-out thing. One team punted five times in the first quarter, I think. Luckily, I’ve been going to a lot of concerts lately, so it’s cool. Finally got around to seeing City & Colour, who I’ve been obsessed with for awhile. Sadly, the Arctic Monkeys show I mentioned last time wound up being sold out. But still, having a pretty good summer. Can’t believe we’re just two weeks away from pretending the preseason is bearable.

Old James:

I watched “Heat” for the first time a few weeks ago.

/Pauses for internet meltdown

Can I talk about “Heat” for a few minutes? I’d like to talk about “Heat” for a few minutes. Because that movie kicked a fair amount of ass.

Now, “how does someone let a majority of their life pass without seeing “Heat” what the fuck is wrong with you are you Amish” is probably a vitriolic run-on series of questions you just asked yourselves. And the answers are “I don’t know,” “a lot” and “no.”

Anyway, “Heat.” As I’m sure you’re well aware, it stars Al Pacino as a hardened, oft-divorced detective who’s chasing a career criminal, played by Robert DeNiro. **SPOILER ALERT** DeNiro gets it on with Chasing Amy, who suddenly showed up in “The Leftovers,” which I watched the next night. Small world, eh?

So Pacino and DeNiro play this game of on-screen cat-and-mouse for three hours, and there’s the famous tet-a-tet in the restaurant, where they see themselves in each other and realize there’s only enough Peruvian tail in the city for one of them. The other will be dead, you see. (I won’t spoil the ending, but one of them dies). Val Kilmer has a career role as one of DeNiro’s henchmen, doing what he does best — namely getting transient wasted and passing out on the floor of his boss’s unfurnished beachside home.

Really, it has everything you can ask for in a movie. It’s got action. It’s got humor — Pacino erupting at the voice of Professor Frink with “SHE”S GOT A GREAAAAAAAT ASS” got replayed 7 or 8 times. It’s got drama. It’s got a couple intertwined love stories. And it’s got a cameo by Tone Loc. Pretty great film. I’m ashamed it took me so long to see it.

Well, that was a pretty significant waste of your time. But, then again, so is the offseason.

StuScottBooyahs:

July is the cruelest of months. With baseball taking a break, today is the first day after three straight days of literally no sports happening in the United States of America. Just writing that makes my fingers shake. As someone who enjoys football, hockey, the Premier League, and original television programming, I really do not care for the summer or for the four-hour glorified cricket matches held daily that pass as the only sport available during that time. Whenever someone invites me to go to a baseball game, I feel like what they’re really saying to me is, “Hey, do you want to spend a hundred bucks to sit in the hot sun and stare at your phone for four hours?” And yet, that’s all we have during the summer. I do not understand these people who look forward to the summer. To me, it’s four months of no sports, no TV, uncomfortably hot weather, and just general societal malaise. So no, I am not doing well without football right now.

Fuck summer right in its hot, humid butthole.

Sarah:

I PET AN OTTER LAST WEEKEND AT THE GEORGIA AQUARIUM BEFORE I WENT TO MY FRIENDS WEDDING AND AFTER I HAD A CHICKEN FRIED RIBS AND ATE PIMENTO CHEESE SIX TIMES IN FIVE DAYS WHILE IN ATLANTA BUT ALL THAT MATTERS THIS SUMMER IS THAT I PET AN OTTER AND FED AN OTTER AND TOUCHED AN OTTER NOSE THEY DON’T LET YOU TAKE PICTURES SO HERE IS ME WITH AN OTTER AFTER THE LINK AND A NICE PICTURE OF THE WHALE SHARKS THAT ARE SAFELY AWAY FROM THE OTTERS AND WE SHOULD REALLY PROPOSE A LEAGUE OF OTTER FOOTBALL WHO IS WITH ME?

WHALE SHARKS

SLS

Ufford:

I am writing this on the day after the MLB All-Star Game, a day so grim and hated on the sports calendar that the ESPYs take place. The emotional high of the World Cup is long gone, and the NFL season is still 50 days away. Cheerful apostles of American soccer point to the MLS games on the schedule tonight, but I don’t have much to offer them besides a languid sigh. There are still seven weeks until meaningful pro football.

I survive the late days of summer like anyone else: I get the hell out of town as much as possible. Weddings, vacation, weekends away — whatever it takes. Anything but the baking, airless city. In the office, I’m already doing mock drafts on Yahoo, comparing my tentative fantasy list to draft orders, sussing out the rookies I want. A few weekends will melt away, and then training camps will open, then the preseason — punctuated by Hard Knocks and a flurry of fantasy revelations — will be here and gone, and what we love will begin again. The time until the NFL returns is less a barren expanse than a set of dominoes already falling. We’ll make it. Just get out of town.