Surviving the Offseason Until Football Starts Again

Patrick SchusterCorrespondent IMarch 11, 2008

As we endure the long, long wait (especially with so many repeats still on network TV) until the beginning of the next college and pro football season, I thought I’d throw out some ways to occupy the time off until our days have meaning again.

Granted, we have free agency now to track and the draft coming in April, but what do we do on weekends?

While some casual fans may follow other sports, those of us who know the only game in town is played on a field of a hundred yards, now must fill in a lot of time until we get to enjoy those days again. It's a great chance to catch up on some reading, watch a few movies and spend time with the family.

Here are a few suggestions on how to fill each weekend until the end of August is here again:

With my full apology to ESPN’s Matt Mosley, but with his recent list there have been some great football movies in the past 20 years. One question I asked most players I’ve had the chance to interview over the past four years has been, “what is your favorite football movie?” The answer, roughly 90 percent of the time, is The Program; and the reason: “most like what I went through in college”.

Anyway here is a top ten list movies from the past twenty years to fill up those weekends:

The Program—see above

We Are Marshall—one of the most underrated movies of 2006

Friday Night Lights—Awesome adaptation; almost as good as the TV series

InvincibleGreat story that needed to be told

RadioHeart warming tale that puts Cuba Gooding Jr. twice

Remember the TitansIntense, emotional, and uplifting

Any Given Sunday—a little long but really raw

Gridiron Ganganother great real life story that needed to be told

Junction Boys, The The Bear. Enough said

RudyA good movie slightly overrated for my money

Best “chick-flick” football movie to watch with your wife or girlfriend and still get some football: Jerry Maguire

Best football family movie: The Game Plan

Newest football movie coming to theaters: Leatherheads—Comes out early April 2008

Best box sets to buy this summer: Friday Night Lights TV Series

For those of you that would rather read in the off-season I highly recommended the following:

Meat Market by Bruce Feldman

The GM by Tom Callahan

Cane Mutiny by Bruce Feldman

The Draft by Pete Williams

Next Man Up by John Feinstein

Friday Night Lights by H.G. Bissinger

Total Access: The Journey to the Center of the NFL Universe by Rich Eisen

Hope this helps fill in those long, lonely weekends until football is back. If you have any suggestions, comments or additions to these lists, leave me a message or email me at