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
Invincible—Great story that needed to be told
Radio—Heart warming tale that puts Cuba Gooding Jr. twice
Remember the Titans—Intense, emotional, and uplifting
Any Given Sunday—a little long but really raw
Gridiron Gang—another great real life story that needed to be told
Junction Boys, The —The Bear. Enough said
Rudy—A 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 Patrick@footballdialogue.com.