The months between the Super Bowl and opening kick off of the new season can be excruciating for avid football fans. It was hard enough trying to pass the time between Monday Night Football and next Sunday's game, and now we're expected to entertain ourselves for months?! A few suggestions to fill the football-shaped void:
1) Read an NFL book. Personally I recommend "When Pride Still Mattered" by David Maraniss. It's a great look at the life of Vince Lombardi and gives great insight into the early eras of the NFL as well. Fantastic stuff. Honorable mention to "The Blind Side" by Michael Lewis.
2) Get in the mood by watching old games on the NFL Network. Best. Channel. Ever. I know a lot of people don't get it, but for those that do it's one of the greatest things on this Earth. For those of you that don't, either look into getting it or make friends with somebody that does. You won't be sorry.
3) Plan a road trip to your team's training camp. It's probably the cheapest chance that you'll have to see your players in person all year. Grab a few buddies, fill up the cooler, start up the engine, and go check out the squad in person.
4) Make a CD of the NFL Films music, play it while doing mundane tasks. Feel like Dick Butkus while taking out the garbage. It'll be worth the stares that you'll inevitably receive from loved ones and neighbors.
5) Toss the football around with some buds one day. Yeah, it might be a little bit toasty out there, and your knees might start to complain if you've been away from the game for too long, but it'll remind you why you love the sport in the first place. Plus you'll have a greater appreciation of what the players go through in training camp.
6) Check out the schedule. When are the juicy matchups? What game could be key late in November? What week does your big rival come to town? Just thinking about these things while writing this has got me excited.
7) Fire up Madden ‘08. So what if the rosters are a little outdated now? And yeah, we know you probably exhausted it a little bit when it first came out. But it's still a football fix, regardless, and it'll hold you over until Madden ‘09 is released and the season starts.
8) Start a football argument with your pal. You know his team's complete crap. So let him know. Don't be afraid to fight dirty—wives and girlfriends are fair game.
9) Keep reading stupid lists on Bleacher Report.