The Longest Shortest Month of the Year: Why February Is a Dark Time For Fans

Joe Concha@ConchsportsContributor IIFebruary 7, 2011

Tick, tick tick...Mike Wallace and the Steelers' run out of time
Tick, tick tick...Mike Wallace and the Steelers' run out of timeMike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Super Bowl XLV was another treat. After three years of extremely close games and last-minute drama, the Packers and Steelers gave us the matchup we thought we’d get: Green Bay 31, Pittsburgh 25.

The ball was in Big Ben’s hands—looking to duplicate what he did two years ago against the Cardinals, except the Packers actually held off the black and gold before they could even cross midfield.

Rodgers is the MVP, Jordy Nelson the unsung hero (despite some horrific drops) and all is well with the Lombardi Trophy back home. But with that hangover that comes from such a social Sunday now fading away, so too does the luxury of having some form of professional football in your life.

Gone are having an easy choice on television Monday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights. No more fantasy leagues, no more box pools. Just the horror of an NBA season reaching its All-Star break, an NHL season that seemingly only features two teams nationally (we’re talking about you, Washington and Pittsburgh) and a baseball season where 60 percent of its teams already know they have no shot whatsoever to compete for a championship this season (we’re talking about you, Washington and Pittsburgh).

Sure, there’s March Madness, but since that’s over a month away we’re stuck with February sadness. Most of you can’t even pick up the wrenches and spend six hours on a weekend day hitting the links, not even those of you in Texas (and apparently especially in Dallas, aka Syracuse South).

Instead, it’s pre-Masters golf from Dubai, the Spurs beating up on bad teams, Ohio State setting their fans up for another fall, and NHL teams jockeying for playoff position (which as the seventh-seeded Flyers proved last year, basically has all the meaning of a Snooki romance at the Jersey Shore).

February means women’s college basketball, NCAA triple-headers and spring training reports on pitchers and catchers.

Like watching Goodfellas on TNT, it has no edge, nothing to invest in emotionally. And compared to the Super Bowl living up to the hype in most categories (except the commercials, which saw most of my friends and I looking at each other with “WTF was that?” looks on our faces), it’s hard to get excited for NBC’s Sunday lineup this weekend: NHL, 2011 Winter Dew Tour, Rugby Sevens from Las Vegas.

ABC’s is a little better: NBA doubleheader featuring Heat at Celtics and Lakers at Magic. CBS is in its college basketball (Purdue-Illinois)/golf mode with the Pebble Beach Tournament (sans Tiger, which despite what you think of him still makes every tournament more interesting). ESPN is going with Marquette-Georgetown and (drum roll) PBA Bowling at 3:00 EDT.

For those who oppose the NFL’s proposed 18-game schedule, think of it this way: if approved, this weekend would have only marked the divisional round of the playoffs.

Next weekend: Conference championships. President’s Day weekend: The Super Bowl, complete with a built-in day off on Monday (no more horribly-obvious-to-your-boss bouts with SARS!).

It really is a win-win proposition…

But for now, use the time to catch up on chores, read a book (Jim Nantz’s Always By My Side is outstanding), see The King’s Speech (it’s like the opposite of all Super Bowl commercials…nothing blows up, there’s no sexual innuendo and is actually entertaining) and get to a friggin’ gym.

Because the alternative, at least in February, simply ain’t worth the time…


Joe Concha is a Bleacher Report contributor based in Hoboken and has a honey-do list as thick as Brett Keisel’s beard. Email questions or comments to or follow him on the Twitter thing @ConchSports