By: Eric Morris
Whatever their druthers happen to be, the players on their respective bye week get a chance to nurse their injuries, clear their heads of Xs and Os and blitz pick-up assignments, or, perhaps, hit the strip clubs and champagne rooms and South Beach. Maybe get a new tattoo or go pheasant hunting. For the fans, however, it’s one week of football Siberia (at least for this fan). No hurling f-bombs at the TV, no synchronized beer opening rituals, no racing to the bathroom during commercials to break the seal before the kickoff, no scrumptious veggie trays. Nothing. Not even the slightest chest bump or high five.
If the Browns don’t play, should I even talk to my dad this week?
I mean, I know meaningful football games are played and fantasy moves forward and survival leagues, etc, etc. But it’s just not the same. As much as the next person, I enjoy watching divisional opponents lose or beat the shit out of each other, but my schadenfraude can only get me so far. When I have no vested, rooting interest on a Sunday afternoon, I just feel off, like I’m not wearing pants or I am wearing pants but they’re on backwards and two sizes too small.
What am I going to talk to my students about? Keats? Ashbery? They don’t understand the spread.
Bye. Week. Two words that, for the sports fanatic, are synonymous with: “Root Canal,” “Baby Shower,” “Nut Tap,” or “Jury Duty.” With only seventeen weeks of regular season football, the bye week is approximately six-percent of the season. In baseball and basketball they play back-to-back games for Christ sake. But in football—thanks to the bye week—there’s a point in the season where I don’t even get back-to-back weeks. It’s a mid-season tragedy! In baseball, a missed game is less than one-percent of the season and in basketball, it’s just over one-percent. But six-percent? Which, in actuality, feels like six-hundred-percent, is nothing shy of torture.
What to do with all this misplaced anger? My primal need for competition?
By Tuesday morning, I, for one, will be ready to say goodbye to the bye week. Until then, however, I guess I’ll rake leaves or something. Walk the dog or whatever.