We’ve managed to get through four more weekends without football since our last “mood watch” check-in with the KSK contributors, and while spirits are still okay, some of us are starting to get shaky without our Sundays being mapped out for us ahead of time.
Okay, maybe it’s just me slowly unraveling. I am falling apart without football to watch. We bought a house in December and my weekends have included more fixture shopping, furniture shopping, contractor interviews, looking for drought resistant plants, driving to far lands (fine, Gardena) looking for giant pots to landscape with and cheaper costs on garden rocks (Fucking rocks, why do you cost so much? YOU’RE A ROCK! NOT EVEN A PRETTY ONE!), still unpacking because no you can’t put that there yet because don’t know what sort of shelves we’re going to have there and why would we want to unpack things just to move them again and holy crap stop letting the dog eat the unripe loquats off the ground I’m not cleaning up Spaniel yack for the third time today don’t mind me I’m just going to be over here touching the wires that LADWP has assured me will burn the house to the ground if we don’t get it fixed right away.
Just typing this out makes me feel better. Instead of thinking, “Only 26 more weekends and all this stuff can go to hell and I don’t care” I can think to myself, “All this shit has to get done in the next 26 weekends or it’s never going to happen.”
There’s this conceit every year that right when football ends, the sun comes out, it’s 50 degrees, and baseball starts. It’s beautiful out, cloudless, and life is slowly returning to the thawing trees, flowers, and grass. I fall victim to it every year, and I don’t even like baseball all that much. The truth of the matter is that there’s a 2-month period between the time the football season ends and the time being outside is any fun at all, especially here in Chicago. That’s part of what makes football season so great. It’s shitty outside, but hey, it’s not so bad, the game is on. Sundays in February and March are bullshit because you’re inside anyway, and you just feel useless. You don’t want to go to the gym, so you end up watching DVRed episodes of Chopped that you’ve already seen and maybe picking up Skyrim again before just giving up, ordering chinese delivery, and passing out on top of a blanket you haven’t washed in years at 3pm. It fucking sucks.
When the NFL season first ended, I invited over the only two guys I know who like basketball to watch at my apartment because they don’t know anyone else who will watch with them and I thought I would be a conduit of camaraderie to those poor lost fans. When I offered to the first he said “Are you that desperate for Sunday sports?” because he knows I would probably rather keep up with Jezebel articles than the NBA. After sitting through the all star game, I ditched that idea quickly. What I haven’t ditched quickly is the desire to start drinking at noon on Sundays, grandfathered in from the NFL season, no matter what my Sunday plans are. Furniture shopping is better with whiskey, but that has become inappropriate and curious to those around me. I feel like I’m going to be forced into hikes as soon as Sunday’s weather isn’t miserable, and I’m not looking forward to that. In the meantime, I’ve been watching the television I enjoy, which is mostly old television like Cheers, The Dick Van Dyke Show, and Hogan’s Heroes. Man, there are a lot of threads in those shows that would not be appropriate today. Sam Malone is pretty rapey; Rob Petrie threatens to hit Laura sometimes, and F Troop is probably what Dan Snyder watches for his racial barometer. Apart from that though, those shows are great.
This past Sunday I spent six hours watching men — big, powerful, deceitful, booze-swilling men — play games with each other. I saw a powerful bureaucrat and his minions travel the country, from Maryland to D.C. to Pennsylvania to KC, to see to their plans, to make sure they left no stone unturned in their relentless quest for absolute domination. There was crime, there we’re cover ups, the asshole always won, and I couldn’t turn my eyes away.
Come to think of it, Frank Underwood and Roger Goodell have a lot in common.
I bought South Park: The Stick of Truth this week. It’s easily one of the best video game adaptations of a TV show or movie ever. The gameplay isn’t revolutionary by any means, but that’s not really the point. It’s an effective enough turn-based RPG. What makes it stands out is that it isn’t just a thin tribute to the show, but can actually stand with the show as its own thing. Most movie or game adaptations are typically so watered down as to be almost unrecognizable to the source material. That isn’t the case here. It shows that Trey Parker and Matt Stone assisted in developing the game because it nails the tone and humor of South Park perfectly. The entire game; not just a few cut scenes. The biggest complaint I’ve heard about the game is that it feels like a “pretty good” quality South Park episode, albeit one that takes cumulatively 14 hours to complete. If you’re a gamer and a fan of the show, that’s hardly a problem. Most games based on shows or movies feel like another piece of cheap tacked-on merchandising. The Stick of Truth is like an entirely distinct creative work and that’s nice to see.
In the weeks since the NFL season was put to rest, I’ve been trying to fill the void anyway I can. The oddity of Winter Olympic sports helped fill that void; how can you not help but be distracted by curling? But all things must end and now that Spring Training is here, I’ve tried to latch on to that for fulfillment but there’s only so far that exhibition baseball can take you. I’ve also stooped to READING BOOKS, if you can believe that. Also, binge-watching shows like True Detective and Justified to fulfill that bloodlust hole football left. It’s warm where I live now so one day I may expose my skin to the bright, flaming ball in the sky called the “sun,” but it’s baby steps right now. Training camp is a long way away.