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Beating the Bye Week Blues

If you're like me, much of your weekend revolves around football. Even more importantly, your entire Sunday centers on the Packers' game. Well, my friends, the Green and Gold are off this week, which leaves a huge gaping void in our Sunday afternoons/evenings. How is one supposed to fill that gap while remaining sane? Here are a few suggestions.

1. Spend your Sunday football experience on Saturday instead.
Many NFL fans are also rabid college football fans (like myself). However, many are not (like Mitchell). To those of you who are not: do yourselves a favor. Spend Saturday watching football and Sunday doing chores instead of the other way around. Unfortunately, there are only two games between top-25 teams this week, but there will still be plenty of entertaining games to watch this weekend:

#1 Oregon @ California
Penn State @ #9 an Ohio State University
#13 Iowa @ Northwestern
USC @ #18 Arizona
#23 South Carolina @ #22 Florida
And of course, Indiana @ #7 Wisconsin.

2. Start playing a new sport
I suggest Curling. Many local clubs have new member days on the weekends, where people curious about the sport can come out in a low-pressure environment, learn a little about the game, and throw a few rocks to see if it piques their interest. As a spectator of a few Curling matches in Vancouver during the 2010 Olympics and on television, I can say that once you understand the game it's a fascinating sport. As someone just starting my Curling career, I can also say that it's likely that you'll be addicted for life when you throw your first rock. A bonus: substantial athletic ability is not a requirement.

3. Pick up Call of Duty: Black Ops
Odds are good that Mitchell and I will be spending a large portion of our weekend playing this game, which was just released on Tuesday. Feel free to send a friend request to TexWestern on Xbox Live if you want to frag some zombies or commies.

4. Go to a hockey game
As you might have gathered by my profile picture, I'm as big a Badger hockey fan as they come. So I suggest that you don your Cardinal and White and make the trek to the Kohl Center on Friday or Saturday, as the hated North Dakota Fighting [nickname redacted] come to town. Need an excuse to see these teams go at it? How about this? Or this? That's what I thought. And if you can't get enough Badger hockey either, check out the blog Sixty Minutes. No Alibis. No Regrets. You might even recognize one of the writers.

For those of you in the Brown County area, the Green Bay Gamblers play on Friday night against the Chicago Steel at the Brown County Arena. Like seeing teams from Illinois lose? Yeah, me too.

5. Hit the gym
Let's face it...despite its recent success, the Packers' defense has been thinned out by injury so badly that I'm only about two sprained ankles away from playing inside linebacker. I'm going to work out more this week so I'll be ready if the call comes down from Ted Thompson.

Do any of you have other brilliant bye week ideas? Leave them in the comments below.