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February 15 - Super Bowl Blues

The last remnants of hardened cheese and bean dip have been extracted
from couch cushions and floorboards deposited there by drunken Super
Bowl XL guests.  

The very last drop of beer has long been siphoned from the keg.

You’ve analyzed, re-created spliced, diced and argued every aspect of the
big game over and over, from blown calls to commercials at the office
water cooler with everyone from Frank in accounting to Ingrid the cleaning
lady.

“Back and to the front.  Back and to the front,” you’ve exclaimed to Ingrid time and time again, in a flurry
of Kevin Costner, JFK-like arguments regarding the Darrell Jackson pass-interference call.  

There is no fighting the inevitable. The harsh reality has begun to set in.

Football is over.  

Your addiction that has consumed you each and every Sunday for the past five months has vanished
like a phantom in the night.  You must quit cold turkey, and there is no football patch in sight.  

To many wives and girlfriends, the end of the football season equals the return of their loved ones on
Sundays.  Calls like “Chad Johnson over the middle,” will now be drowned out and replaced by “Do
these jeans make me look fat?” as your Sundays will now be filled with painful trips to Bed Bath &
Beyond, Mervyns and Express.  

You find yourself wandering the streets with your lazy boy on rollers, and bowl of pretzels in hand,
looking for any football you can find.  You’re stopping in front of teen-agers playing pick up games in
the street.   

Your capricious moods are affecting every one around you.  

You have a problem.

There is no Major League Baseball, NBA Playoffs, or March Madness to catch you when you come
spiraling downwards from your NFL high, jittery and feeling like a useless piece of jelly.   While the
2006 Olympic games, NBA and NHL all-stars may be a momentary fix over the next month - it is not
the answer.  If you think that you can simply coast until March 16th, which is the start of the NCAA
tournament, you might as well apply for a frequent buyers card at Bed Bath & Beyond right now.  You’
re not going to make it without help.  

So, before you break out in sordid hives due to withdrawals, I have conjured up just the right
prescription for your ailment. These sporting events will lead you right up to Dickie V and friends, and
from there, you’re golden.  

These events are not embellished, for they need no embellishing.  If you’re committed to the healing
process, they should not be missed (unless of course Home Depot is running a sale on shower
curtain rings).

Feb. 14th: Westminster Dog Show, New York City, New York - Taking place at Madison Square
Garden, the Westminster Dog Show is the Super Bowl of dog shows.  These stunning canine
athletes will send chills down your spine with their determination and spirit.  If you’re not able to
sneak away from your Valentine’s Day dinner to catch these astounding pups then you’re are truly
missing pure sporting elegance.  Airs on USA.   

Feb. 15th:  2006 Winter Olympics Luge Event, Torino, Italy - I still can’t figure out if these insane thrill
seekers are true athletes or if they’re just crazily strapping their person on a sled and screaming for
dear life as they torpedo down the track at gut wrenching speeds.  You be the judge.  Just keep
flipping channels until you hear hysterical screaming.  

Feb. 18th: Inazawa's Naked Festival, Inazawa City, Japan - Bare-bottomed men ages, 23-43 crowd
the streets of Inazawa City, in hopes of touching another naked man to ensure good luck for the
upcoming year.  A naked man is chosen before the event, and then besieged by 9,000 men in
loincloths all desperate to ensure their luck for the year. You may have to channel surf a bit before you
find this one.

Feb. 19th: Hog Calling Contest, Weatherford, Oklahoma - Hog calling, a true American pastime
combines excellent hog communication skills along with a pure adoration for these revolting swine.  
You need to become one with the hog in order to succeed in the sport. "I do eat pork. But not if I know
the hog”, said former champion Roxanne Ward in a 1996 interview with the Houston Chronicle.  “I will
go to the store to buy pork chops. But I don't eat my friends.”  OK…Check your local listings or try the
all hick-all the time network.  

Feb. 23rd:  Five Angry Gods and a Contest of Strength, County of Kyoto, Japan - This annual
strongman competition combines steroids, bulging biceps and rice cakes.  The cakes, weighing up
to 150 kilo-grams for men and 90 kilo-grams for women are hardly the Quaker rice cakes packed with
bursting flavors, most of us are accustomed to.  Don’t forget to pre-program the TiVo.  

Sometime in February: Camel Wrestling Festival, Seljuk, Turkey - This inhumane, testosterone
releasing event pairing man versus camel gives the men as well as the camels a healthy outlet to
alleviate stress, and release tension.  The last man or camel that remains standing or doesn’t get
flagged for eye gauging is deemed the winner.  Contact your satellite provider for dates and times.  

March 5th: Carnival of the Deer Man, Castelnuovo del Volturno, Isernia
County, Italy
- This epic saga between a grown man dressed up in an
deer outfit and a holy man acting as a saint is probably more than enough
to make Bambi’s ancestors shutter in their thickets.  The regular man
morphed into an impervious, antlered brute, comes down from the hills to
wreck havoc among herds of cattle until confronted by a saintly figure
wearing a fairy-hat.  The holy man succeeds where the cattle could not, by
summoning a nearby hunter who blows softly into the antlered beast’s
ear that in turn destroys the sins and evils of the past year.  It makes
perfect sense.   Check your TV guide for times and channel, but if anyone
on the show asks you to drink the kool-aid, please refrain.  

By this point of the lackluster sports month, most of you will be having visions of bracket logy dancing
in your heads, but before you completely slip back into the normal sports routine, there is one more
event that you should start thinking about.  It requires preparation.  

July 7th: Wife Carrying Championships, Sonkajärvi, Finland - With early
roots dating back to the early 1800’s when men actually did sneak into
neighboring towns and carry fellow mates’ wives off into the night, this
humorous yet competitive event, which grossed 500 million viewers last
year, is entering its 14th year in Finland.  Men must carry their wives a
tumultuous 253.5 meters, over sand, grass, gravel and water hazards,
stopping only to throw back the “wife carrying drink,” at special
checkpoints.  Before the barbarian in you tries to pull a fast one and buy that six-teen year old, sixty-
five pound exchange student from down the street a one-way ticket to Finland to claim certain victory,
you should know these two simple rules: (Provided by the
official website of the games)

1.  “The wife to be carried may be your own, the neighbour’s or you may have found her farther afield;
she must, however, be over 17 years of age. The minimum weight of the wife to be carried is 49
kilos.”  (You’d have to get out a scale and your abacus to figure that out in pounds).

2.  “If a contestant drops his wife that couple will be fined 15 seconds per drop.” (After a swift kick in
the groin from your angry wife, a 15 second penalty won’t seem so bad).  

Before you start to lose it and start joining a snorkeling league, entering Go Fish tournaments, or
hopscotch competitions, simply follow these simple guidelines I’ve created and the names Peyton,
Madden, Holmgren and Roethlisberger, will soon only be a figment of your imagination.  You’ll be on
the road to recovery.  

On the other hand, you may wake up in a cold sweat after haunting images of antlered deer men,
fighting camels and bare-bottomed men visit you in your dreams.  Good luck, and I’ll see you on
March 16th…