The Dreaded Bye Week

by Ronald A. Rowe January 25th, 2013 | Weekend Preview
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snowboardIt’s the dreaded bye week between the NFL Conference Championships and the Super Bowl. Whatever shall we do? Whatever shall we watch? I’m so glad you asked. Here are the Top 5 suggestions to fill that football-shaped void in your heart this weekend.

#5 The Farmers Insurance Open
Nothing promotes interest in the game of golf like Tiger Woods. If Woods is playing well, PGA fans come from out of the ubiquitous woodwork. If he’s playing poorly, the haters come out. If he’s alternately attempting to win back his ex-wife and wooing a fellow famous athlete performing well in a major tournament, well — that’s got to be good, right?

#4 Hockey
Our panel of experts could not narrow the choice down to just one game. There is action on the ice for the first time since the Kings hoisted Lord Stanley’s Cup in long-ago 2012. Seven games on Friday, eight apiece on Saturday and Sunday. Watch as many as you can because the season is short and will be over again before you know it.

#3 The X-Games
Who needs football when you’ve got crazy snow-themed athletic events? There’s snow-skiing, snow-boarding, snow-mobiling, and all of it with the panache of the X-Games. Not just any X-Games. This is the first, the wintery-est, and the most American X-Games of the year. Shawn White got off to a rough start on Thursday, but hey, he’s Shawn White, so we think he’ll be OK. In fact, we’re betting on better than OK. We’re counting on White to deliver at least one jaw-dropping “that can’t be possible” moment before the sun sets over Aspen on Sunday.

#2 The Australian Open
There have been some major upsets and surprises along the way, but ultimately the men’s bracket of the Australian Open fell into place just as you’d expect, with the top four seeds playing for a shot at the Finals this weekend. The women’s bracket, on the other hand, was a wild and wooly ride to an unexpected Finals match. Serena Williams? Long gone. Maria Sharapova? Outta here. #1 seed Victoria Azarenka? Well, she’s still fighting. She’ll face long shot Na Li of China in the Finals this weekend.

#1 The Pro Bowl
Oh, yeah. That’s right. There is football to be watched this weekend. It isn’t the kind where the players try very hard or actually play any defense or anything. It’s more the kind where the superstars of the NFL show off and try to avoid getting hurt. Still, it is NFL football, and the penultimate game of the season at that, so it beats everything else.

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