In my ideal world, this NFL season would have concluded with a Jets/Bears showdown in Dallas. Mark Sanchez, Chicago going nuts. It would have been perfect. Of course, it didn't happen.

Not only did my ideal fantasy Super Bowl not happen, my dystopian 1984 style worst case scenario anti-fantasy happened: Ben Roethlisberger and his wayward genitals are now set to face off with the Green Bay Packers, a team my raised-a-Minnesota Vikings fan soul was groomed from childhood to despise. Faced with the dismaying prospect of having to cheer for the same team as the people who would attend Sunday mass at St. Dominic's Catholic Church wearing green and gold Favre jerseys or for the team quarterbacked by a hulking, nationally known creep, I've made the painful decision to forgo watching the big game. Yes, I'm missing out on a cultural event, and yes, I'm sure some Crazy Shit is going to happen that I won't be able to talk about at work tomorrow, but it's a sacrifice I'm willing to make.

It's not all bad, though, even for someone who enjoys the on-field action of football and who more than once elicited a hearty groan from a non-sports fan friend by referring to a block as "pretty" and a well-executed route as "fucking symphonic." My choice to not watch the Super Bowl is freeing up time that, for most Americans, is blocked off. The streets will be empty. I'll get so much done, and you can, too.

1. Go to the gym and fiddle around with the weight machines.
All of the really beefy brodudes who usually grunt and groan all over the side of the gym not dotted with ellipticals are watching the game tonight. If you're intimidated by the typical sexual divide and don't want to embarrass yourself in front of the testosterone-engorged triceps that normally camp by the free weights, head to the gym and lord over the weight room. Familiarize yourself with what machines you like, which weight levels are comfortable, and so next time, you can strut around like you own the place. Judgey looks be damned!

2. Go grocery shopping, but not for chips.
No one will be at the grocery store. The snack foods and alcoholic beverages will be a little picked through, but you might be able to have a surprisingly headache free grocery trip if you go while everyone's glued to their TV's.

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3. Do some day drinking at a small, scene-y bar that normally intimidates you.
You can go highbrow and meander into the place with the fancy track lighting or lowbrow and read Howl while nursing a beer and camping beneath a taxidermied buffalo head.

4. Sit quietly in your apartment and try to guess which team your neighbor's Super Bowl party is supporting.

5. Watch the Puppy Bowl.
Duh.

6. Get a manicure or pedicure.
This isn't 1975; it's normal for women to care about sports now and thus most women will be watching the game as well. Ladyspaces as well as manspaces will be nearly equally vacant.

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7. Cook something crazy.
You have all evening to whip up something you've never whipped up before, and if you make a mistake, blame Aaron Rodgers.

8. Turn your TV and computer off and read a book.
You have a whole shelf full of books that you haven't read. Don't lie! I know you do. I see all. Pick up one of those books that you never got around to reading and read. At the very least, you'll emerge from Super Bowl Sunday with a detached air of disdainful intellectual superiority.

9. Walk around outside and pretend like the rapture already happened and God and the ghost of Knute Rockne took all the football fans away.

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10. Organize your closet.
There is a pile of clothes on your bedroom floor that you've been saying you'd clean up for months. Won't you feel better once it's not there anymore?