No more NFL? No problem

Now that the NFL season is officially over following the New Orleans Saints’ victory over the Indianapolis Colts in Super Bowl XLIV, football fans across the nation are forced to move on and reluctantly embrace the league’s offseason — which means plenty of coverage of the labor war that many could care less about but that could ultimately have major effects on the league as we know it.

But there’s no place for that kind of negative energy here at the NFP and the Daily Jolt. We try to focus on life’s positive vibes and how to get through the many gloomy months without fresh NFL action.

So because we’re all going to have a lot of free time on our hands, here’s a little primer on how to get you through the rest of the winter, an all-too-short spring and the dog days of summer without seeing my girl Rachel Nichols break it down like no other reporter can.

2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics: I must admit I’m an Olympics fanatic — both the Winter and Summer games. I know I’m in the minority and I know my fascination is over the top (I have every Olympics on tape since the ’96 Games in Atlanta). But for two weeks, there’s nothing better than lying around in your pajamas all day, drinking coffee and watching a little downhill skiing — especially when it involves American hottie Lindsey Vonn. Don’t be shy, add her.

Editor’s Note: I will be the NFP’s official Olympic correspondent for the upcoming games. And if you’re lucky enough to have found this article on the NFP’s Daily Jolt main page, the beauty gracing the page is American skeleton racer Katie Uhlaender. She’s my boo, in case anyone tries to make a play.

Pitchers and catchers reporting: Pretty soon, baseball will take center stage in our lives once again. Can’t it still be America’s pastime? Well, maybe not if you’re a Pittsburgh Pirates fan. Why doesn’t the franchise bring back Barry Bonds to get some fannies in the seats as the Seattle Mariners did last offseason by bringing back Junior Griffey. Certainly collusion wouldn’t get in the way of that move, would it?

March Madness: The only basketball postseason worth watching. There’s nothing better than the opening weekend of the tournament, specifically the first two days when every male in America has a case of the "swine flu" — with the only effective medicine being two days off of work and consecutive days at the bar from Noon to Midnight ET. Gus Johnson’s electric voice, cheerleaders and upsets galore? Can’t beat it.

Tiger Woods’ imminent return to golf: I must admit that I never really became wrapped up in the Tiger saga, basically because we shouldn’t be surprised anymore by the lives some athletes choose to live off of the field. But I do look forward to hearing some of the taunts from the gallery courtesy of the microphones close to the tee box. If I was a paying customer I think it would almost be worth it to get kicked out of the event if you could get one good insult in on Woods. Besides, Tiger’s supposed to be the best in the world, right? What’s a little one-liner going to do to his game?

The Stanley Cup playoffs: Simply the best postseason of any major sport. While the hockey season is definitely too long, you cannot beat the drama of a best-of-seven series. Even if you’re not a hockey fan, Mike Emerick’s play-by-play will pull you in. The problem is actually finding these games on television, as the Versus network doesn’t exactly do the greatest job of promoting the fastest game on earth. Hopefully your nearest city has a team in the playoff hunt; as a lifelong Chicago Blackhawks fan, I’m lucky in that my chances of seeing a deep playoff run are pretty good. However, I have to deal with the team’s fair-weather fans on an everyday basis — that’s not an easy thing to do.

French Open and Wimbledon tennis: You may be able to see the rising starlet Maria Kirilenko. Need I say more? I didn’t think so.

And finally, the new AF1 football league: I refuse to bash this league, as it just signed a legitimate deal with NFL Network, and I’ll never slam any athlete wanting to play any level of pro football. It’s just going to be tough to watch a product that I really don’t have much interest in. I’m a 100-yard field guy only — but if you’re desperately in need of pigskin, you can watch this startup from April until August.

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