Football season is in full swing. From the thrills of prep action under the Friday night lights, to the collegiate gridiron slugfests of Saturdays, to the professional bouts each Sunday, football fans’ weekend calendars are booked through the end of the year.
Even if you are not attending one (or more) games each weekend, the excitement of watching football every weekend can begin to feel more like an obligation as the season drags on, especially if your favorite team is not living up to your lofty (albeit possibly delusional) preseason expectations. Football is practically a religion in New Orleans, but even the most ardent Saints fan needs a break from visiting the Black and Gold cathedral downtown.
The Saints bye week is scheduled for the weekend of October 9, and it’s the perfect opportunity to break your weekly football marathon to embark on some new adventures. Grab some friends, a pet or yourself and experience life beyond four quarters and overpriced beer (but don’t forget to set your fantasy football lineup Saturday night) with these five suggestions on how to spend your football bye week, sans jersey.
For all the joy football season brings to legions of fans, it also coops people up for most of the weekend each fall. If the weather cooperates, spend a beautiful afternoon in the great outdoors. Plan a picnic, take a walk in your favorite park, grab the golf clubs for a round of 18 holes, or organize a pickup football game to relive your athletic glory days.
Brunch it up!
The one major downside to attending a football game is that the stadium menu is usually limited to hotdogs and nachos. Embrace the bye week and head out on a culinary excursion to that neighborhood brunch spot you’ve been dying to check out. Trust me, Eggs Benedict or a three-cheese omelet beats popcorn and cotton candy any day.
Thousands of tourists flock to New Orleans annually to experience the ambience and culture of our beloved city. Whether it’s with a significant other, friends or a solo endeavor, book a hotel room in the French Quarter for the weekend. Get lost in the touristy part of the Crescent City usually reserved for our out of town brethren and immerse yourself in the music, food and fun times this city is known for around the globe.
Finalize your Halloween plans
It’s never too early to figure out your agenda for the scariest night of the year. With the Saints bye week scheduled for mid-October, Black and Gold fans have the perfect opportunity to begin prepping for Halloween. Adorn your house with spooky decorations and choose your costume (or at least narrow it down to a few options) for the big night. Will it be scary, skanky or topical? During the bye week, you have time to choose.
Catch up on life
Balancing family, work and a social life can be challenging (first world problems, I know), and adding weekly football-related activities can stretch a person thin. Use the bye week to invest in yourself. Investing in you manifests itself in many different ways for everyone. Maybe you need to catch up on work, finish that book you started weeks ago or tidy up around the house. Catch up with a friend over coffee, grab a few extra hours of much needed sleep or binge-watch that show all your friends and co-workers have been raving about (I hear FX’s Atlanta is exquisite).
However you choose to spend your weekend, the important thing to remember is to have fun! Don’t feel guilty about taking a break from monitoring your fantasy team minute-by-minute or rooting for your other favorite NFL teams. I promise, football will always welcome you back with open arms.
Follow Andrew @TheOtherAA