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10 Ways I Could Spend a Fall Without Georgia Football

Florida v Georgia Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

Well, the good news is that all the conferences seem to have a plan for how they are going to go forward with college football this season. The bad news is that, as MIke Tyson put it, “everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.” The mouth in this case being college campuses across the country and the punch being a potential (I might even argue probable) outbreak of coronavirus on said campuses. These campuses, you know, being inhabited by tens of thousands of 18-22 year olds that aren’t generally known for their temperance, self-control, and consistently responsible behavior (and I don’t say this to demonize our college-age compatriots... we’ve all been there). I find it very difficult to believe that such an outbreak wouldn’t find it’s way to coaching staffs and team rosters when we have already seen just that occur while the vast majority of students were off campus.

So while it’s been nice to dream about the season that might be and begin engaging in some good-natured trash talk with opposing fans on social media, it occurs to me that I need to brace myself for what I will do if there comes a point when it becomes clear that the season just can’t happen this year. How would I spend the hours and hours typically devoted to the Georgia Bulldogs and college football each week? What would occupy my time from September (now late September) until early January? Here’s what I’ve got so far:

1) Smoking large quantities of pork and beef for 8-10 hours each Friday/Saturday - As much as I associate this experience with a college football Saturday, I see no reason why I should not continue to enjoy one of life’s simple pleasures.

2) Drinking copious amounts of bourbon - See #1

3) Hydroponic gardening - I’ve been wanting to try my hand at hydroponic gardening for a while now (and yes, the kind that is legal in the state of Georgia), so this seems like a time I could do that.

4) Reading Remembrance of Things Past - Despite the two years I spent as an English major, I managed to avoid Proust altogether. As I understand it, the primary appeal of the novel is being able to say that you’ve read it... and Lord, I do enjoy doing that.

5) Re-watching the entire run of Dawson’s Creek - I re-watch it annually and it’s getting pretty late in the year, so I need to get to it. I feel no shame about my love for the teen melodrama that defined the WB Network in the late 90’s. Say what you will, but it is a show that 100% knows exactly what it is and leans into it for six straight seasons... each more will-they or won’t-they ridiculous than the last. And I challenge you to find me another teen drama featuring a 4-time Academy Award nominee.

6) Developing an appreciation for odd pickled foods - I genuinely enjoy just about every pickled product I’ve ever eaten. That said, I’ve always avoided the more adventurous pickled options (eggs, pigs feet, herring, etc.). I think it’s mostly a perceived texture thing, but I’m not opposed to them in principle. Anyway, no better time than during our trudge through an autumn devoid of football to rectify this shortcoming, I suppose.

7) Voting - Sure it’s only one day... but, yeah, voting is something we should all probably do. In-person. By mail. Hell, let people send their vote in via a hired barbershop quartet for all I care. Regardless, it’s definitely on my list of things to do this fall.

8) Driving to the only Whataburger in the state of Georgia - Thomasville, here I come! What? It’s only a 9 hour 10 minute round trip! In fact, I may make this a multiple times a week thing! Man, I do love me some Whataburger.

9) Trying to “get” Steely Dan - I’ve listened to some Steely Dan and I don’t dislike them... I’m just not sure I “get” Steely Dan. More specifically, people I know who are into Steely Dan are really, really into Steely Dan. And I feel like... why? So with all this added time on my hands, I could do a real deep dive into the entire Steely Dan catalog and find out what I’ve been missing.

10) Worrying about next season and how the Dawgs will once again manage to rip my still-beating heart from my chest and stomp all over it - This one sort of goes without saying.

Alright... that’s what I’ve got planned. I’m sure I’ll come up with some others if the necessity presents itself, but this should at least get me started.

Worst-case scenario: No Georgia Football in 2020. How are you spending your autumn months?