Howe: Five Ways to Pass the Time without Hawkeye Football this Fall

September 5, 2020

Written by Rob Howe

Hawkeye Nation

IOWA CITY, Iowa – As I start this column, I worry that by the time it’s published new reports regarding the Big Ten’s decision to postpone Fall football will surface. It’s a daily occurrence often starting with false hope that games will be played and then ending with Lucy pulling away the ball from Charlie Brown, all of us collectively falling on our backs.

Be that as it may, we’re not going to see the conference competing in September, and the middle of October will take some doing. Iowa workouts are shut down until at least Labor Day and its next padded practice will be its first since December. It would take about six weeks from a return to training to compete in games.

That means we’ll probably be without the Hawkeyes for the next two months, at least. It’s a void everyone around here will be trying to fill. There won’t be an acceptable substitute, but Iowans will make the best of a depressing situation. They’re well versed in it this year.

We can all use some help with ideas now that exhaustion of 2020 taken hold. That’s where I come in. Here are five ways to pass the time without Iowa Football:

5. Yard Work – It’s a big “no” for me, dog. I’ll probably end up addressing the grounds at my East Iowa City residence but readily admit it will be the bare minimum. That’s how I roll. I do enough to keep the neighbors off my back.

There are people that enjoy it. I have a friend in Urbandale, whose nickname is Jackass (no, seriously), who falls into that category. I’ll refrain from commenting on him beyond that.

Plenty of Iowa folks have spent enough time in their yards to cover the rest of their lives after the Derecho hit last month. You guys are excused from this activity…forever.

4. Family Time – Stop rolling your eyes. Just because the last six months served as a time for reconnecting in your house doesn’t mean you should be rushing to move on. For many of us, it’s been the best part of the pandemic.

We’re eating dinner together again with many of the activities that were keeping us apart having been shut down. We’re catching up after years of being ships passing in the night. The conversations are important.

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With Saturdays open this fall, extend your time with loved ones. Ride a bike. Take a walk. Enjoy some of the best weather of the year as a family.

3. Pick Another Team to Support – Iowa State is playing. You can jump on the Cyclones’ bandwagon. Surely you know family and friends who would welcome you with open arms as opposed to trash talking each other per usual.

Nah? Yeah, well, certainly plenty of you would rather just punt on watching college football instead of rooting for your cross-state rival. It’s understandable.

As of now, three Power 5 conferences still are planning to play. Plenty of alternatives to Iowa State exist. Maybe buy cow bells and pull for Mississippi State. Those things aren’t annoying at all.

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2. Read a Book – You can even find a Hawkeye-related page-turners. I recommend Emotion in Motion: The Life and Legacy of Chris Street by HN’s Rick Brown. Hayden Fry: A High Porch Picnic by Iowa’s legendary football coach with longtime sports information director George Wine is a no-brainer.

I’m finishing up The Great Gamble: At What Price?, a thriller novel by David Bluder, the husband of Hawkeye women’s basketball coach Lisa Bluder. It’s a fun read with a lot of Iowa references.

Some other ideas are Chuck Long: Destine for Greatness, Iowa Hawkeyes by Buck Turnbull, The Ironmen: The 1939 Hawkeyes , and Tales from the Iowa Hawkeyes Sideline by Ron Maly. There are plenty of others you can find through a Google search. Sorry if I left out your favorite.

1. Bing Watch TV Shows – I was going to go with community volunteering in this spot, but we all should be doing that anyway. Plenty of people would welcome help amid the crap show that is ’20.

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Mix that with some mindless entertainment for balance in your life. Find a television series or two (or three) to rest your brain. There are so many good ones catering to each of our interests and likes.

Here are some of my favorite completed series: The Wire, Deadwood, Sons of Anarchy, Seinfeld, The Sopranos, The Leftovers, Cheers, Game of Thrones, Breaking Bad, Boardwalk Empire, Mad Men, Fleabag.

Here are some current shows I’m liking: The Handmaid’s Tale, Better Call Saul, Ozark, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Killing Eve, Succession, Barry, Stranger Things.

I could go on but I already realize I may have a problem after going through this exercise. I’m sure you’ve seen many of the shows listed if you share the same addiction to TV. It’s part of our heritage.

Accepting that I will not be rehabilitated, I can use some programs to bing. Please send recommendations my way. Thanks in advance.

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