No, Pack, no! 5 ways to weather the Packers bye week
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At almost the halfway point of the NFL’s regular season, there hasn’t been much to complain about in the way of Packers football. Green Bay has won all seven of its games—many of those in convincing fashion—while Aaron Rodgers has solidified his name on the shortlist of star quarterbacks. Ever since a loss in Week 15 of last season, the Pack has won a franchise-record 13 straight regular season and playoff games. Admittedly, we here at The A.V. Club aren’t always right in our sports predictions, but we can say with extreme confidence that the currently undefeated Green Bay Packers will not win this weekend. No, Green Bay’s failure to claim a Week 8 win has nothing to do with the team’s suspect pass defense, its difficulty establishing a respectable rush attack, or the silly notion that another team could potentially outscore them at the end of four quarters. Rather, only league schedulers could effectively stop—well, temporarily halt—the Packers.
Yes, bye week has arrived. And while the week off gives players and personnel a chance to spend time with their families, rest the wounds incurred in the arduous first seven games, and consider using an athletic supporter, the bye leaves fans in a lurch. Though the thought of a Packers-free Sunday amid an undefeated season is scary, we’ll get through it somehow. Here are just a few ways to survive bye week.
Keep Halloween going
If you consult your Milwaukee and Madison Halloween show guides, you’ll find that the majority of the holiday happenings occur on Friday and Saturday night (even though Halloween falls on the following Monday). But don’t be so quick to wash off your zombie face paint or remove the plastic fetuses from that outdated Octomom getup. Let the weekend’s last day—in all its fortunately timed, Packer-less glory—serve as an invitation to let the costumed fun continue. If nothing else, a disguise will help you get through an otherwise bleak day in which you won’t get to see Clay Matthews destroy an opposing QB, Mason Crosby nail a 144-yard chip shot, or A.J. Hawk flip off his teammates.
Spend time with loved ones
Though most Wisconsin residents are inherently football fans, there may be a select few people in your life who don’t consider watching grown men knock each other down for three-plus hours to be part of an acceptable Sunday ritual. Bye week presents a perfect chance to visit out of town relatives, tend to your children, take your significant other apple picking, or do something equally un-amusing. When it comes to things you’d rather not do when football is on, bye week presents a world of possibilities!
Get better acquainted with the rest of the league
Even though four to six games are televised on network and basic cable TV between noon each Sunday and every Monday night, keeping up with the goings-on outside the NFC North can be difficult. Sure, you know the Miami Dolphins are terrible, but have you actually seen how terrible they are? With much of the civilized world involved in fantasy football, Sunday’s games also present a rare opportunity to guiltlessly keep tabs on your squad’s non-Packers players without feeling the need to turn back to the Pack. You’ll be amazed at the ugliness of Joe Flacco.
Of all the post-breakfast and pre-lunch meals out there, brunch is one of the best around. In lieu of noontime football viewing, why not consider getting blotto on beermosas while gorging yourself on omelets, breakfast burritos, and burgers incorporating fried eggs? Feel free to not answer that, mostly because there is no answer.
Re-live past Packers glory
Ah, the wonders of modern technology! We live in a magical future world in which cars have the ability to parallel park themselves, a smartphone application can answer almost any question (before eventually becoming self-aware and killing you), and anyone off the street has the ability to purchase a synthetic reproduction of their favorite adult film star’s genitalia. Another modern wonder is the prevalence of recorded videos of historic events, including sports. If you simply can’t go an autumnal weekend without seeing the green and gold in action, pop in the latest Super Bowl DVD, or (if you’re feeling extra nostalgic) your VHS tape from the storied Super Bowl XXXI season. Seeing Craig Newsome in action will give you a whole new appreciation for Charles Woodson.