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The Countdown

A bottom-to-top assessment of the F.B.S. landscape heading into the 2012 season.

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230 Things to Occupy 230 Long Days

There are 230 days until Aug. 30, when a few lucky teams jump ahead of the curve and start the 2012 season on a Thursday, not a Saturday. And for that, the teams in question — I know Utah is one — earn our love and affection. But that lies way, way in the future, and the question now becomes how we fill our college football-free days. For 230 days, here are 230 ideas. Not all are possible; some of us are pretty busy, and the next time I do 230 things over 230 days will be the first time, I must admit. But nonetheless, the list:

1. Watch whatever anyone else wants to watch on TV.
2. Take your significant other out to dinner — his or her choice.
3. Vacuum the floors.
4. Make a new set of house keys.
5. Get the car washed.
6. Rent “The Wire” online, watch it again.
7. Go swimming.
8. Go to one N.B.A. game — but that’s it.
9. Buy a new cereal bowl.
10. Shovel the driveway.
11. Don’t drink for a week.
12. Get a library card.
13. Hit someone in the face with a water balloon.
14. Listen to old-fashioned FM radio.
15. Follow baseball’s hot stove, tracking Prince Fielder.
16. Don’t watch ESPN for two days.
17. Go to a daytime baseball game.
18. Get life insurance — this is important.
19. Clear out the stuff underneath the sink.
20. Wear a tuxedo.
21. Get the inside of your car detailed.
22. Buy a new shower curtain.
23. Read five books.
24. Get a new job, or at least charter a new career path.
25. Watch Kentucky play basketball.
26. Trim the hedges.
27. Complete every Tuesday crossword for a month.
28. Follow through on a long-overdue insurance check.
29. Write a letter to your local representative.
30. Visit the dentist.
31. Write out your team’s depth chart in pencil.
32. Go to a baseball game, keep score.
33. Watch Florida’s spring game.
34. Watch Ohio State’s spring game.
35. Take out the trash.
36. Get a new dog or cat.
37. Buy a new coffee table.
38. Watch Trent Richardson bench at the combine.
39. Try out a new deodorant.
40. Drink less beer.
41. Drink more red wine.
42. Drink less diet soda.
43. Drink more water.
44. Change your cable provider.
45. Vote in a presidential primary, if applicable.
46. Plan your official vote in November.
47. Check for 2011 season replays.
48. Admire your team’s draft in April.
49. Hate your draft — Redskins edition.
50. Buy coasters.
51. Get a tan.
52. Drink 25 different beers.
53. Learn how to play chess.
54. Don’t watch cable news for a month.
55. Run Dana Holgorsen’s passing tree.
56. Watch high school kids play football.
57. Read a newspaper.
58. Shave every day.
59. Wear flip-flops as often as possible.
60. Buy a new suit.
61. One night, go to bed at 7 p.m.
62. Get a Twitter account.
63. Get a fake email for prank purposes.
64. Learn how to say “hello” in 15 languages.
65. Read a book on presidential history.
66. Think about 1995 Nebraska.
67. Imagine ’95 Nebraska against 2011 Alabama.
68. Imagine ’11 Alabama vs. ’01 Miami.
69. Imagine ’01 Miami vs. ’95 Nebraska.
70. Imagine ’95 Nebraska vs. ’71 Nebraska.
71. Imagine ’95 Nebraska vs. ’95 New York Jets.
72. Go through your old baseball cards.
73. Eat a piece of steak.
74. Visit five different states.
75. Chew some gum.
76. Check your account balance online.
77. Reorder your sock drawer.
78. Give a younger person a wedgie.
79. Use a microscope.
80. Think about Nick Saban.
81. Think about Urban Meyer.
82. Think about which is the better coach.
83. Fly in a plane.
84. Make your own chocolate milk.
85. Play fantasy baseball.
86. Paint a picture using watercolors.
87. Try to kick a field goal.
88. Balance your checkbook.
89. Build a castle using Legos.
90. Get a physical.
91. Try out five different toothpastes.
92. Draw a stick-figure representation of yourself.
93. Buy bread.
94. Buy peanut butter and jelly.
95. Make a sandwich with toasted bread.
96. Eat only eggs for one entire day.
97. Eat only cereal for one entire day.
98. Make ice cubes out of liquor.
99. Pretend to be sick, stay home from work.
100. Count to 1,000.
101. Learn to juggle.
102. Rate passersby on attractiveness.
103. See five Academy Award-nominated movies.
104. Shine a pair of shoes.
105. Ride a New York City subway.
106. Don’t use chewing tobacco for a month.
107. Delete old numbers from your phone.
108. Plan a vacation to Hawaii.
109. Buy a new lampshade.
110. Look into buying a new laptop.
111. Google your name.
112. Rent a movie from an actual video store.
113. Get a new cell phone.
114. Clean out the garage.
115. Hit 10 free throws in a row.
116. Make a three-pointer.
117. Go fishing.
118. Throw a big rock through a plate-glass window.
119. Imagine Nick Saban coaching your team.
120. Imagine Chad Morris leading your offense.
121. Imagine Greg Mattison leading your defense.
122. Imagine Todd Monken with the quarterbacks.
123. Imagine Gunter Brewer with the receivers.
124. Imagine Bob Bostad with the offensive line.
125. Imagine Gary Campbell with the running backs.
126. Imagine Odell Haggins with the defensive line.
127. Imagine Sal Sunseri with the linebackers.
128. Imagine Ron Cooper with the secondary.
129. Don’t wash your hair for a week.
130. Use only pens for a week.
131. Go to Mexico.
132. Go out to bar and drink water all night.
133. Make a compost heap in your backyard.
134. Grow a mustache.
135. Grow a beard.
136. Shave your head.
137. Track the ensuing Peyton Manning drama.
138. Learn how to conjugate verbs in Polish.
139. Imagine Matt Barkley’s senior season.
140. Go duck hunting in Mississippi.
142. Sleep in a sleeping bag.
143. Grout the tiles in the shower.
144. Don’t drink coffee for a week.
145. Buy the best coffee you can afford.
146. Buy a box of Lucky Charms.
147. Root, root, root for the home team.
148. Give your best Bo Pelini impersonation.
149. Go to a zoo.
150. Do 100 pushups.
151. Read a book on the Russian revolution.
152. Apply for a college coaching position.
153. Get Chip Kelly to yell at you.
154. Belch loudly in a public place.
155. Eat a bucket of fried chicken.
156. Give your best Mike Stoops impersonation.
157. Clear out the TiVo.
158. Ride a girl’s bicycle.
159. Free an elephant from the circus.
160. Call someone from a pay phone.
161. Make chicken noodle soup from scratch.
162. Get the flu.
163. Sleep on a park bench.
164. Put a week’s paycheck into a savings account.
165. Make fresh-squeezed orange juice.
166. Hold your breath for one minute.
167. Roll through a stop sign.
168. Go deer hunting.
169. Cut down a tree.
170. Drink one case of beer in 24 hours.
171. Throw a baby in the air.
172. Catch a baby thrown in the air.
173. Go to Canada.
174. Archive your old emails.
175. Eat a bag of potato chips.
176. Put a swimming pool in your backyard.
177. Lose $250 gambling on the Olympics.
178. Clean out four freezer.
179. Read a book about Alexander Hamilton.
180. Walk around a college campus.
181. Drive 100 miles on I-95.
182. Flip your stance on Tim Tebow.
183. Play two rounds of golf.
184. Eat a tuna fish sandwich on whole wheat toast.
185. Email Dan Snyder, illustrate your displeasure.
186. Clap your hands likes Les Miles.
187. Chop wood, start a fire.
188. Throw a Frisbee around.
189. Play the lottery.
190. Give a speech in public.
191. Go to a wedding, refuse to dance.
192. Go to a wedding, embarrass yourself.
193. Get married, if you want.
194. Don’t use air conditioning for a week.
195. Subscribe to a new magazine.
196. Apply daily as directed.
197. Watch only the History Channel for a week.
198. Imagine Terry Bowden coaching at Akron.
199. Chew grass in victory.
200. Grill meat outside.
201. Imagine Kansas’ 2012 season.
202. Prepare for U.S.C.’s return to prominence.
203. Visit a Civil War battlefield.
204. Urinate on the side of a highway.
205. Take one karate class.
206. Put bacon on everything for one day.
207. Give your best Ed Orgeron impersonation.
208. Lose 10 pounds.
209. Eat three hot dogs in an hour.
210. Bring your glove to a baseball game.
211. Email me with your fondest football memory.
212. Play Sudoku on your phone.
213. Go bowling.
214. Take your favorite suit to the tailors.
215. Pick your preseason all-American team.
216. Pick your 2012 national champion.
217. Pick your 2012 Heisman winner.
218. Pick your 2012 Locksley winner.
219. Gargle with warm salt water.
220. Ride in a New York City taxi.
221. Move to a different city.
222. Become friends with a French person.
223. Grow one inch taller.
224. Buy a great pillow.
225. Listen to the Grateful Dead.
226. Buy a king-sized bag of Skittles.
227. Email your sibling a picture of a large woman.
228. Buy a wall-sized calendar.
229. Buy a red pen.
230. Mark each passing day until Aug. 30.

You can also follow Paul Myerberg and Pre-Snap Read on Twitter.

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  1. DMK says:

    Wonderful stuff, Paul.

    I can make it through signing day okay, but after that … ouch.

    I’ve developed a sort of Pavlovian hatred of the NBA.

  2. Noefli says:

    Why so serious?

  3. Burnt Orange says:

    Great list.

    If I could add one suggestion – eat a breakfast on a bun with sausage from Whataburger. In fact, am headed out the door to do so.

  4. dave says:

    Ah yes, ’95 Nebraska.

    Good list!

  5. BobJ says:

    Pitchers and catchers report on February 19, by and large. The Dead Zone in sports is the time from now until then, so I’ll try to compress your wildly imaginative list into that space. Somewhat Joycean, it is.

    What I’m really waiting for is that magic month from mid-June to mid-July when there is only golf and baseball. No hockey, no basketball, no pro football.

  6. Adam Nettina says:

    Paul, I noticed your options including cereal, and could not help but speculate we may both share a certain nostalgic kinship for sugar in cartoon character form. I sincerely hope this is the case. Any favorites you have? I highly suggest Waffle Crisp if you can find it.

  7. Hokieshibe says:

    I’ve got to say, the Skins did pretty well in the draft last year… I mean, Helu, Hankerson, and Kerrigan all look like potential long-term players. Maybe we can start liking them now that Cerrato is gone.

  8. Clayton says:

    I think 102 was my favorite. But all were hilarious.

  9. John Lawrence says:

    The Wire rocked. Best tv show. “You know what big hands mean?!…You know what big hands mean?!”

  10. DaU!!!!! says:

    I did #226. Those skittles lasts a lifetime.

  11. Grateful J says:

    Great list. #32 and #225 will get me through the summer.

  12. Ezra says:

    if you’re lucky, your school’s baseball team can ease late May and June with post-season baseball, and (hopefully) a trip to Omaha…

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