Now that the Packers season is over and I realize that I really don't give a hoot who wins the Super Bowl, it's time to realize that there are other things in life besides Aaron Rodgers.
We've got a window here to do things that are important and fun. Here are the top 10 things to do now that the football season is over. Some sports, some other stuff.
- Follow the Bucks. I watched them kick the butt of the New York Knicks on Friday night. And I mean kick their butts. Remember when people complained that the Bucks didn't have any tough guys? How we needed to ﬁnd some ﬁghters to join this team. Well, check out Brandon Jennings, Beno Udrich, Ersan Ilyasova, Andrew Bogut and the ever-pugnacious Scott Skiles. I might not take this team to win the NBA title but I'd like them on my side in a rumble. Watching Jennings get in the face of and mock superstar Carmelo Anthony was worth the price of admission. Taunting, yes. But great, great taunting. Then to top it off, they showed that their defensive stats are no ﬂuke by beating the Heat in Miami on Sunday night.
- Go sporting where you haven't sported before. UWM, Marquette, roller derby, the Wave, Admirals, MSOE hockey, high school basketball. You may or may not like it, but there's nothing like attending a sporting event you haven't been to before.
- Church. Remember church? The place with hard wooden seats. They ask for money, but unlike a ticket to a Brewers game, the cash is voluntary. You get to go even if you don't pay. Try that at Miller Park. Church is good for your pocketbook and good for your soul. A combination that's hard to beat.
- Go read a book. Remember books? They have weight and real paper and pages and ink. Go read "The Art of Fielding" by Chad Harbach. It's taken the reading world by storm. It's set in Wisconsin. It's got baseball and a great shortstop. And it's not about sports at all. It's about loyalty and friendship. And it's the best book I've read in years.
- Do a new sport. Go sledding with some kids. Play table tennis. Try walking with snowshoes. Go for a walk in a park. Shovel a clear spot and try to kick a field goal. Outdoor courts are shoveled so go shoot some hoops. Go play ping pong. Try ice skating. It's a nice way to spend a Sunday afternoon.
- Visit a school and offer to volunteer for something. You can help with lunch or help with a kid who's falling behind in reading or math. It's not a rock and roll feeling but it will make you feel like a nice happy waltz. And the kid will be grateful.
- Fix something that needs ﬁxing. It doesn't have to be a big deal. It can be as simple as a leaky faucet. But identify the problem, develop a plan of action, and make it better. The idea of standing back, holding your wrench, and showing someone how that damn faucet doesn't leak anymore is a source of great joy.
- Learn how to play a fantasy sport. I play fantasy golf. But there are dozens of fantasy sports out there. You can get real involved or just be a dabbler, but no matter how you play you can combine sports with a test of how much you know. If you don't let it get out of control it can be fun. The danger, of course, is that you may end up getting enrolled in Fantasy Players Anonymous, a 12-step program of healing.
- Pick some sports ﬁgure and try to get him or her on the phone. I used to do stuff like this for a living. Treat it like a game. It can be an absolute blast. You feel like Colombo or something. One clue leads to another clue and so forth. When you ﬁnally make the connection, the satisfaction is immense.
- Write a detailed letter to Ted Thompson. Don't make it grumpy or anything. Make it constructive and humble. Tell him what you think would help make the Packers better next year. Offer your suggestions, but make sure they're suggestions, not demands. See what Ted says when he writes you back.
With a history in Milwaukee stretching back decades, Dave tries to bring a unique perspective to his writing, whether it's sports, politics, theater or any other issue.
He's seen Milwaukee grow, suffer pangs of growth, strive for success and has been involved in many efforts to both shape and re-shape the city. He's a happy man, now that he's quit playing golf, and enjoys music, his children and grandchildren and the myriad of sports in this state. He loves great food and hates bullies and people who think they are smarter than everyone else.
This whole Internet thing continues to baffle him, but he's willing to play the game as long as OnMilwaukee.com keeps lending him a helping hand. He is constantly amazed that just a few dedicated people can provide so much news and information to a hungry public.
Despite some opinions to the contrary, Dave likes most stuff. But he is a skeptic who constantly wonders about the world around him. So many questions, so few answers.