A Saturday Without Football. Well, At Least Your Lawn Might Be Happy.

It’s almost appropriate that we’re having a warming trend here in La-La Land today, because the last time there was a Saturday without some sort of football on the tube, it was a LOT warmer.

If you count pre-season professional and Week 0 college games, and, face it, what hard-core football fan wouldn’t?, you’d have to go back to early August to find a Saturday where some game somewhere wasn’t being contested.

In fact, if you’re a REAL addict, you’d probably need to amend that.  Thanks to the Canadian Football League, whose pre-season starts in June, and the only partially overlapping seasons of the XFL and USFL, the former of which began their 3.0 version a mere six days following Super Bowl 57, you’d likely have to go back to the second week of April 2022 to find a weekend devoid of pigskin with a result one could gamble on.  And if you’re REALLY REALLY a nut, probably a couple weeks earlier still, as we know how prolific spring college games have begun (thank you, ESPN+).

January used to be a time when significant college football all-star games were played on Saturdays, with the absolute best of the recently completed season being showcased on national television before full stadiums for one last hurrah.  ABC used to make a junket out of the Hula Bowl, giving it the same time slot and announcers that had given the games of autumn contested in crisper climates a well-deserved Hawaiian vacation.  These days, the Hula Bowl is actually contested on the campus of the University of Central Florida in Orlando during holiday break.  One look at the crowd size clearly visible from the 2024 highlights for a game that aired in complete obscurity two weeks ago on CBS Sports Network should tell you how much it mattered.

It took a website as obscure as G5 FOOTBALL DAILY on FanNation to even provide a list of standouts, and let’s just say they’re probably not being drafter anytime before Day Two at April’s NFL draft.

But, alas, there was no college football at all last weekend, as the “best weekend of pro football” was deemed more than enough for the record audience that watched.  And since the now-merged UFL won’t attempt to launch their 2024 season until March 30th, there will actually be a few weeks ahead where we’ll simply have to make do with those boring winter sports and, eventually, spring training exhibition games.

But we do still get the Senior Bowl next weekend, and two days before that the 99th installment of the East-West Shrine Game, being contested for the first time in prime time in Frisco, Texas.  Much like the Hula Bowl, these will not be top-tier players with significant NIL deals already in place.  But the 75th all-star showcase in beautiful Mobile WILL be getting at least one familiar face to moi, per the game website’s Jim Nagy:


Height: 5-foot-9 (e)

Weight: 210 pounds (e)

The top running backs in most drafts are usually juniors, but this year might be different. Marshawn Lloyd, who transferred from South Carolina to USC last summer and averaged 7.1 yards per carry this fall for the Trojans.

He is our top-graded RB this cycle, so it wouldn’t be surprising if he’s the first runner off the board in April. Lloyd has the combination of contact balance and explosive juice that most elite runners at the next level possess. Lloyd is an early favorite as one of the top risers coming out of Mobile.

What, you don’t remember what I did on one of those summer weekends where only exhibition pro night games were being contested? 

I don’t even have that option any more.

As for what y’all can do to bide your time. well, there is a Major League Mowing competition.  If you’ve got one, by my count, with the exception of next weekend, you’ve got a clear window to getting it back into shape.





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