Let's face it, there's not much out there that can match the spectacle and excitement of the NFL. However, with the Draft officially out of the way and still a few months to kill, we realise that there are those of you out there who will start stiff-arming old ladies at the Supermarket for the last can of Dr Pepper if you don't get a of football hit pretty soon. In the interest of public safety then here is a list of '5 Pre-Season NFL Alternatives: The Pros and Cons' to help you through this difficult time.
5. The Arena Football League It looks like football, sounds like football....but brother, it ain't football. Arena football, which was actually invented way back in 1981 (not in the cult movie Starship Troopers as some would believe), is a modified version of regular football played between teams of eight in turfed indoor arenas. The games are fast and hectic, with the biggest indoor league, the AFL, running between March and July each year. Despite running in the NFL offseason arena football has had a history over the years that makes Pac-Man Jones' look like smooth sailing, with a number of franchises and competitions coming and going. It is still very much viewed as a bit of laugh by hardcore football fans, and is perhaps best viewed as just a God-Damn football snack by NFL worshippers. Pros: Fast paced, plenty of touchdowns for the fans and a good nursery for late blooming talent ala Kurt Warner. Cons: There's a chance things might become repetitive after the thirtieth touchdown, and any league where a one-legged Terrell Owens dominates is something to be wary of.
4. The Lingerie Football League http://youtu.be/LaNl460ykv4 Similar in many ways to arena football, the Lingerie Football League (LFL) is a modified version of American football played in indoor arenas on shrunken fields. Played by, err, women in their underwear. Making the transition from Supr Bowl half-time entertainment option to full on league in 2009, the LFL sees two teams of seven battle it out for a place in the end of season Lingerie Bowl, all the whilst avoiding wardrobe malfunctions and randy frat boys. Whilst previously running alongside the NFL calendar, the next season of the LFL is set to start in April 2013 to mirror other indoor football leagues. What will the LFL's athletic female warriors be doing in the meantime you ask? Ohh, only taking over the world, with exhibition games in Mexico, Canada and....Australia! Pros: A chance to see some top-level female athletes display their talents in a rock-em, sock-em high intensity sporting experience, Cons: Try selling the above to your better half.
3. The Canadian Football League http://youtu.be/d5BFaykcxGg Ahhh good old Canadian football, a sure sign that the NFL is not too far away. With its season beginning in June, the CFL is a great way to get your football fix in a competition with an amazing history and fan base until the NFL regular season begins. Hang on a second though, what's that extra bloke doing on the field? Why is the punter coming on at 3rd down? And why the hell can I only find eight teams for my fantasy squad? Yep, they do things a little bit differently in Canada, with a host of subtle rule changes and field dimensions just enough to confuse the beejesus out of anyone without a maple leaf tattoo. Still, Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson used to play, so that's good enough for me! Pros: One less down makes for some great passing plays and the 'rouge' law certainly adds another element to the game. Cons: The end-zones are the size of an entire arena league field and would make Curtis Painter look like a Hall of Fame quarterback.
2. Madden NFL http://youtu.be/KoYLqQ3D67A Arguably the greatest time-killer ever invented, at least one Madden video game is a must in any true NFL fan's household. With a level of depth and sophistication that makes all other sports sims look like California Games for the Atari 2600, Madden is one NFL alternative that you can't but help get excited about. That is, unless of course you happen to be the poor cursed bloke who gets put on the cover each year. Nice knowing you Megatron. Pros: Ultra realistic, oodles of fun and the closest you'll ever get to putting a big shot on Tim Tebow. Cons: More addictive than cocaine laced ice-cream and not recommended for anyone studying or trying to hold down any semi-important job. Or relationship for that matter.
1. Football Movies http://youtu.be/mZ7ZpLgkVxA Americans sure do love their sport, and everyone knows they love their cinema-put the two together and BOOM! You've got....well, some mixed results really. The first football movie was made in 1925 and Hollywood has been churning them out ever since. More often than not they are great money spinners for studios at the box office, however at times they are let down by some optimistic casting. I.e., Could any real football fan believe that the metalhead slacker from Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure could play quarterback for a professional franchise? Totally bogus dude! On the other hand though football movies have given us some of film's greatest single moments ( I still get a bit misty eyed at the end of Rudy), so I guess you just have to take the bad with the good on this one. Beats watching the latest Chad Ochocinco reality show anyway. Pros: When done properly can be hugely entertaining, though provoking and downright inspiring Cons: For every Remember the Titans or Friday Night Lights there is some piece of utter, utter drivel released like, say The Garbage Picking Field Goal Kicking Philadelphie Phenomenon. Yes, that movie does actually exist.