David White: Lined up for a (mostly) football-free summer

The Fresno BeeMay 24, 2014 

Serena Williams hits a returns while her coach, Patrick Mouratoglou, looks on during a training session Saturday for the French Open, which begins Sunday with Williams the top women's seed. Later this summer, she'll likely be chasing her sixth titles at both Wimbledon and the U.S. Open.

MICHEL EULER — Associated Press

Football's over. Now what?

The Fresno State football team has been long parked in summer vacation. The NFL does nothing of consequence until training camp in late July -- and if you're breathlessly clicking the web page's refresh button for offseason workout dispatches, a friendly word:

Put on your pants. Go for a long walk. Find out your kids' names again.

It's time to survive a concussion-free summer without football. We know you can do it, because you're going to cut-n-clip this handy schedule and use it to have a sporting good time with your family.

You know, family? Your husband/wife and the kids. For crying out loud, the ones sitting next to you on the couch. We give up.

A head's-up: watching NFL Network from this point on is punishable by death via Raider fan.

• Sunday: Grab a milk jug. Tune into the Indy 500 (see racing, auto). Root for whoever starts last, just to see how that game of catch-up works out. Stop asking out loud why they never make right turns.

• Friday: Pump up the deflated basketball in the garage. Watch Game 6 of the NBA Eastern Conference finals (yes, there will be one). Ask yourself how you never knew Indiana Pacers star Thomas George would become such a beast when he played for Fresno State. Lament that he's still no LeBron James as the Miami Heat win the series.

(And no, they are not playing the Lakers in the Finals, so stop asking, '80s boy.)

• June 7: Put on some jockey goggles. Turn on the Belmont Stakes. Make the neighbors shut the windows as you yell and scream for the Valley's own California Chrome to run to the Triple Crown victory. Celebrate by barbecuing a marbled steak from Chrome's Harris Ranch birthplace for dinner.

• June 16: Join the rest of the planet. Put on the World Cup (of soccer, because we know you're wondering). Watch the United States play Ghana. Protest the loss by arguing you don't remember Ghana ever being a nation when you took junior high geography. In all other games, honor the state of your personal savings account by rooting for the team with the lowest GNP.

(That requires you to pretend you know what GNP stands for. And no, it isn't a football stat.)

• June 21: Fill the gas tank. Drive to Visalia to watch the Class-A Rawhide play the San Jose Other Giants. The Rawhide. They used to be the Oaks. I don't know why they ruined a good nickname, either. Just park far enough away from the stadium to keep your car windshield unshattered.

• June 28: Pack a canteen. Head over to a Fresno Grizzlies game as they extend quarters privileges to the Salt Lake Bees. Get your free Tim Lincecum bobblehead. Use Wite-Out to eliminate his lousy excuse of a moustache, not to be mistaken for his lousy excuse for a speedball these days.

• July 5: Pour a cup of high tea. Check out the ladies final at Wimbledon -- you remember it as the tennis tournament where John McEnroe breaks things. Hope American top seed Serena Williams is playing. Yell "Huzzah!" every time she breaks serve.

• July 12: Strap on your safety-first biking helmet. Find whatever channel is showing the Tour de France. Find the poor guy who is in last place, and understand he is either the only clean racer in the juiced-up bunch, or he got suckered into the placebo group at the local PED ring.

• July 17: Extend your restraining order against NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, who is Facebook-stalking you to come back. Flip to the British Open of golf. Ask why they keep showing the guy in 103rd place. Then, realize that's the gawking sight of Tiger Woods still chasing the majors record, except he isn't anymore.

Now, and only now, can you get ready for some football.

The columnist can be reached at bydw@sbcglobal.net and on Twitter @bydavidwhite.

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