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Off Topic Empire: The Offseason Is An Insufferable Driving Commute

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This is just some time that has to pass before the good parts of life can resume.

We're three months into the college football offseason with nearly five left. For the addicts among us, spring ball is just enough of a hit to remind us of what we're missing but not enough of a fix to take us back to a time when our cravings were satisfied. We'll have to make do with it though because soon, the spring practices will be over and we will have to tide ourselves over on recruiting rumors and speculation. We at Off Tackle Empire have plans to guide the masses of lost souls through this dark time, but personally I am finding myself overwhelmed with the inability to wait for football.

I had an internship one summer for which I had to commute roughly 20 miles, most of which was on I-55 in the south suburbs. There was absolutely nothing I could do; my living situation was fixed, and there really was no better route than to fight the stop-and-go traffic. This meant my commute home was just an hour to an hour and a half of my life that I would have to spend in a car, thinking about what I would do when the halfway-fulfilling part of my life resumed.

Occasionally, though, I'd just lose my mind and yell about how much I hated that this has to be a part of how I conduct my day. That's what I'm doing in this post, except my day is my year and the offseason is my commute.

Sure, good things can happen. A traffic light that seems to know your car makes the uncommon decision to let you pass through its intersection; a blue-chip prospect from out of state can suddenly bolster your defensive line's future. But nobody ever remembers a commute or an offseason unless something bad happened. An unexpected transfer or decommit. Some asshole in a 12-year-old compact dives in front of you with no signal because you weren't alpha enough to avoid leaving a gap a few inches longer than his car. He then flips you off for no apparent reason. (That's Jim Harbaugh, by the way). Your star receiver injures his knee in a non-contact drill. You get rear-ended by someone who was following you too closely, pull over, and get out only to witness your assailant throwing a completely unwarranted tantrum (that is also Jim Harbaugh, FYI). The long arm of the law apprehends some of your players for violent crimes, causing you to reflect on whether they failed the university or the university failed them. The traffic moves above the absurdly unnecessary 55-mph speed limit just long enough for an officer to pick you out of the hundreds of other cars also going 67 and write you a ticket, even though there's a light blue pickup doing 120 with a bunch of wanted men brandishing assault rifles sitting on top of gigantic bags of weed in the bed. And it has illegal window tint to boot.

Even in a best-case scenario, your commute is boring and seems to never end. Even an offseason where you don't suffer key injuries and fire your head coach is a massive chore to push through. Right now, I feel like I've gotten on an elliptical and put on some music, determined to go a while and get some good cardio in before I even look at the time, only to sneak a peek while feeling great about myself and find that I've only been at it for eight minutes. How can I have only spent 8 minutes here?! Ok, so I'm a little more than a quarter of the way done, and if I can make it to nine minutes, I'm 30% of the way to my goal. So then with every minute, I get 3.333% closer...so every second gets me 0.0556% of the way to my 30 minutes. Wow, I must have killed some time doing that math in my head. WHAT? 8:48?!?! Is this an elliptical, inverted version of The Flash's cosmic treadmill that is using my sub-standard human energy to slow down time? It doesn't look like the gym is moving in slow motion. If you started from the international date line at midnight and had a private jet, how long could you spend on the same date if you flew West at the right time? I guess it would kind of depend on how fast you could fly, weather conditions and latitude. Wait, there aren't a lot of  places from which you could take off right on the international date line, are there? I wonder how much an entry-level seaplane costs? Well, certainly more than I can afford. Man. How can I save more money? Well, I guess I'd spend less money on gas if I weighed less, so I'd better do some cardio, which I'm doing right now and SERIOUSLY ONLY 10:14?!?!

I can't wait for football to happen again.