Saturday, December 24, 2005

Prepare for the NFL Football Playoffs for Your Best Experiences Ever!

Good morning, Fantastic Football Fans!

Are you feeling motivated this morning? I certainly hope so. I know that I am!

Most people follow the NFL playoff picture from the perspective of their favorite team. If that team is in the playoffs . . . or is in the hunt for a playoff berth, then life is great!

But as soon as their team is eliminated from the running, the season ends for such a fan. That's too bad.

Frankly, there's not a lot else to look forward to in the way of interesting sports during January and February after the college bowl games are over. And football will be inactive for almost half a year until training camp reopens.

Why not squeeze the most out of the experience in the next seven weeks?

I won't discuss the betting element, but I would like to encourage you to think about the emotional perspective. Give yourself more to cheer about!

What do I mean by that?

Add some new loyalties and interests!

1. If you are able to divide your loyalties a little, pick some other teams that interest you which you can root for . . . if your team falls by the wayside due to some unfortunate event.

Some people are even able to root for one team in the AFC and one in the NFC. That makes the playoffs potentially much more interesting.

But then, behind each time, have second, third and fourth teams that you would like to see do well.

It doesn't matter why you pick them . . . but it's often great fun to go for the underdogs.

In picking the teams, keep one eye on the idea that you want to have a team to root for in the Super Bowl.

That means that if all of your teams are eliminated, you're just going to have to pick another team. If you pick another team before the last of your four is gone, you'll feel happier. So try to keep four that you are focused on all the time.

As you know, I bleed for the New England Patriots. But looking beyond them in the AFC, I have to get excited about what the Cincinnati Bengals are doing. I hope that the Patriots will have a chance to face and defeat Indianapolis and Pittsburgh, but I have to admire what both teams have done so far. That gives me four to think about in the AFC. In the NFC, I can't help but be interested in Seattle, New York and Chicago. They are playing interesting football.

2. Start learning about and watching the other teams now.

That's easy for me this week. New England has clinched and has a meaningless game against the Jets on Monday night. I can watch as many games as I want today and tomorrow involving the other teams without any sense of conflict.

Based on what I see, I can start to develop some temporary attachments . . . just in case.

If you don't already have Direct TV, this is a good time to put it in. You'll have more choices of games to watch next week.

3. Pick some individual performers to watch more closely.

These don't have to be great stars. They can just be interesting stories. How well will Deion Sanders do in his latest comeback? Will Mike Vrabel catch another touchdown pass this season? Will Corey Dillon regain his Championship form of last season by the first round of the playoffs? How well will Eli Manning hold up at the end of the season? Will Drew Brees put the Chargers into the playoffs with his arm?

I suggest you look past fantasy football as you do this. The top performers are not necessarily the most interesting stories emotionally.

4. Find a more fun place and way to hang out to watch the games.

Most of us either fill the den, the bedroom or the same local beer joint. But you can have more fun if you share the experience with a few friends. Invite them over for next weekend . . . or suggest a new bar you can hit that someone has recommended. Some of my most fond memories of the playoffs involve bars I had never been in before while I spent time with my family . . . surrounded by television sets, lots of appetizers and pitchers.

This is a particularly good idea for those of us who live in all female households!

5. Find a really outrageous football talk show to listen to.

You know the kind of show I mean . . . where the opinions are rabid, filled with weird ideas and shouted at the top of someone's lungs. This will definitely get your adrenaline going! Shut it off before you get totally annoyed.

6. Preorder your pizza deliveries.

If you wait until half time is about to start, everyone else will be calling. Call before the game and just tell them to deliver early into the half time. The pizza people will be listening to the game, and they will know when to put your pizza in.

7. Go to a playoff game.

I know. I know. That's expensive and hard to do.

But it's not as tough as you think. With sites like, you usually have your pick of inexpensive tickets. Go for standing room at about double face value, and you'll be paying less than many seated fans will at face value. You'll be standing all the game anyway. Why pay for a seat? If you get there early, chances are you can get a standing room spot between the 40s. How sweet is that!

8. Find somebody who owes you a favor in Detroit and start talking about the Super Bowl.

A lot of free tickets float around for Detroit Super Bowls. With all those car companies and suppliers, everyone wants to do everyone a favor . . . and many people end up with extra tickets. You can probably score seats at no cost if someone owes you a favor.

9. Read the headlines every day for the teams you've decided to follow.

You should have over 15 stories to pick from. Many of the stories will be in-depth profiles. Your knowledge about these contenders for your emotional support will grow rapidly.

10. Turn the sound off if the official announcers are idiots.

You know who I mean. They wouldn't know a block from a tackle if it happened to them. They make up weird angles that make no sense about the game . . . because they have to clue what's going on. Football is too much fun to let some announcer spoil your fun.

For the Patriots games, I usually turn the television on with the sound off and listen to the radio coverage instead. The radio audio comes across a second or two ahead of the video feed so it makes it easier to see what's going on.

Could a billionaire do better? Not a chance!

Billionaires are just going to focus on their helicopters, limos and luxury suites (located visually about 12 miles from the field). Who cares!


Please let me know what else you would like to learn, and I'll do my best to help in future blog entries.

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May God bless you. Merry Christmas!

Donald W. Mitchell, Your Dream Concierge

Copyright 2005 Donald W. Mitchell


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