If you live north of I-70 you can be forgiven for thinking summer is still a long way off. Frost warnings, Facebook updates about snow, and first pitch temperatures in Cleveland of 42 degrees don't really bring to mind beaches and fireworks. [n.b. It is slightly warmer than that as I finish this] Of course, summer is nearly here and it will bring with it the absolute doldrums of the college basketball fans' year. So, to keep your mind off that, here's a few suggestions to help fill the time.
1. Train for something
Boredom and eating tend to go hand in hand (you are an American, right?) so it's important to keep from ballooning up due to a constant diet of hot dogs and 2 am Taco Bell runs that seem like a good idea at the time. To help combat that, the entire Banners staff has taken up running as a good way to relieve the summer boredom. Yes, there's nothing as mentally thrilling as slogging through a good twelve mile run in 85 degree heat. Actually, running is just as boring, but at least you burn a few calories and get to be bored by slightly different scenery. Open to suggestion? The Towpath Marathon is a fun event and, more importantly, is pancake flat.
2. Check in on Xavier
Yes, even the summer occasionally brings news, and not the kind you want to miss. Last summer was a miasma of transfers, expulsions, disqualifications, and assorted other messes. None of it was fun, but people who weren't paying attention probably received quite a shock when Dez Wells was nowhere to be seen during the FDU game. We've not had anything quite that shocking happen this year, but don't miss it if it does.
3. Find something else to follow
All the brain space that went into arguing about why Jeff Robinson was so bad has to be used for something now. Sure, you could start to pay more attention at your job or maybe take some summer classes, but that doesn't really seem all that amusing. Instead, find another team to follow. We'll assume that most of you are Reds fans, but that shouldn't keep you from making intelligent choices elsewhere. Professional cycling holds three grand tours over the summer, Chelsea FC will be touring the states, and Ohio is replete with minor league baseball teams from Lake County all the way south to Dayton. In short, there's no need to panic and start actually working at work.
4. Tweet at us
Yes, it would take a lot of tweets to fill all the free time that college basketball leaves, but Joel and I each have Twitter on our phones and a burning desire to be distracted. @Bannersparkway is our handle, and we absolutely will argue nearly anything (except politics) with you. Rumor, innuendo, insults about the Indians (we outscored the Reds 16-15!), obscure Tupac lyrics, and all manner of conversation starters are accepted. In exchange, we'll use Twitter to keep you up to date on any recruitment news, signings, or coaching staff changes as they happen.
5. Take in some Ohio culture
Are you laughing at that idea? Consider this: Ohio boasts the Cleveland Philharmonic, Great Lakes Science Center, Playhouse Square, and the Cleveland Museum of Art. That's all before you leave the banks of the Cuyahoga. Also available for your leisure time are the Aronoff Center and Fountain Square in Cincinnati, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base and National Museum, several restaurants that have been featured on the Travel Channel, the Perry International Peace Memorial, Marblehead Lighthouse, and whatever there is in Toledo.
So that's five ways you can fill the time until basketball comes back around. Still, summer drags by for those of us raised thinking that 84 degrees is hot and that nothing beats an offshore breeze and falling leaves. Hopefully, something on this list piques your interest to plug the holes until basketball rolls back into view.