February sucks. Apologies if your birthday is in February, but your month blows. Here in NE Ohio, it’s always grey, it rains, then it snows, then the snow melts and leaves mud and slush, then it snows again, then the cycle repeats, then it’s 30 below, then its 30, everyone is sick, and there are 46 days of this. February is awful. The one bright spot in this is college basketball. Every night there are a handful of conference games well worth watching. More than that, Xavier is usually gearing up for a run into March with genuinely meaningful games.
To add to the usual misery of a month that is nothing more than a testimony to misery, Xavier is bad this year. There are no meaningful games on the schedule, because Xavier is going nowhere. What is the fan fighting off the long descent into the midwinter abyss to do?
Watch more basketball
You can’t go wrong with college basketball. (We aren’t touching on the NBA here, that’s the WWE in the basketball universe.) Catch late games from The Pit, watch Illinois shock Michigan State behind Ayo Dosunmu nervelessly banging threes on back to back late game possessions, listen to the Kansas State crowd follow up a hopefully radio edited version of Mo Bamba by chanting a definitely not radio edited “F*** KU” late in their win over the Jayhawks. All of that happened just last night. There are more games tonight, there are more tomorrow night. Jump into college basketball all over the country. If you want to see something that looks like a good Xavier team, Louisville is running a lot of familiar actions on offense and actually playing defense.
Watch another sport
European soccer is getting into the meat of its schedule right now. In England the top two teams are virtually inseparable, the top six are all in a mad scramble for Champions League spots. Speaking of, the Champions League knockout stages are about to begin in their own right. In Germany, US savior Christian Pulisic is fighting for a spot in Dortmund’s squad before he transfers to become part of the wallpaper at Chelsea. And before you say anything about soccer being boring, please mind that if you watch baseball or American football you haven’t a leg to stand on.
Speaking of baseball, pitchers and catchers will report soon. The Reds have had an exciting offseason, capped by adding the absolutely awesome ball of crazy that is Yasiel Puig. Part of the excitement this season will come from him realizing Cincinnati isn’t LA and trying to avoid causing trouble in his increasingly desperate attempts not to die of boredom. Boredom is, of course, the only way Cleveland Indians fans can react to their teams offseason, which seems to have comprised mostly of an attempt to be the first team in baseball history to have no professional outfielders. Great stuff, guys!
If those aren’t enough for you, the Omloop het Nieuwsblad kicks off the Flanders Classics for cycling in less than a month. If dudes riding bikes across cobbled roads and steep hills sounds fun, I’d recommend checking it out. You could also really get invested in Eliud Kipchoge trying to become the first human to run a two hour marathon. See? There’s lots of stuff going on.
Take up a hobby
Everyone participates in February’s unofficial hobby: counting the reasons not to end it all. There’s nothing wrong with adding something else to that, though. It doesn’t have to be all that warm to run outside, so you can always layer up, throw on a windbreaker for the inevitable rain/snow mix, and log some hard miles. If you’re really masochistic (and we don’t judge), you can ride your bike in the cold. One advantage to that is being numb keeps the falls from not seeing black ice from hurting quite as much. Fun!
Are you one of our readers that lives somewhere sunny? You can try to push everyone else on your social media feeds over the edge with an endless string of pictures of sunsets, walks for ice cream, and anything else that you think can get away with before someone from the Midwest tracks you down. If you’re stuck here on February 33rd with the rest of us, you can take some time to plan a vacation to somewhere nicer (Sweden? The Republic of Georgia?) next February. Why be here now if you don’t have to be?
Be a wank on social media
This seems to be a really popular one this February. Someone says something not delusionally optimistic about your favorite basketball team? Definitely send them a tweet telling them exactly what a useless piece of bottom feeding, scum sucking, relations with a goat having dirt person they are for saying something like that on the internet. Be sure to let them know that you never insult anyone online, except human refuse like them. Someone trying to mine that silver lining (“Paul Scruggs sure looks good!)? Tweet at them to let them know how unbelievably out of touch, naive, Pollyannaish, reality denying, and just generally stupid they are. Do you work for ESPN? Watch an 11 second clip of one of the most genuinle friendly and approachable coaches in the game and milk that 15 seconds of grandstanding fame for all its worth. How dare he not bend the knee to media members asking questions he literally can’t answer? The nerve. Make sure that none of your takes contain an iota of nuance. We don’t do that here.
It’s February. Xavier is playing out the string. Spring is coming, but it’s such a long way off. You can make it. We’re all in this together. Unless you don’t like our ideas, then we’re coming for you on Twitter.