Aaron Rodgers is off to Disney World, Rex Ryan and his wife are shopping for blitz-me pumps with stiletto heels, Christina Aguilera is brushing up on her lyrics and Jay Cutler is trying to develop some toughness, in the event one of the lingerie football expansion teams needs a backup with limited playoff experience.
And they already played the Pro Bowl.
Football season officially is over. So now what?
Voluntary spring training reporting date for pitchers, catchers and injured players is Monday. (This doesn't mean you, Jay Cutler. It said injured players.)
I overheard two women talking at Albertsons the other day. Fearing the Monday after Super Bowl Sunday, one said she'd rather watch grass grow at the Georgia Dome than watch a Braves game. I was going to tell her the Georgia Dome doesn't have grass, but she seemed to know her sports and probably already knew that about the Georgia Dome, and that might have been her point.
It's times like these when I wish George Carlin were still alive, because he knows that in football, "the object is for the quarterback, also known as the field general, to be on target with his aerial assault, riddling the defense by hitting his receivers with deadly accuracy in spite of the blitz, even if he has to use the shotgun. With short bullet passes and long bombs, he marches his troops into enemy territory, balancing this aerial assault with a sustained ground attack that punches holes in the forward wall of the enemy's defensive line."
And that the object of baseball is to be "safe at home," and that seems more comforting.
This is why I went out to Cashman Field on Monday. About a hundred people -- baseball people, my kind of people, George Carlin's kind of people -- were standing in line, waiting for tickets for Big League Weekend to go on sale.
It'll be the Cubs vs. the Reds on March 12; Cubs vs. Dodgers on March 13. Both games will feature the dreaded split squads (read: too many guys wearing numbers in the 70s). But at least the games will start at 1:05 p.m., during the day, when baseball is meant to be played, and not at 7:05 p.m., when the desert wind literally will frost your backside. Especially if you have seats in the aluminum bleachers.
Tickets went on sale at noon. George Johnson was there at 10 a.m. He was wearing an Angels cap and an Angels print shirt with little icons marking the Angels' proud baseball past, such as The Rally Monkey, and fans who arrive in the second inning and leave in the bottom of the sixth.
Johnson was the second person in line. I didn't have the heart to tell him the Angels would be playing the Indians in Goodyear, Ariz., on March 12, but he read my mind -- it's a short trip. He said he had some pals who were Dodgers fans and there's nothing like watching a ballgame on a sunny, 66-degree day such as Monday, although I sort of put words into his mouth on that last part.
A few minutes later Johnson walked away from the window with eight tickets in his hand and a smile on his face, probably because he had just saved $52.00 in convenience charges and $20 more he would've been charged had he printed the tickets online at home.
"No fences behind us, no screens in front of us," Johnson said to one of his Dodgers pals on his cell phone. Any baseball fan knows these things are important, and that to buy tickets behind a fence or in front of a screen would be criminal when you're the second guy in line. Although not as criminal as paying those Ticketmaster charges.
The first person in line was Sandra Gonzales, who grew up in the shadow of DePaul University on Chicago's near northwest side, three "L" stops on the Red Line from Wrigley Field. She arrived at Cashman Field at 9 a.m., and although it wasn't necessary to get up that early to get good tickets, she's a Cubs fan, and ... well ...
Las Vegas Review-Journal columnist Ron Kantowski can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-383-0352.