Life After the Superbowl

Millions of American men and a dozen or so women are going through the painful ordeal of football withdrawal.
by Jim Fair | Source:

Yes, it is gone from our televisions for several months.

It happens at this time every year; the Superbowl not only crowns the champion of football, but closes the season. (Yes, I know there is an all-star game a week later, but that isn’t a serious football game – just a vacation in Hawaii for some of the better players.)

During this delicate transition time, sports addicts often turn to basketball. To many, however, it is unfulfilling. The games are shorter, so you see fewer clever commercials.

A few television sports fans turn to hockey. (Of course, folks in Canada were always tuned to hockey – but that is another column.) The problem with hockey is that it is difficult for people with average vision to watch on the tube. Frankly, I can never find the puck.

Oh, there are other sporting events that turn up on the airwaves – wrestling, ice skating and the world’s strongest man competition.

But I would like to propose an alternative. Yes, there is both life and television viewing after football. And it could be something other than sports.

One of my favorite alternatives is Turner Classic Movies, a channel provided in most basic cable and satellite services. TCM describes itself like this: Turner Classic Movies presents the greatest motion pictures of all time from one of the largest film libraries in the world.

As you can assume from the “classic” word in the name, these are not movies that just came out on DVD. These are movies from years ago, starting with silent films through recent decades.

Some are old favorites. Some may be great movies you never saw, perhaps because you weren’t born when they were in theaters. But if you haven’t ever seen a movie, it is new for you even if produced in 1947.

There are lots of great films on TCM. Because many are from decades past, they showcase the attention of the directors to lost arts like dialogue, lighting and blocking.

You won’t get today’s special effects, but you might get John Wayne, Jimmy Stewart, Debbie Reynolds, Ginger Rogers and a host of great stars. To me, they beat football and special effects.

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