College football’s offseason is more than two months old already, but that means there’s still six months until the 2013 season. It’s an eternity for any college football fan, and while many of us indulge in watching other sports, it just can’t compare to fall Saturdays.
With that in mind, we bring you the latest installment of our weekly feature, “Build a Better Offseason.” Every seven days or so, we’ll provide recommendations on what to do with all your free time now that you’re not all-consumed by college football, specifically focusing on beers, books, movies and other, non-college football sporting events. There’s also “this week in shame,” which you can view at the bottom of each piece.
Inception, by Triple Voodoo Brewing in San Francisco, CA (Belgian Tripel, 8% ABV)
Calling Triple Voodoo’s Inception a pure Belgian Tripel would be oversimplifying it too much — as the brewing company itself even calls out. Its Belgian-style ale contains all the characteristics of a traditional Tripel, but with a completely different brewing composition. More hops and a darker finish manage to merge all the best qualities of Trappist ales and IPAs, pleasing fans of either with a unique blend of flavors. Even with all that boldness, it still manages to go down smooth — a surprising, yet welcome aspect of the brew. Unfortunately for most readers, this one’s only available in California (Northern and Southern), but if you’re out here, it’s easy enough to find it on draft or in 22 oz. bottles.
“How Few Remain,” by Harry Turtledove (1998)
Admittedly, you may want to check out Turtledove’s “Guns of the South” prequel first, but I don’t believe it’s an absolute necessity in reading this one. For fans of alternate history, “How Few Remain” is an incredibly detailed an well-researched look into what could’ve happened had the Confederacy won the Civil War and continued to exist south of the United States border (the Mason/Dixon line, in this case). Turtledove obviously has a background in military research, with an emphasis on battles and tactics within this alternate second Civil War, but what I found most intriguing was the societal impacts and the depth in which he alters known historical figures. This is the first in a series of nine books (spanning from this war through World War II), so you may end up getting hooked. But if so, you’ve been warned, and also encouraged to do so.
North By Northwest (1959)
There’s no point in “reviewing” this film at any length, because so many others have already done so in much better fashion than I could ever hope to. But for those who don’t spend a ton of time with movies made prior to the 70s or so (surprisingly, many of these people do exist), I’d highly recommend North by Northwest. It’s an Alfred Hitchcock film, sure, but what you get instead of a pure-play thriller (as would usually be his norm) is a fun, yet suspenseful spy drama. Incredibly well-written, it’s also aided by the acting chops of the legendary Cary Grant, who puts in (in my opinion) one of his career’s best performances here.
While I do dislike both of these programs (sorry, it’s just so easy to), it’s hard to deny how entertaining this game will be. Two teams that typically do very well in March, led by two Hall of Fame-level coaches. The Sweet 16 features a ton of great matchups and storylines, but for the national audience, this game likely takes the cake. Duke hasn’t looked overly impressive thus far, but they’re likely to still be (slightly) favored in a very close game. It can be argued that MSU has also yet to be challenged yet this tournament, adding another wrinkle to the narrative.
This Week in Shame
Like most guys in a committed relationship, I’ve unwillingly seen my fair share of horrendous reality television (usually propagated by Bravo or ABC), and every so often become interested in what goes on within the program. This is a safe space to point out those programs while providing a quick FAQ for those unacquainted already.
The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills: “Finale”/”Reunion Part One” – Monday, March 18 at 9 p.m. ET (ABC)
This should all be pretty self-explanatory: Over-indulged bimbos get together for a fancy, over-the-top vow renewal. The “women” start arguing and yelling at each other. Everyone gets over it. Then more crying and drinking (in some order). Just when you thought it was over, they all get together on a couch with Andy Cohen and do some more yelling at each other, rehashing on-air feuds and Twitter wars. Cohen smirks through this entire ordeal, eggs on childish behavior and reads tweets from people who have nothing better to do but analyze the show’s activities.