Build a Better Offseason: Recommendations for the Week of April 1

Syracuse Punched Their Ticket to the Final Four This Weekend; You Should Probably Watch Them in Atlanta

Syracuse Punched Their Tickets to the Final Four This Weekend; You Should Probably Watch Them in Atlanta

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.

Beer

HopDevil IPA, by Victory Brewing Company in Downington, PA (American IPA, 6.7% ABV)

HopDevil IPA isn’t overly expensive or generally unavailable, so some may be surprised by just how full-flavored this beer ends up being. A traditional American IPA in every sense, it mixes the right amount of hops with a delicious aroma that combines floral and fruity notes while still maintaining a bold sense of character. Going down smooth, drinking HopDevil is not a chore, but rather, an enjoyable exercise you can easily pair with something as simple as a warm afternoon. You can find it pretty much nationwide (possibly excluding the south), either on tap or more commonly, at your local adult beverage retailer.

Book

The Postmortal,” by Drew Magary (2011)

For a writer that specializes in an especially profane brand of humor (certainly not complaining), Drew Magary seems to conjure up a pretty realistic sense of helplessness and sadness here in his first foray into fiction. Without giving too much away, Magary’s main character, John Farrell, lives in a world where they’ve just discovered the cure for aging. And as many pieces of science fiction have shown before, the consequences for positive developments fail to always remain that way. When I first read this book last year, I couldn’t put it down, and wrapped it up in a matter of three days. Plan accordingly.

Movie

Orange County (2002)

When I first saw this movie as a 14-year old, I don’t think I quite appreciated what it was; a smarter, more clever comedy about college than many of its peers. It’s not an amazing film by any means. Rather, it’s just a lot better than many movies that came out around that time, especially those others involving Jack Black. Here, he plays sideshow to Colin Hanks, who is predictably dry and pessimistic, counter to Black’s zany antics. In particular, Black’s exchange with firefighters about a fire he started still draws some serious laughs from this end of the couch.

Sports

NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament: Final Four (starting Saturday, April 6 at 6:09 p.m. ET)

MY ALMA MATER HAS REACHED THE FINAL FOUR. I cannot tell you how many times I have screamed those words about Syracuse, be it audibly, through Facbeook or text message or Twitter. And yet, it never gets old for this long-time fan. It’s still up in the air whether or not I’ll be headed to Atlanta myself (any readers interested in sending me?), but regardless, Saturday’s matchups provide two great games for casual and serious spectators alike. Can Wichita State continue its storybook run and topple presumptive favorite Louisville? And what of the vaunted Syracuse 2-3 zone? Can it put a stop to Michigan‘s top-notch perimeter shooters? Admittedly, I have no ability to focus on things other than Saturday’s Orange-Wolverines game right now.

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: “Reunion: Part Two” – Monday, April 1 at 9 p.m. ET (Bravo)

This was on already, but oh well… Basically, host Andy Cohen once again allows the show’s lead characters to repeatedly toss each other under the bus while he “moderates” the conversation. As is customary, some of the husbands unfortunately show up to clear the air on some things that were said and defend their women from other women. This typically goes wrong. But in the end, everyone hugs and makes up because without the other ones, each of these individuals would mean nothing to 99.9-percent of the U.S. population.

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