College football’s offseason is two months old already, but that means there’s still a little under 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 sporting events. There’s also “this week in shame,” which you can view at the bottom of each piece.
Hoptologist DIPA, by Knee Deep Brewing Company in Lincoln, CA (Imperial/Double IPA, 9% ABV)
Enjoy hops? Like, a lot of hops? Knee Deep’s Hoptologist DIPA is exactly what you’re looking for. From both an aroma and taste perspective, this beer is chock-full of hops, as well as a generous selection of citrus flavoring. While I’d certainly characterize the finish as “bitter,” I’d assume you already know what you’re getting into if you grab a brew like this, and thus, embrace that element. Availability-wise, this one’s actually not as difficult to find as you’d assume. If you’re in California, you should just be able to stop into your local BevMo to find it (especially in Southern California) in 22 oz. bottles. But Colorado, Idaho and Ohio also have it pretty well-stocked (at least according to the brewery’s web site, anyway).
“The Silver Linings Playbook,” by Matthew Quick (2008)
Yes, most people know this story at this point after watching the critically-acclaimed film starring Bradley Cooper and America’s Sweetheart, Jennifer Lawrence. But while the movie stays true to parts of the book, the novel’s narrative does go much deeper into the sadder and more violent parts of protagonist Pat Peoples’s life. Whether you’ve seen the movie or not, the book is an easy, yet powerful read, a smart and personal look at mental illness and how our society’s perception of it all is a bit off-base. Don’t look at it as preachy — the book is far from it. Rather, see it as educational for those of us who don’t personally deal with these issues on a daily basis.
I feel like this movie is never really talked about, which is odd, because I believe it’s one of the better roles star Justin Long has ever played. He’s a believable underdog, and an inspired leader — not the best leader, of course, but certainly fits the bill this film calls for. With a PG-13 rating, what Accepted lacks in typical tropes comedies of that time period throws out, it makes up for in creating jokes that actually land (raunchiness aside). In that regard, Long’s quips fall perfectly and effortlessly as a commentary on the state of Greek culture and academic culture at many institutions. I would never sit here and call this movie “great,” by any means, but if you’re looking for a surprisingly prescient and honest look at mid-00s college culture, it’s tough to top Accepted.
NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament (CBS, Turner Networks, TruTV; various times starting Thursday)
I shouldn’t even need to point out the fact that the NCAA Tournament is on this week, but here we go anyway. This year’s tournament takes the typical elements that make the process a crapshoot and amplify them, though, as I could legitimately see as many as 20 different teams cutting down the nets in April. Obviously, I’m pulling for my own Syracuse Orange, but regardless of who you’re respectively rooting for, it’ll be hard to look away from your television for the next four weeks.
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: “A Vodka Shot Through the Heart” – Monday, March 18 at 9 p.m. ET (ABC)
This will likely be on in my apartment at some point this week, and when it is, I’ll do everything I can to tune it out. Make no mistake, all of these women are absolutely insufferable, and their husbands are mostly shells of people as well. According to Wikipedia, this week’s episode features the launch of a vodka company (sure?), a divorce (believable) and a fight (surprise!). I’m curious if the alcoholic in the group — surprisingly not the one who’s launching the vodka company — continues to be an alcoholic this week. Plus, while I do appreciate Lisa Vanderpump’s contributions on her spin-off show, Vanderpump Rules, I can’t say I’m a fan of her rat-looking dog and flippant remarks on this program.