Every-Thing Sports

How I survived football's offseason

New England Patriots website

It's been six long months since we had a meaningful football game. In that same time, there's still plenty of football activity. There's the Scouting Combine, the NFL Draft, NFL free agency, plus Spring practice and games for NCAA teams. These activities are spread out over the course of about three to four of those six months. Mix in minicamps and OTA's (organized team activities for the football acronym-impaired) and there are more doses of that drug we call football. But is it enough to satisfy your cravings? Nine times out of ten, it isn't. In fact, it'll drive most fans crazy. It can make them insane to the point that they'll believe their team is a Super Bowl or CFP contender (that's college football playoff for the football acronym-impaired) when they get a bit of good news coming from an offseason activity. This gives way for prime time hot takes and list culture. You have to find other avenues of entertainment. Here are some of the things I did to survive:

Game of Thrones

The final season of Game of Thrones ran during the football dead period. While many criticized its ending, as well as each episode of the final season, I enjoyed it. It may not have ended the way many wanted or expected, but isn't that a good thing? Good forms of entertainment will suspend your disbelief. Game of Thrones' final season did just that. Sure we can be upset at how it went, but it was still captivating.

Astros

Yordan Alvarez Astros Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

Baseball's fanbase has dwindled tremendously over the last 10 to 20 plus years. Within the last few years, the Astros have become World Series champs and perennial contenders. I used to take my kids to games when they were losing 100 of them a year. Now, I've only gone to a couple since they became this good. These guys are not only good, but also fun to watch as they genuinely enjoy each other and the game itself. After the trade for Zack Greinke, I sure am glad there's an Academy a couple miles up the road. Just saying.

Netflix

Netflix official Twitter account

We've had Netflix for quite some time now, but I finally gave it a shot and have become addicted to it. There are tons of great movies, original shows, documentaries, and specials. I just started Bad Blood recently. It's a series on the mob in Canada based off true stories using real life names and situations. The fact that I have so many shows, especially documentaries, to watch and not nearly enough time is appealing to me. I'll never get to them all, but I tried my best.

Max

Jermaine Every

For the longest time I've been anti-pets. Working in the cleaning industry, I've been able to make a good living off what they do to people's homes. However, I finally gave in (I.E. got over-ruled/suckered by the other three people I share a home with). When we adopted Max, he was barely a month old. As a Chiweenie (Chihuahua and Daschund mix), he won't grow larger than about 15lbs. Despite being a blend of two yappy dogs, he's very quiet and has a chill personality. He's still a puppy so he does have moments of FRAP-ing (Frequent Random Activity Periods), but it only lasts for a short while. He's also pretty smart as he doesn't fall for the pump fake when playing fetch. This is a pic of him being a nosey neighbor, one of his favorite things to do.

The Sideline Podcast

Brandon Strange

My cohost Craig Koshkin and myself have recommitted to recording our podcast every week. We've even come up with a new format (The Sideline Six Pack) to keep us on topic, as well as deliver a better overall quality product. We usually record every Monday afternoon and Tyler Scott has it up every Tuesday. We discuss our Six Pack of topics, usually covering the current state of sports (mainly local, but some national stories as well). One topic every week is non-sports, plus you'll love our other discussions that somehow always get woven in. Generally it's food because what else two chubby dudes love more than sports? Don't forget to subscribe and give us those five star reviews!

As you can see, I've managed to keep myself pretty busy this offseason. There are a few other things I haven't mentioned. For example, I've gotten back into cooking and trying different recipes. One of my media mentors, Craig Shelton, hipped me to some seasonings and sauces I need to try. The kids have also found things they've wanted me to cook, as well as some classics I haven't cooked in a while. Now that football season is once again upon us, I'll start writing my Texans, Saints, and NFL recaps during the season. Be on the lookout for those as well. Whenever that first day of training camp comes and preseason games start to replay on NFL Network, I get that tingling feeling. I imagine it's similar to that feeling we've all had when we opened that gift we always wanted and finally got. Or it could be that feeling of the junkie getting that fix again after being sober too long. Either way, I'm glad football is back.

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ROCKETS BEAT THUNDER

Rockets blast Thunder in home opener, 124-91

Rockets take care of business in home opener. Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images.

The Houston Rockets had an impressive outing versus the Oklahoma City Thunder after an embarrassing loss against the Minnesota Timberwolves Wednesday night. They took care of business at home on Friday night, which was a surprising blowout. The Rockets didn't have to worry about Karl-Anthony Towns screaming at Alperen Sengun or Anthony Edwards telling Coach Silas to call a timeout. Instead, they took their frustrations out on the Thunder (another younger core).

"We responded and bounced back from that game 1," Silas said. "I wouldn't say it was taking anything out. It was just learning and applying to what you learn and that's going to be us this year. Applying to what you learn and getting better and having some games like we had the other day. Veteran teams have some games when they don't play as well they want."

Christian Wood led the way, as he controlled the paint on all aspects with rebounding and putbacks. He played an incredible game after having a poor performance versus the Timberwolves. Silas showed complete trust in allowing Wood to open sets, as he walked the ball down the court several times, and in transition too. Wood became aggressive on the perimeter with open shooting and tough shots, and long strides towards the rim. He finished the night with 31 points and 13 rebounds off 66 percent shooting from the field.

The young core for the Thunder had a tough night defending Wood from every aspect. Hopefully, he keeps this play up. Silas loved the space that was created throughout the game for Wood, which included the help from Eric Gordon, as he continued to play better. Wood continues to develop underneath the Silas umbrella. He had a great feel for off-the-dribble shooting a few times. Wood becomes more dangerous when space is created on the court.

"It allows me to show what I can do. It allows the floor to be open and I can create for other guys and create for myself," Wood said.

As Gordon continues to impress, his teammate Kevin Porter Jr was amazed with his performance.

Gordon looked marvelous inside and outside of the paint, as it looked like a time ripple. The younger guards of the Thunder had a tough time staying in front of Gordon. His size and strength gave the Thunder a huge problem. Gordon is shooting the ball better too, as he is shooting the three-ball at 70 percent this season. Although it's a small sample size, Gordon is trying to overcome his shooting struggles from last year. Gordon finished with 22 points on 66 percent shooting versus the Thunder.

"EG is the biggest part of this squad," Porter said. He comes in and just scores. We need somebody off the bench to do that. He is our guy when me and J come out, it's EG time and he knows that, and comes in aggressive. So much energy on the bench, and we need that every night from him if we want a chance to win."

As I recently mentioned Porter, his facilitation did look better versus the Thunder than the Timberwolves. Porter had nine turnovers in his first game but managed to have two Friday night. He made great slip passes and found open teammates in the open corner. Porter forced a good number of passes versus the Timberwolves but looked more relaxed Friday night. The hardest position in the NBA is the point guard position, but Silas will not allow Porter to fail. Instead of nine turnovers, Porter dished out nine assists. Silas said:

"Bounce back right, going from nine turnovers to nine assists… I think he had two turnovers tonight, which is great. He is making plays for his teammates, and he was really focused."

Porter's shiftiness and creative ability allowed his teammates to get open looks near the rim. He had 18 points because of his step-back threes and first step going towards the basket. Thankfully, Porter is a great ball handler, which confuses defenders on different spots on the court. It's almost like watching a ballerina skate on ice in the Olympics. Hopefully, his confidence continues to get better throughout the year. Porter shot the three-ball at 50 percent tonight. Efficiency is key for Porter this year.

"I'm just trying to let the game slow down," Porter said. "I had a lot of turnovers last game and I just wanted to piggyback and learn from them and learn from some of my forced passes and reads. And sometimes I still force it a little bit. My guys hate that, and sometimes I'm still passive and I'm working on that. When to pass and score and bounce it out, and tonight I felt like I did a good job of that."

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