10 Things to Watch Instead of the Big Game This Weekend

Sure, you love a good high-impact collision as much as the next person, you just don’t think they should involve team colors and helmets decorated with cartoon characters. As far as you’re concerned, shoulder pads belong in the ’80s and a gridiron sounds like some weird appliance you use to simultaneously get wrinkles out of your shirt and make pancakes.

Even though that sounds like a fantastic invention idea, I’m staying focused on the issue at hand: it’s Big Game weekend, and while everyone likes to overdo it on beer and Cheetos, not everyone likes to overdo it on beer and Cheetos while watching football players doing sportsy things.

This list is for those people. It’s time you didn’t spend another Sunday afternoon being super-bored. So invite your non-sports friends over and consult the list below to perfectly pull off your Anti-Big Game Sunday.


The Raid: Redemption / The Raid 2

Just because you don’t want to watch sports violence doesn’t mean you don’t want to watch violence at all. The Raid 2 is out on Blu-ray and DVD, and while you don’t need to have seen the original to enjoy the sequel, you might as well go back-to-back with these two incredibly entertaining, no holds barred action extravaganzas. Sure, they have storylines, but they don’t pretend you’re watching for character development. You get just enough, then the fights start again. No time outs or penalties allowed.


Friday Night Lights

“But wait,” you’re saying to me, “I thought the whole point of this is that I don’t like football!” Oh, but therein lies the beauty of the Friday Night Lights TV series: it’s a show about football players, but it’s not actually a show about football. It’s about a small town in Texas that’s built around a high school football team. It’s about the people of that town, the students in that school and the coach of that team. It’s a show that has prompted many to say, “I don’t care at all about football, but I loved Friday Night Lights.” If you’ve been putting off watching this show, do yourself a favor and watch the first few episodes instead of the Big Game.


MST3K: Laserblast

The writers of Mystery Science Theater 3000 feel like you might not be ready for some football. But the hapless cop in Laserblast sure is! Watch as Mike and the bots blast this cheesy B movie featuring turtle aliens, an evil Jim Carrey impersonator and super-awkward sex scenes to hilarious results. Then, every time someone says “are you ready for some football,” eat a handful of Cheetos.This is your Big Game.

Another citizen who isn’t ready for some football.


The Thing

It’s so cold outside. There are crazy winter storms happening that seem to be sent by the football gods in order to snow you in so you’ll be forced to watch the Big Game. It’s time you fought back and had your own winter storm in the form of John Carpenter’s masterpiece, The Thing.


Hey Arnold!

Get it? Because he has a football head!


The League

“But wait,” you’re saying to me again, “I thought there was only one sports-themed show that I’d be able to watch!” Surprise… There’s at least two! The League is about a bunch of self-obsessed man-children playing fantasy football, but while they do make many references to pro athletes, you can let those jokes fly comfortably over your head without it diminishing your enjoyment of the show. Why? Like I said, self-obsessed man-children. Do I really have to explain why that’s funny?


Deadly Game Films

You know the ones: The Hunger Games. Battle Royale. The Running Man. Hell, even Tron works. These kinds of movies are ideal replacements for football because instead of depicting games where a couple guys slightly inconvenience each other while running in opposite directions, they depict games where the losers just straight up die. You can’t really make the stakes any higher than that. “But I lost $300 on the Big Game and now I can’t buy a new iPhone!” Oh yeah? Well, like, six children get stabbed and bludgeoned to death in the first 30 seconds of the Hunger Games battle. They don’t get iPhones, either.


Phantom of the Paradise

There’s something about this movie that just seems like it’s the complete antithesis of a football game in the best way possible. Instead of super-serious meatheads running after a ball, you get get a campy, fun rock musical a la Rocky Horror Picture Show. Oh, and murder! You didn’t think I forgot the murder part, did you? Take that, halftime show!

Halftime show, shmalftime show.


UHF

Speaking of the halftime show, there’s been an outspoken contingent of fans who have been rallying to get “Weird Al” Yankovic to be the featured performer. It didn’t happen again this year, but while the rest of America is watching Coldplay singing about paradise and being yellow for some reason, there’s no rule that says you can’t get your Weird Al fix. UHF is out on Collector’s Edition Blu-ray, plus there’s The Compleat Al on DVD. You’ll need them both — it is a three-hour game, after all.


Nature

No, I’m not talking about a movie called Nature. I’m talking about actually going outside and enjoying the fact that everyone else is cooped up at home watching a silly game.

…Ha! Of course I’m kidding. Have you seen the weather out there? The only nature you should be watching right now is Planet Earth. Put that down for #10.

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