It’s like losing a loved one, or finding the family cat flattened by a stray road grader.
Actually, it’s way, way, way, totally way worse.
Did grandma — rest her soul — ever help you hit a four-team parlay, last-second style?
Did Patches — pancaked into the afterlife — ever strap on shoulder pads and run for a buck-forty-eight over the contemptible, foul-smelling Steelers?
Did either of them ever once give you the vicarious thrill of victory to temporarily offset the perpetual, suffocating sense of loss that you feel as each passing second takes you closer and closer to your inevitable demise and that moment when you’ll have to face the Grim Reaper, eyeball to skull-hole, and account for this thing that you’ve called a life?
Big fat negative there, chief.
But pro football sure has.
With the Super Bowl bringing the 2021 NFL season to an end last Sunday, this will be the first weekend since September with no linebackers de-cleating wideouts scampering across the middle; no Volvo-sized offensive and defensive lineman slapping bellies with seismic reverberations; no pouty-pussed Aaron Rodgers sulking on the sidelines as the Packers blow yet another chance at a title shot.
It will be seven (!!!) interminably long months before the next season kicks off. That’s three-and-a-half lifespans for your average housefly, which is exactly what that stretch of time feels like: three-and-a-half lifespans.
Yes, we’re in mourning. (In lieu of flowers, please send a donation to the charity of your choice — by “donation” we mean “Jagermeister” and by “charity of choice” we mean “your’s truly.”)
Guess the only course of action here is to begrudgingly find some other crap to do on Sundays to try to fill the Allegiant Stadium-sized void in our soul.
To this end: Here are 10 of the best options for the worst (ever) time of the year:
Karaoke After Dark w/Blaire DeWayne at Dawg House Saloon at Resorts World, 8 p.m.
What’ll it be, Bengals fans? Beck’s “Loser” or Jerry Garcia’s “Loser?” UFO’s “I’m a Loser” or The Beatles’ “I’m a Loser?” Maybe Tom Petty’s “Even the Losers” for the win? (Just kidding, winning is not your thing, obvs). Nevertheless, you’ll be well-suited to belt out any of the aforementioned classics at “Karaoke After Dark” at Resorts World’s sports-friendly Dawg House Saloon. Host Blaire DeWayne, best known around these parts for fronting kick-arse indie rockers Rusty Maples, will most assuredly add some laughs to the evening. Hey, you can’t lose — for a change.
“Sunday Funday” open mic comedy night at Noreen’s Lounge, 8 p.m.
Like Gandhi once famously said, “Laughter is the best medicine, especially when battling gangrene.” Take dude’s words of wisdom to heart, add your name to the sign-up sheet at Noreen’s Lounge’s “Sunday Funday” open mic comedy night, and get your Bill Hicks on. Noreen’s (2799 E. Tropicana Ave.) is an ideal spot for stand-up first-timers, a friendly, welcoming, dive-bar environment with a mix of newbies and local comedy up-and-comers. Fear not, nervous nellies, you won’t get laughed off stage — unless you’re that good.
Southern Highlands Farmers Market, 9 a.m.-2 p.m.
Like Gandhi also once famously said, “Real men sweat Crisco.” To wit: You’ve spent the last five months of Sundays gorging on deep-fried, well, everything during the games, ’cause salads and football go together like … salads and football. So go get some fresh air, veggies and fruits all at once and give your cholesterol levels a break at the Southern Highlands Farmers Market (11411 Southern Highlands Parkway) — then have your better half run a slant route and tight-spiral her an eggplant. (Don’t worry, you can deep-fry that eggplant when you get home).
Tailgate in perpetuity at Raiders Tavern at M Resort
Just because the NFL season comes to an end doesn’t mean you should have to stop tailgating, right? This was the argument that we recently made to the security staff at the Luxor parking garage, who remained stubbornly, party-poopingly unconvinced. And so we’re relocating to the Raiders Tavern at M Resort, where there’s less pepper spray, more beer. The place is awash in Raiders memorabilia, there’s a team gift shop, the 45 HDTVs are always tuned to sports and there are ample bar napkins to soak up the tears of Broncos fans still grieving after the hated Raiders rivals got schooled by the home team twice (!) this year.
Play Tecmo Bowl at the Pinball Hall of Fame
Nostalgia is a big part of sports. Say you’re a Browns fan (put your dukes down, it wasn’t meant as an insult). You remember those glory days when your team was a perennial playoff contender, right? “Alf” was on prime time; indoor plumbing had just become a thing. Reel in the years in similar fashion at the always awesome Pinball Hall of Fame (4925 Las Vegas Blvd. S.), where admission is free, and there are scads of arcade classics like gridiron staple Tecmo Bowl alongside games of skill that date all the way back to when your team was last relevant — and your QB sported a leather helmet.
Dino a la Carte happy hour at The Golden Tiki, 4 p.m.-7 p.m.
Like the 2021 NFL season, Dean Martin is dead. But also like the 2021 NFL season, Dean Martin still lives on in our hearts (Who could ever forget “That’s Amore” or the Colts crapping the proverbial bed in Jacksonville in Week 18?). Celebrate the Rat Packer in finger-snapping style with crooner Dino a la Carte’s swinging happy hour at the Golden Tiki (3939 Spring Mountain Road), which is always a cool hang with its legendary celebrity shrunken heads and even more legendary-ier Surfboard Pupu Platter. Bonus: The cocktails here are as stiff as you wish your squad’s run defense was.
See real-life rams up close at Hemenway Park in Boulder City
The Rams of Los Angeles didn’t disappoint last weekend, and neither do their real-life counterparts in Boulder City.
Herds of the wooly, big-horned creatures come down to graze at the city’s Hemenway Park (401 Ville Drive) throughout the day. Sit on a bench, take in the gorgeous views of Lake Mead, and they’ll come within arm’s length of you as they serve as nature’s lawnmowers. It’s as beautiful as taking the under was last Sunday.
Comedy Sportz at Art Square Theater, 7:30 p.m.
In a way, it’s kind of like watching the Texans take on the Jags: two teams competing to a chorus of laughs. Comedy Sportz at Art Square Theater (1025 S. First St.), though, is a vastly more entertaining way to spend a Sunday. How it works: Two teams of improv comedy pros go at it, while the audience helps keep score. There’s even a ref! It’s an all-ages, kid-friendly show, meaning that — much like sacking Tom Brady for a loss — it’s fun for the whole family.
Drag Brunch at The Garden, noon
What’s better than topless eye-candy? Bottomless cocktails, easily. Yeah, football-free Sundays are a drag, but less of a drag thanks to the drag queens at The Garden (1017 S. First St. No. 180). Resident performers like Coco Montrese and Desree St. James bring the wow; the wait staff brings the drinks in endless supply. Piece of advice: Make reservations in advance, as this is one hot (and bothered) ticket.
Upside Down Tea Party at the Shag Room at Virgin Hotels Las Vegas, noon-3 p.m.
We know what you’re thinking: Tea time is for British folk who daftly refer to soccer as “football.” Um, just like England learned about that whole democracy thing from the United States, and The Monkees totally paved the way for The Beatles, American football comes first, English soccer second. History lesson complete, the “Upside Down Tea Party” at the Shag Room at Virgin Hotels Las Vegas is a sweet place to nurse your post-Super Bowl football sads, with alcohol-enhanced teas delivered in your own tea pot alongside a tower of gourmet finger foods, while a damn good, female-fronted cover band performs. Request Queen’s “We Are the Champions” and lead a chant for the good ol’ U. S. of A.
Contact Jason Bracelin at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-383-0476. Follow @jbracelin76 on Instagram