The Cycle of Addiction

By Michael Citro on January 12, 2014 at 8:15a
It's empty seat time, for now. But our time will come again, CFB addicts.

For many of us, college football is our drug of choice, and its addiction is ferocious and unforgiving.

It starts innocently enough. You watch your local or favorite team if you find yourself home on a Saturday afternoon. You enjoy it. It feels good. Even when your team loses, there’s that feeling that draws you back, like a gambler’s high — you simply must regain that emotional jolt again that electrified you after the first win you witnessed.

Pretty soon you’re rearranging your schedule to make sure you’re in front of a television at game time every week. (“Honey, let’s do the shopping later, or maybe on Sunday!”)

Then it escalates even further. You find yourself checking out College GameDay before the the noon-kickoff games to get all the latest news and see who the pundits think will win. One day, you discover you’re  flipping channels during commercials to catch snippets of other games. You start watching the weeknight games.

At this point, you’re routinely in front of a television the majority of your Saturday. You move from College GameDay to the early games, then the afternoon games, followed by the prime time and West Coast broadcasts — and, if you’re lucky, a late night contest from Hawaii.

Your favorite pizza place is easily accessed by phone or web, and your go-to order is in their system. There’s football on, dammit, you don’t have time to cook or run off to the dining room for some lavish meal.

You’re oblivous to this, but your beloved family members, who still live with you by the way, often walk into the living room, look at you, shake their heads sadly, and quietly depart. Your significant other may ask you something once in awhile, but then they go away when you don’t answer. Once in awhile they might ask, “this game is still on?” and you sheepishly reply that it’s a different game — all the while feeling guilty.

The next step is watching with your laptop close at hand, so you can simultaneously indulge in your addiction while chatting on Twitter or in open game threads. You start following recruiting. You’re streaming high school announcements live over the internet and MY GOD MAN, WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU?

It'll be a long wait, but Braxton will be back.Braxton will return after months that will seem like years.

You greedily gobble up off-season news. Coaching changes. Players getting into trouble. Transfers. You’re on top of all of it, because it’s your only connection to the game. It’s your lifeline; your methadone. It’s not exactly college football, but it’s college football-adjacent. Websites, like this one, help you through the dark times until your precious returns each fall.

Then the cycle starts again. “I’ll only watch the Buckeyes,” you tell your spouse. “I’ll make more time for you and the kids.” And then two weeks later it’s “well, this is a really big game, I have to make an exception. These are two top 10 teams!”

Another Saturday or two and you’re in front of a television or streaming device from 11 a.m. to 1 a.m., until the last day of the regular season. Then you eagerly consume as many bowl games as you can.

The season ends with another national championship game and all you’re left with are the all-star exhibitions for graduating players — the Senior Bowl, the East-West Shrine Game, and so on. These are interesting but ultimately unsatisfying as college football games.

And now, once again, a college football off-season is upon us, because life is a wheel.

So…what do we do now?

As Buckeye fans, it helps that we have a perennially successful basketball squad. Watching Aaron Craft and company is fun, and it typically takes up two hours of our time twice per week, and provides a nice bridge from the end of bowl season into spring practices and the Spring Game.

After March Madness and the Spring Game, you’ll probably remember those people who live with you. They’re pretty great, actually. Spend some time with them. Find out what grade your kids are in and how they’re doing in school. Take your wife out like you used to and re-learn all those things you once knew about her. She’ll appreciate it and you’ll probably find it agreeable as well.

The NBA and NHL playoffs will have to assuage your Buckeye withdrawal for a little while, and baseball returns, if you’re into that — although I personally watch intensely only for about the first two weeks of the season and then kind of forget about it until after the All-Star break.

The toughest part of the off-season is the long, dark stretch between the end of the Stanley Cup/NBA finals and the beginning of fall practice. If you’re lucky, there’s precious little news about your team during that time, because when something happens during that period, it’s usually not good.

You’ll devour all the season preview stuff here and elsewhere, because oh that’s right, you completely forgot about that redshirt freshman you were so excited about a year ago but who didn’t see the field.

Don’t spend too much time on this.

This is the time to lean on your family — heavily. Do everything with them. Go on vacations, have cookouts or go camping. Take them to the zoo or a park or a ball game. Go for walks. You and your spouse should be social and do things with other couples.

Teach your kids to ride a bike or something. Read to your kids. If they’re young enough, offer to bathe them, so your wife can relax and read a book or watch some of those Nashville episodes that are clogging up the DVR.

In short, make them grow sick of you by the time college football starts up again. If you do this right, they’ll breathe a sigh of relief when that first football of the fall leaves the kicking tee.

And then you’ll be back in that warm embrace of college football.

The off-season is here. Good luck to you all.


Comments Show All Comments

brylee's picture

my precious!!!

Ethos's picture

Damn it fat thumbs someone up vote for me!

"I spent 90 percent of my money on women and drink. The rest I wasted." - George Best

Liening's picture

Gotcha covered.


Buckeye in a Bobcat world's picture

Ha ha! I love it! Describes a majority of us too! 
I'm just so glad it's warm out once the finals are over to keep my mind off of it. 

Thomas's picture

This article made me laugh, also made me sad. This basketball team will lighten the blow of the football off season. Opening day for baseball is another event that will side track me for a bit. That day seems to usher in the warm weather which is always nice.

Liening's picture

Eww  That is eerie.  It's like you have a camera in my living room and have been watching me, a la Jim Carrey in The Truman Show.  


brandonbauer87's picture

You forgot the part about scheduling your wedding around the football schedule. 

buckeye85's picture

I absolutely did that.  Got married on 10/12, a bye week, and my Dad said in his opening speech, we want to thank you for scheduling this wedding on a bye week haha!  My wife even had the DJ play the fight song as we came into the reception and my entire side stood up and went crazy, it still gives me chills!

D-Day0043's picture

Couldn't pick a better date to get married than 10/12. I am rather fond of that date because it's my birthday.

I am D-Day0043 and I approve this message.

Buckataltitude's picture

We got married on Friday night, took my wife's family on a tour of campus Saturday morning and actually got on the field in The Shoe and tailgate party on Saturday night ( away game at night vs Indiana). So basically our whole weekend was a wedding based around a football Saturday. All my wife's idea.

BuckeyeinExile's picture

We scheduled our wedding between the Army-Navy game and the start of bowl season. My wife is from Tennessee and her family are all big UT fans. The reception consisted of the bridesmaids and the groomsmen trying to outdo each other to get the DJ to play Hang on Sloopy and Rocky Top more than the other. Each song may have been played 15-20 times.
Fortunately OSU and UT canceled the home and home that was supposed to take place in a couple of years, we were nervous that might cause our first big fight.

MN Buckeye's picture

You are a lucky man, Altitude. My wife is from MI.

+1 HS
Buckataltitude's picture

I feel extremely lucky MN Buckeye

D-Day0043's picture

She's a keeper. My wife could care less about football. :-(

I am D-Day0043 and I approve this message.

Buckeyeneer's picture

My brother scheduled his wedding during the Wisconsin game this year. I began my best man speech with, "Thank you all for coming even though my brother and his wife chose to schedule this during the Wisconsin game. Apparently Christmas Day was already booked."

"Because the rules won't let you go for three." - Woody Hayes

THE Ohio State University

+1 HS
Exhortera's picture

My name is Rob and I'm a college footballaholic. I haven't watched a game in 6 days.

buckeyedude's picture

One day at a time, ESHORTERA. Baby steps.



rdubs's picture

Do highlights count?

MN Buckeye's picture

It is good to know that you can quit at any time.

nm_buck's picture

Stay away from YouTube!!!!

"The future is bright at Ohio State."  - Urban Meyer 1/1/15

DudeNick4's picture

We scheduled our wedding to avoid any "Imperial Entanglements" with my addiction. 
Luckily for me my Wife loves watching the Buckeyes. 

BoFuquel's picture

Seven decades of being junkie, and it hasn't hurt me at all. I can quit anytime I WANT TO. GO BUCKS!

I wish I didn't know now what I didn't know then.

Poison nuts's picture

What scares me is not only how this described me perfectly, but how you knew that the Mrs needed time to relax & had shows clogging up the DVR...

"Do not pass me, just slow down - I can move right through you" Superchunk - Precision Auto.

farmerbuck's picture

Haha! This Is So True!

You have to hate losing more than you love winning! GO BUCKS!!

Condor's picture

Men who LOVE college football are college football fans.
Men who LOVE pro football are pro football fans.
Men who LOVE both college and pro football with equal fervor are called divorced.

"Do not fear me gypsy, all I want is your tears."

 -- Borat Sagdiyev


D-Day0043's picture

I am a huge fan of both, and fortunately my wife just ignores me, so I return the favor by pretending to be interested in stuff she likes - like flowers...

I am D-Day0043 and I approve this message.

Zimmy07's picture

I used to love both NCAAF & NFL but have since tapered it back to only OSU football and OSU basketball so I can spend more time w/ family.  It actually is worth it - most of the time (LOL).

bucknut3011's picture

Have you been speaking with my wife?

Knarcisi's picture

"Find out what grade your kids are in and how they’re doing in school"
That's gold. 

cajunbuckeye's picture

"Hey buddy, can you spare a highlight video? Newspaper clipping? Stats?"

An angry fan...rooting for an angry team...led by angry coaches

buckeyedude's picture

Hate to be a Danny Downer, but on the opposite side of others that have planned their weddings around college/Buckeye football, it helped me tremendously through my divorce a few years ago. That is why I will always be grateful to Jim Tressel.  He gave me hope and something to cheer for when my world was crumbling down around me. And 11W was also a nice find a few years ago. ;)
And that is how my addiction started, innocently enough.



faux_maestro's picture

Same here. My wife left me Friday before the State Penn game in 2005. The rest of that season and the awesome run that Troy, Teddy Ginn and Anthony Gonzales ETC. went on from that point through the next year actually helped me not focus on the suck that was my life. Probably less destructive that booze haha.

Your mom told me she wants a Dicken Cidar.

CALPOPPY's picture

Probably less destructive that booze haha.

I don't know...have you seen my TV after the last few games?

I'm a hurtin' buckaroo.

Buckeye_Chief's picture

My wife just read this and said you are spot on with me. So she now refers to me as an addict instead of a fanatic!!

"I was tired of trying to work my way around the back so I just ran him over.” - Joey Bosa


Young_Turk's picture

My name is Turk and I'm an addict.  My drug of choice is Wolverine Tears.  At first, WT40 (street name) was just a fun thing to do after reading the posts on 11W.  Now, I'm endlessly chasing the first rush I had when I saw wolverinefan getting pepper-sprayed at the game in happy valley.    Or the waves of euphoria from the posts about the mouth-breathing co-ed.  Now I have a hard time getting to sleep because I'm always hitting refresh on the posts in MGOBLOG, or MLIVE to see if there are any fresh wailing, or lamentations about the demise of {mythical} michigan man. 


Findog5's picture

It will be nice to let the blister on my right thumb heal during the off season. Scrolling through 11 Warriors on my iPhone constantly for anything, I mean anything new every 15 seconds was getting a little obnoxious my wife says. 

Raleigh Buckeye

Go1Bucks's picture

My life would be complete if I could find a wife that would watch the Buckeyes with me.
Not as easy as it!
Thanks for reminding us that we are ALL family at 11W.
A common purpose, one common goal.

Go Bucks!

buckeyedude's picture

Your present wife doesn't watch the Buckeyes? Sup with dat?!



MichaelJ721984's picture

This will be me if I ever get married. You'll all be invited! That booze tab will be cheap I'm sure of it...

Michigan sucks.

CALPOPPY's picture

So are you saying I should stop compulsively checking 11W twelve times per day even in the football offseason?

I'm a hurtin' buckaroo.

Go1Bucks's picture

checking it?  you mean I don't have to leave it on 24/7 as I do?
Reading it at 5 am when I get up for a bathroom run, that's not normal?
Damn, maybe I do have a problem...
Go Bucks!!!

Go Bucks!

txbucknut's picture

Oh my god this so accurately describes my life! Good thing I've got most of the Buckeye games from this season saved on the DVR to ease the pain and depression a bit. 

gravey's picture

I was a social user as a kid and during my years actually 'on the streets' in Columbus - when Bruce was the local pusher.  When I moved away and had to hear fans from schools talk about the superiority of their 'junk', I craved my Buckeye juice even more.  
My addiction grew during the Cooper years and reached a euphoric Nirvana as Ken Dorsey was being slung to the ground in 2002.  I've been trying to get that high back - and it just won't return and now I have so much trouble enjoying a 24-2 run.  I need help.

Seattle Linga's picture

When I was younger this drug was all encompassing, now that I have been married and one child in college and the other still young - certain priorities have taken over my life however I never or rarely miss a single snap.

Mix's picture

I feel cold.


HandsOfSweed's picture

This is freakin' great! And since it's the 4th year in the cycle, this summer's dead period is filled with the World Cup. Sooo, NO DEAD PERIOD this year! Well, for me anyhow.
And since I'm a Steeler fan of 34 seasons (I'm NOT the arrogant, trash-talking kind of Steeler fan), I get to take my OSU addiction and square it. Yay.
So tired now. So tired.

ITWASME's picture

Also helps that in March Game of Thrones starts again! Which is a whole other addiction...

ScarletNGrey01's picture

Michael described this addiction in chilling detail, uncanny how he was able to do that.

The will to win is not as important as the will to prepare to win. -- Woody Hayes

NashBuckeye's picture

I have been at that final stage of addiction for about 20 years now. I would watch from 11 am to 1 am Sunday every week if I could.  Family time reduces it to only about 8 hours every Saturday now. The last OSU Football game I completely missed was 1997 when I was on vacation in Spain.  I believe it was the Toledo game I missed so we visited Toledo, Spain as part of the trip to make up for it.

Arizona_Buckeye's picture

After the NFL ends, it flips to the NHL - then, depression sets in!!!  Living in Toronto - perhaps I can start following curling... I'm guessing that will probably signal the absolute rock bottom and I'll no doubt require hlep!!!

The best thing about Pastafarianism? It is not only acceptable, but advisable, to be heavily sauced

seafus26's picture

My wife always gets rewarded go "surviving another football season," after each year. Friday nights of Texas HS football, then the same described Saturday routine unless the Bucks play at night and there is a major HS game being played at one of the big venues during the day, then to tailgate prior to Texans game, finally home to rest and wait for MNF. The Texans games are the exhausting part because they normally have noon kickoffs  and have to wake early load the truck and start heading into Htown.

Go Bucks and michigan STILL SUCKS!

tennesseebuckeye11's picture

Hey, at least it's not crack!

thatlillefty's picture

There are certainly worse vices.

Buckeyeneer's picture

Yeah, like doughnuts.

"Because the rules won't let you go for three." - Woody Hayes

THE Ohio State University

4thandinches's picture

I remember right before I start the season, "I'm so ready I'll watch any game!" So I turn on the first game of WKU vs. Iowa State and I say, 'Oh boy here we go!" About ten minutes later I have to find something else on because I can't watch it. 
But yeah if it's a game between two top ten teams then I am sure to watch. 

I wasn't born a Buckeye but I became one as fast as I could. 

Art Harrell's picture

I have the same disease, the Family Doctor, told me there was no cure. Go Bucks

kcbrez's picture

Since I had kids, the amount of football I watch has decreased significantly, and I certainly don't mind because I'd rather hang with them. But there are moments when I think to myself about how much fun it will be when weekends consist of two things: football games and football game prep.