Midwinter brings lull in sports world

Today marks the official beginning of the TV sports-watching dead zone.

You know how when you’re riding in your car, checking things on your phone and then suddenly you hit a spot where there is absolutely no cellphone service and your phone goes dead?

That’s what the TV sports-watching dead zone is like.

Although, to be honest, I’ve never been riding in a car, checking things on my cellphone and then had it go dead because we hit a spot with no cellphone service.

But my wife has.

It happens to her every time we go to Kansas City. See, there is an area near Rich Hill that has no cellphone service, and it always seems to catch my wife by surprise. We go to Kansas City a lot. And my wife is aware of the dead zone near Rich Hill. Yet just about every time we go to Kansas City, my wife will decide to call someone as we approach the dead zone.

Here is how those phone conversations go:

Wife: Hello, Broom Hilda (not her real name). You won’t believe what Blanche (not her real name) did.

Broom Hilda: (I’m guessing here) Hello? I can’t hear you. You’re breaking up.

Wife: Hello? Can you hear me now?

Broom Hilda: (Silence).

Wife: (To me) What happened?

Me: (Sigh) Beats me.

Unlike my wife, I am aware when I enter the TV sports-watching dead zone. For me, it officially begins on the weekend before the Super Bowl. Now, understand when I say “TV sports-watching dead zone” that I don’t mean there is a complete TV sports blackout.

For example, late this afternoon, some unlucky network will air the NFL Pro Bowl. I think it’s called the NFL Pro Bowl, but I don’t know. It could be called the Trump Campaign Indictment Bowl for all I care.

Actually, a Trump Campaign Indictment Bowl would be pretty cool. But instead of the announcers wearing dorky-looking Hawaiian shirts like they do in the NFL Pro Bowl, the Trump Campaign Indictment Bowl announcers could wear striped prison shirts.

It’s just a programming idea.

But the Pro Bowl is not really an NFL football game. The difference between a real NFL football game and the Pro Bowl is like the difference between chess and fetch.

Although, now that I think about it, fetch may not be a game people play with other people as much as it is a game they play with dogs. But you get my point.

Sure, on Saturdays during the TV sports-watching dead zone, I can usually find a college basketball game I want to watch. And at least once during the week, I might be able to find another college basketball game to watch, but that’s about it.

What about NBA basketball, you ask?

Please. Nobody cares about NBA basketball until at least the second round of the playoffs.

Not even the players.

The TV sports-watching dead zone doesn’t end until some time in March, when the college league basketball tournaments begin. And by then, spring training baseball has begun. Later, the NCAA basketball tournament will kick off, and so will the regular Major League Baseball season.

By the way, I may get in trouble with that last paragraph. I may be wrong, but I think the NCAA has trademarked the words “basketball,” “tournament” and the letters “N,” “C,” “A” and “A.”

Oh well — if they sue, they sue.

The good news is that I tend to get a lot more reading done during the TV sports-watching dead zone. It’s amazing how much more reading you can get done when you’re not watching TV sports every night.

And this year, I know that if I run out of things to read, I can always count on that gift that keeps on giving:

Trump campaign indictments.