The Patriots don't play again until Halloween Eve, which means this is shaping up to be a football-free weekend in our house. Both the Sunday night and Monday night games look terrible (the Colts are in one, the Jaguars the other), and Emily and I are going to take Sunday afternoon off from our jobs at the football-watching factory to go to Providence for the day.

I haven't been there as an adult and don't know what to expect, but I hear Providence is somewhat smutty and very hungry, and so am I. Anyone have any recommendations for the right way to entertain oneself down south during the mid- to late-daylight hours of a Patsless Sunday? I like beer and soup and dislike loud noises and sudden movements, if that helps.

I realize my reluctance to watch other NFL teams play makes me an insufficiently dedicated football fan, and I'm more than OK with that. I wish I liked football less as it is, because there's only one Sunday afternoon a week and I'm conflicted about having a standing and unbreakable date with my television set.

On the one hand, I do truly enjoy watching the Patriots. On the other hand, what if a restaurant without a TV is offering half-price root beer floats during a game? Or, less critically but more likely, what if someone I care about is getting married or born or buried on a fall Sunday and can't schedule the action around commercials? I don't pay attention to football during the rest of the week, and 20 minutes after the game ends I barely remember who won, but Patriots games are really important to me while they're happening.

Other NFL games, thank god, are not. (See, I'm rational and well grounded, and I don't gamble or play fantasy sports. Now where's my root beer and/or first born!?!)

I also don't pay much attention to college football. I'd like to say that's because it's ridiculous and corrupt and the players should either be A) paid or B) forced to learn the alphabet. Either make them real professionals or make them real students, enough with the NCAA's in-between fantasy world where everybody's faking and lying at every turn.

But nah, I don't really care too much about all that. I just don't follow college football because I'm from New England and for whatever reason we don't get that into it around here.

A couple of Saturday nights per season I'll be working at the bar and a heavy-set happy man from someplace south of Pennsylvania will say, "I hope y'all don't deny me service just because our boys whipped your boys today, chuckle chuckle," and I'll shrug and assume that Boston College lost a football game to one of those schools with fans who chase athletic teenage strangers around the country in RVs all fall. It actually seems like a nice life and I'd totally get into college football if I were from one of the large-insect, small-government states, but alas, I am not.

But just because I won't be watching football this weekend doesn't mean I won't bloody up some Marys and bedevil some eggs in the sport's honor.

I went to Syracuse University. The football team was pretty good while I was there but it has been markedly less so since I took my tailgating back down to the mainland. But I'm still a loyal fan in the odd year that they don't suck, and this year—hold on a minute—and this year they're a superficially respectable 4-2!

Well, color me orange and bury me in an October snowbank! This week the mighty Syracusians are hosting the dastardly Mountaineers of West Virginia. Let's give those shifty Virginian separatists the Bloody Mary and deviled egg what-for!

For the Bloody Marys

Look, I know West Virginia's not the same thing as Kentucky. But yes it is, so this week I'm pleased to finally break out the bourbon. I haven't tried this yet, but I bet whiskey and tomato juice will work. Whiskey does well with acid—grapefruit, especially—and this game's being played Friday night, which is a pretty whiskey part of the calendar.

For the Deviled Eggs

West Virginia is home of the pepperoni roll, and it's hard to fault them for that. I've never seen one in the wild, but the online evidence suggests they're burrito-shaped calzones, and if I've typed a sexier sentence this week I must have been asking someone for a loan or a root beer float. Let's just chop up some pepperoni to sprinkle atop our eggs to tide us over until fortune finds us in a West Virginian truck stop.

About the author: Will Gordon loves life and hates mayonnaise. You can drink with him in Boston or follow him on twitter @WillGordonAgain.


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