Unhinged Alaska: The NFL playoffs, non-fan, awareness guide

For the next few weeks, a huge segment of the population will come critically close to OD’ing on saturated fats and cholesterol while becoming so psychologically freaked and vocally aggressive that, if they were dogs, they’d be diagnosed as rabid and shot on sight.

I’m talking about the NFL playoffs affliction. A disturbing disease that is highly contagious. There is no cure or preventive vaccination and it seriously attacks pro football fans starting in January.

This annual dementia is preceded by enough warning signals that not so zealot soul mates have been known to charter weekend flights to remote Peruvian temples where the only means of communication is a hollow log.

Others simply choose to ignore the early signs and symptoms such as media-hypertension buildup and hyperbole predictions until their partners become totally couch-ridden on the day of the pigskin championship and lip sync halftime spectacle, featuring such star-kissed attractions such as America’s latest grunge band, Kootie and the Dead Wieners along with enough fireworks to give the population of Iran a mass coronary.

People, we are speaking of a national epidemic where normally lucid humans adorn themselves with foam rubber medieval battle armor and plaster on face paint that would terrorize a juiced-up Alice Cooper.

If some of you are concerned that your significant other might have been exposed to this contagion, here are four major warning signals to be on the lookout for as the big contest approaches.

If you observe just one of the following, go on high alert. If you run into a combination of any of the four, there are still seats available on the plane to Peru.

Warning No. 1: Your companion phones before getting off work and inquires if you need anything from the store before he/she comes home.

You are so stunned that you make a small item up because they cared enough to call.

What rolls through the door is a half dozen tubs of multi-flavored “Deathhead Amalgamated Fat Dip,” two cases of super-size crispy fried Cheetos and Costco bags of potato chips the size of intercontinental blimps. The frozen breakfast orange juice that you requested is a no show.

Warning No. 2: Your spouse, who normally insists you do your wardrobe shopping at the thrift store, suddenly produces a heretofore unknown credit card and suggest you zip off to cruise the aisles at the nearest Walmart and/or Freddy’s. He/she may even to spring for lunch by giving you their sacred bag of coupons for “two-for-one Denali burgers”.

This magnanimous behavior is particularly suspicious and insidious because it may portend your home has been designated to host the year’s massive tribal gathering for Super Bowl 50.

Only the most highly insured should ever consider sponsoring one of these things, but logic does not rule here. Nowadays there is a real hang up about size, so if you have the biggest TV screen in the ‘hood you’re probably dead meat.

If your humble home has been selected and you have decided not to initiate divorce proceedings, start taking bids from professional clean-up crews specializing in imploded office buildings and collapsed freeways.

Warning No. 3: On Saturday afternoon, while your love is in the backyard laying out markers that suspiciously resemble parking slots, a brewery distributor calls to reconfirm that his driver will be able to turn his 18-wheeler around in your driveway and back up to the porch.

Final Warning No. 4: You open the mail and find the latest and official estimated costs for a Sunday drone drop delivery of a dozen Papa John’s XL Monster Toppings pizzas and a couple hundred red hot Buffalo wings.

These are but of few of the signs that immediately come to mind but I’m sure if you contact one of the several NFL playoff support groups around the Peninsula, they’ll be able to provide you with additional material.

Full disclosure:

Some of the warning signals I shared were furnished by my bride who claims an “in-depth, personal experience in dealing with male weirdness.”

For those members of the community who have disdain for football fanatics and the game itself, I truly empathize with you and would really like to spend more time discussing ways to deal with this abnormal frenzy, but I still have to draw up plans for a drop zone and layout my wardrobe for the coming weekends.

Nick can be reached at ncvarney@gmail.com unless his team loses and he is observing a month long grieving and pout fest.

More in Life

Ward off Halloween’s mystical monsters with these garlic-infused cheesy shells and pepper sauce. (Photo by Tressa Dale/Peninsula Clarion)
On the strawberry patch: Tasty Halloween

Keep spooky creatures at bay with garlic-infused shells and pepper sauce.

Will Morrow (courtesy)
Let there be lights!

When I stopped in at one of our local stores, I didn’t cringe when I saw all the holiday decorations on display.

Cabbage, potatoes, salmon and an assortment of pantry staples make for a culinary challenge. (Photo by Tressa Dale/Peninsula Clarion)
On the strawberry patch: Take a culinary pop quiz

Get creative with what’s in your pantry

This undated John E. Thwaites photo, perhaps taken near Seward, shows the S.S. Dora grounded. (Alaska State Library photo collection)
Resilience of the Dora, part 3

Her long career had come to an end at last.

Nick Varney
Unhinged Alaska: Sometimes I wonder, who needs who

Dog whispers we are not. Suckers for unconditional love, you bet.

Meredith Harber (courtesy)
Minister’s Message: Don’t let termination dust bring you down

If I’m honest, this time of year is the hardest for me mentally and emotionally.

Pieces hang on display at the Kenai Art Center for the open call show on Wednesday, Oct. 6, 2021 in Kenai, Alaska. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)
‘They felt like they could share with us now’

Art center open call offers space for new artists.

The Cosmic Hamlet Entertainment film crew prepares for a new scene to roll on the set of “Bolt from the Blue” at the Kilcher Homestead on Sept. 28. (Photo by Sarah Knapp/Homer News)
‘Bolt from the Blue’ film features Homer

“The Office” star Kate Flannery cast in feature film produced in Homer.

These old-fashioned doughnuts don’t skimp on the fat or sugar. (Photo by Tressa Dale/Peninsula Clarion)
On the strawberry patch: Memories of old-fashioned doughnuts

My recipe is for old-fashioned doughnuts, and since I make these maybe twice a year, I don’t skimp on the sugar and fat.

Virginia Walters (Courtesy photo)
Life in the Pedestrian Lane: October is here again

The days are shorter. We are losing nearly six minutes a day. It’s getting colder.

This John E. Thwaites photo shows the S.S. Dora near Sand Point, Alaska. Thwaites sailed as mail clerk on the Dora between at least 1905 and 1912. (Alaska State Library photo collection)
Resilience of the Dora, part 2

The S.S. Dora touched lives on and became part of the history of the Kenai Peninsula and Southcentral Alaska.

Steller Sea Lions can be seen in an enclosure at the Alaska SeaLife Center on Friday, Sept. 24, 2021, in Seward, Alaska. (Photo by Erin Thompson/Peninsula Clarion)
Alaska SeaLife Center to Alaskans: We’re still here for you

You rallied and kept us alive. Today, we’re writing to say thank you.