Have you ever been stuck home with a serious cold that you decided to go out and buy one of those expensive new high definition capable televisions and then proceed to lay on the couch all day everyday watching anything athletic or competitive you could find on the 100-plus channels of boring day-time programming, for the sole purpose of alleviating your misery?

I was that guy last week.

I sneezed and wheezed and watched women’s college volleyball, the MLB Division races, a little Texas Hold’em poker, and a rather lengthy Body by Jake infomercial, just to name a few. In-between coughs and sneezes and at times what felt like both-a cougheeze, if you will-I also watched college football, pro football, and futbol, which helped induce a deep snooze on several occasions. Yes, it was a week of sweatpants, Kleenex, cough medicine with codeine, soup, and suffering, but I got through it with a little help from some strong antibiotics called ESPNHD. And for the first time in my life, I overdosed.

It began with Florida State versus North Carolina State, circa. 2002, on ESPN Classic, and it gravitated to Florida State versus North Carolina State, current day, on network television. I watched so much postseason baseball, the Yankees seemed irrelevant, which I witnessed as the Tigers knocked them out of the playoffs in three straight games. It reminded me that it was time to dust off my Tigers cap, the one I bought to resemble Magnum, P.I. years ago. Although I could probably make a pretty good run at growing the moustache this time around, I think I’ll pass, maybe just buy a Hawaiian shirt. I can’t consider leasing a Ferrari, not with the new T.V. and all.

Terrell Owens and his new team the Cowboys taking on his old team the Eagles took the pressure off my sinuses. I was too busy being absorbed by Owens’ antics on the sideline-he could be seen hollering at coaches and quarterback Drew Bledsoe about throwing him the ball, though, he kept dropping it-to whine about the needles in my face.

The Bears mauling the Buffalo Bills 40-7 eased my chest congestion. All remnants of phlegm dissipated with each touchdown. I was breathing normal by halftime.

I watched that NIU running back phenom Garrett Wolfe have a mediocre night in a win over Miami of Ohio. Wolfe rushed for 162 yards on 29 carries. The week before Wolfe had racked up 353 yards on the ground against Ball State. I made a hazy mental note: Drive out to my place of birth and see a potential Heisman Trophy winner, when, of course, my head is not floating in mucus.

I listened to countless speculation as to who the Cubs’ new manager might be. I’m pretty sure I heard Joe Girardi, Lou Piniella, Bob Brenly, and Sean P. Diddy Combs as possible candidates, but I can’t confirm that-the codeine may have kicked in at that point.

When there were lulls in sports programming, I persevered. I would channel surf until I landed on something relatable. I remember watching John Fogerty sing a rowdy rendition of “Centerfield” live in concert. Singing along, I changed the words, “Put me with a cold, I’m ready to play today, look at me …”

And then, just like that, I realized I was cured.

Contact: bspencer@wjinc.com

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Brad Spencer

Brad Spencer has been covering sports in and around Oak Park for more than a decade, which means the young athletes he once covered in high school are now out of college and at home living with their parents...