Top 5 ways to enjoy the NFL Playoffs (if your team stinks)

So your team’s season is over. Maybe they haven’t been officially eliminated from the playoffs just yet, but you know the truth. They’re done. All hope is lost. To make matters worse, we’ve probably already stuck a fork in them. Whether you’re bitter that your team didn’t live up to its potential (Eagles, Chargers) or you saw this coming back in August (Chiefs, Raiders), here is a list of ways for you to make the most of what’s left of the NFL season, even with your team on its way out.

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5) Become a fan of the rival team of your best friend

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(Jim Prisching/Associated Press)

(Jim Prisching/Associated Press)

Say your friend is a Chicago Bears fan. Rather than wasting your time, attention, or effort rooting for your team, devote yourself to rooting for the Green Bay Packers. Have a Baltimore Ravens fan in the family? You just became the #1 fan of Charlie Batch and the Pittsburgh Steelers. You’ll find much more satisfaction reviling in your friend’s discomfort and disdain for your new obsession, rather than toiling over whether or not your team will draft Jarvis Jones or Manti Te’o.

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4) Prepare for the NFL Draft

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(Jason DeCrow/Associated Press)

(Jason DeCrow/Associated Press)

Speaking of Jones and Te’o, you could also turn your full attention to the 2013 NFL Draft. Utilize our handy Draft Tracker to study up on the top prospects. Plant your flag in someone for your team to take in the first round. Find some late round sleepers so you can impress your friends with your robust knowledge. And then ridicule and mock them when their team makes a questionable pick come April. Just don’t overdo it. The last thing you want is your friends thinking you have too much time on your hands, or they may start inviting you to join their questionable hobbies.

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3) Start your New Year’s Resolution early

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(Tom Uhlman/Associated Press)

(Tom Uhlman/Associated Press)

Like everyone else in America, come January 2nd you’ll be driven to exercise more, eat healthier, quit smoking, or follow some other pipe dream you’ll ultimately give up before St. Patrick’s Day. So take the extra month to get ahead of the curve. Start working out before the gyms get packed with over-zealous couch potatoes. Start testing out healthier recipes so you don’t accidentally serve your friends the equivalent of vegan poison. This way, when you throw in the towel with everyone else in the spring (and you will, be honest), you’ll at least be farther along in your goal than anyone else, and can thus gloat all the way up until the start of the next NFL season… when your team will hopefully be better.

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2) Buy Madden 2013 and live vicariously through your virtual team

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(Electronic Arts)

(Electronic Arts)

If your team’s performance has you so embittered with the NFL that you can’t stomach to watch another snap (and we hope this isn’t the case), get your hands on a copy of Madden 2013 and play as your favorite team. You’re guaranteed to make the playoffs, because unlike in real life you can start a game over if you throw an interception in the first quarter. Boy, does Mark Sanchez wish this were true for actual NFL games.

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1) Quit crying and enjoy  some football

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(Patrick Semansky/Associated Press)

(Patrick Semansky/Associated Press)

Big deal, your team didn’t make the playoffs. This is the NFL people. An average of 5 to 6 teams that make the playoffs this year will not make the playoffs next year, except the Patriots. That means there’s a relatively good chance your team could be one of those new teams to sneak in. So put aside the tissues, call up some friends, and watch some football. It’s the right thing to do.

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