Valentine’s Day week is the most
wonderful time of the year … right behind March Madness,
Jan. 1 bowl games, the Super Bowl, the World Series, the World
Series of Poker, the NBA playoffs, Wimbledon (and all tennis
slams), the Masters (and all golf slams), the College World Series
(baseball and softball), the Road to the Stanley Cup, Wrestlemania,
dentist appointments, final exam week, the Pro Bowl, anytime
Elimi-date is on and walking through the February slush of Michigan
— in that order.

Julie Pannuto

Am I a bitter and, oh, so single college student? In a word,
yes.

In four words: I hate Valentine’s Day.

I hate it not because I’m single, but because there is
nothing to distract me from the fact I am single. With every major
sport in hibernation or in the middle of an almost-meaningless
regular season, I am forced to spend this week with no
entertainment, except for my job and studying.

It makes me miss the XFL. (Couldn’t they throw together an
old-timers game? I know if anyone would ruin Valentine’s Day
for the pure fun of it, it would be Vince McMahon.)

Now, while my sullenness will increase ten-fold over the next
week, a great deal of my male counterparts will be throwing
together some
dinner/movie/jewelry-giving/flower-giving/teddy-bear-giving package
to show their significant other they love them. What this leaves is
a girlfriend who doesn’t really know what to get their
guy.

So ladies, fear not, I’ve got your entire last-week
Valentine’s Day shopping list for you right here.

For the NFL fan in your life: Pre-order the first, and
unfortunately last, season of “Playmakers” on DVD.
It’s bad television, but the good kind of bad television. It
will also give your guy something to watch between seasons of
“Sex in the City” on DVD.

I hear the fine people at ESPN have put together a clip show
featuring NFL players’ arrests, endzone celebrations, tirades
addressed at the media and anything else the NFL does to show why
the league is a hypocrite for canceling the show. (The Janet
Jackson/Justin Timberlake fiasco will have commentary from Omar
Gooding, who played the remarkable role of D.H.)

For the NHL fan in your life: Give them some lovin’
and a lot of tissues. The NHL is about ready to go on strike, which
will most likely lead to the reduction of teams. Your die-hard
hockey fan may not cry now, but if one of the Original Six is among
the casualties (it happens, look at the Cleveland Browns in the
NFL), expect a plethora of tears to follow.

For the MLB fan in your life: An Ivan “Pudge”
Rodriguez jersey. The most beautiful No. 7 jersey since Drew
Henson’s, this gift will never be cherished for generations
to come. And if your boyfriend doesn’t like it or is a fan of
one of those unimportant teams, send it to Kyle O’Neill,
Student Publications Building, 420 Maynard, Ann Arbor, MI.

For the NBA fan in your life: Show your knowledge of the
league, avoid LeBron- and Melo-mania, and get them paraphernalia
featuring Jermaine O’Neal, Peja Stojakovic or Kevin Garnett.
They’re star players on teams that — gasp! — win
games.

For the Michigan fan in your life: Try to get in contact
with a University official, and set up a picnic in the middle of
freezing-cold Michigan Stadium. You can make it as romantic as you
wish (music and a movie over the big screen), and he’ll will
owe you one for getting him down on the turf of the Big House.

Note: You have no chance of pulling this off.

For the gymnastics fan in your life: Michigan vs. No. 2
Utah at Crisler Arena this Saturday. Trust me, he’ll love you
for the opportunity to watch the women’s gymnastics team, and
he’ll be rooting on his school.

For the fan of other sports that I neglect: If your
boyfriend watches a sport that you couldn’t name if you
tried, try one of many things: Ryder Cup tickets (it’s in
Michigan this year), an autographed Andy Roddick picture, a piece
of a wreck from a NASCAR event, a deck of cards autographed by
Chris Moneymaker and Sammy Farha or tickets to a WWE event with the
promise you will be excited when each wrestler makes their
appearance down the ramp.

For the male who needs to shop for the female in his life who
is a bigger sports nut than he is:
Yes, these ladies are out
there, and they are growing in numbers, which is a good thing. Most
likely, these women aren’t going to want the traditional red,
purple and pink Valentine’s Day. Instead, take them to the 3
p.m. showing of Colorado at Detroit this Saturday at Joe Louis
Arena (you’ll have to scalp tickets). The very likely
possibility of a brawl will undoubtedly fire up your girlfriend for
the rest of the night.

Finally, for the Michigan State fan in your life: Dump
them. Most likely, they worship players like Jason Andreas or some
football player that will end up like Sedrick Irvin (who?).

-Kyle O’Neill will most likely be reading and catching
up for his English 349 class this Saturday night, but if you happen
to be an attractive female with any toleration for his columns,
contact him at
“mailto:kylero@umich.edu”>kylero@umich.edu.

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