Fall is all about football, but what if you’re just not that into it? We say you’re one of the lucky ones. You get what no other sports fan gets this time of year: A window of time to run errands you would normally avoid – or dread. Sprinting around town on a Saturday is easy as “1, 2, 3...HUT!” when just about everyone is preoccupied with the tossing of the pigskin. Here’s how to tackle your football-free-time and make a play for ‘MMVP’ (manager of minutes very practically) of all time.
1. Hit Harbison... hard!
Shopping on Harbison this time of year proves that football isn’t fall’s only contact sport. The act can be an excruciatingly painful exercise in patience and lack of personal space if your timing is off. While everyone is distracted by the game, lace up and take Columbiana Place, Nordstrom Rack, Target or even Regal Columbiana Grande by storm. They won’t see you coming and that, my friend, is called strategy.
2. Touchdown on Starbucks
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Whether it’s the ‘bucks on Harbison, the Vista or Five Points, lines this time of year can put you on the defense. They’re long and slow (how long does it take to order a PSL!?) and the only saving grace is free wi-fi and people watching. Any other day and you’d be looking at a wait time that could exceed your caffeine withdrawal, but not today! Make a 50-yard dash to the front and be in and out faster than it’d take most football teams to make it through the first quarter.
3. Go, go grocery shopping!
Another example of a place that’s the equivalent of being at the bottom of the tackle pile on the weekends. It doesn’t matter what side of town you live on – or if you shop at a big box retailer or at Rosewood Market – “game time” is “go to the grocery store time.” Think of the sheer number of people who charge into the grocery store right before a game, just for tailgate snacks and game day munchies. Now think of all those people sitting at home while you peruse the same aisles hassle free. And for the proverbial field goal, by the time you get there the shelves will be restocked, the produce will be fresh and the lines nonexistent. Score one for the home... kitchen!
4. Score big at the liquor store
Don’t even think about going to Green’s, Morganelli’s or Bottles on a Friday or Saturday before a football game, especially when all you want is a respectable bottle of wine or spirit to accompany your weekend. Save yourself the hassle of getting stuck behind endless shopping carts of beer, booze and bro’s. Sit back and wait until everyone else is settling in for kick off before you make your move.
5. Tackle the city on foot
Always wanted to explore the river walk, check out what’s new at Riverbanks Zoo or just go sight seeing downtown? Here’s your window to explore. While just about everyone you know has turned into animated coach potatoes, do some reps and take some steps all over town. There’s no shortage of things to do and see in and around the city - from checking out the latest exhibit at the South Carolina State Museum, to food tours conducted by 2 Gals and a Fork, to watching a film at the Nick, it will be a lot easier to see Columbia when you can actually see Columbia.