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Quick question, and be honest.

How many of you skipped work Monday because you had a little bit too much fun watching the big game?

Since 2005, the Workforce Institute at Kronos have conducted the “Super Bowl Fever” survey that estimates the number of people who call into work the Monday after the game. Results from the survey allowed the institute to estimate “17.5 million American workers will reportedly miss work the day after Super Bowl LIV – making Monday, Feb. 3, the largest-ever anticipated day of Super Bowl-related absenteeism since The Workforce Institute at Kronos began tracking this phenomenon in 2005.”

So odds are, you know someone who called in “sick.”

Now that the NFL is out of our lives until next September, sports junkies need a new outlet to their fix. The good news is, unlike the dog days of summer when there is only baseball, there are plenty of sports to watch that will fill the NFL void in your life.

The smart sports fan turns their attention to college basketball. Selection Sunday isn’t until March 15, which gives you plenty of time to survey the college basketball landscape and give yourself an inside edge when it comes to filling out your bracket a little more than a month from now.

It appears to be another wide-open year, with no clear favorite to win it all. Although, I will admit, I’m pumped to see the North Carolina Tar Heels struggle this year. (Go, Duke, go!)

For the hardcore baseball fanatics, pitchers and catchers begin to report for spring training beginning next week.

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Of course, with the trade deadline in the NBA this week and All-Star weekend just around the corner; the NBA is about to heat up. Between the Saturday primetime and Sunday showcase games, the league certainly tries to hold your attention for the entire weekend.

There is also soccer getting into full swing, hockey, as well as a string of big time pay-per-view UFC and boxing fights. Safe to say, there is no shortage of sports for you to check out.

One league that is about to kick off this weekend that has piqued my interest is the XFL, a professional American football league. For years, a number of people have tried and failed to start a league that could hold its own along with the NFL.

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The Arena Football League perhaps had done the best in terms of longevity but declared Chapter 7 bankruptcy and ceased all operations last year. The Alliance of American American football didn’t even finish their first season.

In their inaugural season, the XFL has eight teams: the Dallas Renegades, Houston Roughnecks, Los Angeles Wildcats , New York Guardians, St. Louis BattleHawks, Seattle Dragons, Tampa Bay Vipers and the D.C. Defenders.

(Notice how easy it was for the Washington team to not pick a racist name?)

The league was able to pick up some notable names known in the football world to give themselves some clout from the outset. Head coaches like former head coach of the University of Oklahoma Bob Stoops and former NFL coaches Marc Trestman and Jim Zorn.

Additionally, there are a number of players the avid football fan will probably recognize. The quarterback of the D.C. Defenders is Cardale Jones who won the college football national championship for Ohio State University in 2015. Former Carolina Panthers defensive end Kony Ealy and former Pittsburgh Steelers second-string quarterback Landry Jones are in the league as well.

For some, it’s a chance to play professional football again and for others a second-chance to prove they can still play and put film on tape to try to get back into the NFL.

The cool thing I like about this new iteration of the XFL are the new rules and gameplay innovations. They consulted fans and surveyed players to produce what they hope is a more exciting game for both parties.

For example, there will be no field goals after a touchdown is scored. Instead, teams can choose to go for one, two or three points from different distances depending on which they choose. Overtime rules are different, two-forward passes are allowed on a play and to the delight of football fans every, they have a very clear rule of what is considered a catch. 

All things considered, I hope it works out for everyone involved. Because every die-hard sports fan always loves more.

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Kolby KickingWoman is a reporter/producer for Indian Country Today. He is Blackfeet/Gros Ventre from the great state of Montana and currently reports and lives in Washington, D.C. Follow him on Twitter - @KDKW_406. Email -

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