By Sean Wagner-McGough
January 19, 2015

For athletes, taking time off to recover from injuries is part of the job. Since watching your teammates play while you’re stuck on the sidelines is tedious at best and tortuous at worst, we’ve assembled this list of five things that injured athletes in the NBA, NHL or wherever should do while they’re laid up.

1. Friends


NBC’s keystone sitcom enjoyed 10 seasons on air, and now it’s making headlines again on Netflix. Chances are, most professional athletes were too busy trying to make it to the pros to watch all 236 episodes when they originally aired. Now, injured athletes who can’t play with their teams have something to do while “we were on a break!”

2. See all the Oscar nominees


On Feb. 22, the 87th Academy Awards ceremony will take place in Hollywood. This could finally be the year for certain athletes, like Paul Richardson and Anderson Varejao, who are both out for the season, to really dominate their Oscar pools by going out and actually watching all the nominees. I can’t wait to hear what they all think of Linklater’s use of non-narrative form!

3. Read – not watch – Game of Thrones

It’s not unreasonable to think that many athletes are already watching HBO’s award-winning TV show, Game of Thrones. But many die-hard fans want an even closer connection to the material, so they turn to the original books by George R.R. Martin. With five books at around 850 pages each, this might be the only opportunity an otherwise-busy professional athlete has to devote the necessary time to completing this series. Then, they can take some time to reflect on the things that athletes can learn from Game of Thrones (or, they could ask George R.R. Martin himself).

4. The Peyton Manning route

If you’re an athlete who actually stands a chance at getting back into the game soon (like Richard Sherman and Earl Thomas), you might not have time to catch up on TV. You need to recover! If you’re a player in this situation, you can take a page from Peyton Manning’s book by soaking your leg in a hot tub, wearing a helmet so you can listen to your offensive coordinator, and study the game tape via an iPad.

5. Start a podcast

There are literally no barriers to entry in the world of podcasting. Athletes have been connecting with their fans in more ways than ever since the advent of social media, and now’s the perfect time to connect in an even longer-form way with the use of some recording equipment. Imagine how great it would be if, for example, JaVale McGee's Vine videos could be expanded to 90 minutes:

Sean Wagner-McGough is a writer for Next Impulse Sports

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