Dear Tom, Wes, Vince, Bill, the gang at Foxboro, please accept my genuine thanks for the bye week next weekend. As a skier first and Pats fan second, this time of year can be stressful. It's probably an anxious time for you too. For skiers, Sunday game time can cause ski-interruptus. It's a conundrum when you want to continue Sunday fun day skiing, but you want to be home by the big screen in time for your big kick off.
Yesterday's Patriots Dolphin romp was just what I dreamed for (okay, didn't plan on a shut out - that was a bonus). And thank you NFL for moving yesterday's game to après ski time, after the lifts closed. Now we can all enjoy a Playoff Bye Week. You guys can rest up (Gronk and Ninkovich especially), review plays, and get ready for the AFC Divisional Round game. Meanwhile, I can go skiing next weekend without worry of missing a minute of football with you.
Note to skiers: January 5-6 weekend on the slopes is notoriously slower, immediately following the busier Christmas New Year's holiday. And with the new snow, New England ski resorts will be wide open.
And our New England positioning gets better, you Pats earned yourselves home field advantage to play your AFC Divisional Round on Sunday, Jan. 13 at 4:30 against either the Texans, Colts, or Ravens.
That means we skiers can hit the slopes that weekend as well (when it will be perfectly acceptable and encouraged to ski in your Patriots jersey). As long as we leave the slopes Sunday by 1 or 2pm, we can be home in front of our TVs for game time - après ski a la Pats. Go Pats. And skiers, enjoy your bye time skiing and snowboarding.
Eric Wilbur is a lifelong recreational skier who spends most of his winter and spring in the mountains of New England. He does not ski in jeans. You can read more of Eric's work here.
Heather Burke is an award winning ski journalist with over a decade of ski news coverage. As a former ski instructor and a ski parent, she knows the ski biz from the inside out. She and her family visit New England ski resorts, as well as the West and Canada, to report on the latest trends and their best family finds. Her husband Greg takes all the accompanying photos, and their work can be seen at www.familyskitrips.com and www.luxuryskitrips.com.