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Can’t you feel it out there? In the air. It’s crisp and still light out at 3PM and everyone is in a cheery mood!

I hate it.

What are we to do as Hawkeye fans with an extra-slow news cycle with our basketball program out of relevancy and absolutely nothing worth watching on TV these next few weeks? We can’t just sit back and watch other teams play basketball, that’s blasphemous.

I say go back to your roots! And I’m assuming your roots are gin drinks poured with a particularly heavy-hand, an alarming amount of coffee, and games -- of the board and video variety. And as little time outdoors as absolutely possible. I’ve decided that there’s just nothing of value for me outside. My fair skin can’t handle intense elements like ice and wind and the sun.

The next five-hundred words will be dedicated to teaching you how to reach a state of Chakra Hawkra, a place in the mind free of the complexities and headaches that come with being an Iowa fan at this time in your life. I do this not only because I care about your mental health, sad, sad reader, but also because I’m ignorant enough to think you’ll care about the opinions of a Millenial Basement Blogger, who’s also uncreative enough to actually think of a real topic even semi-relevant to Iowa sports that would fit into a blog column.

So here it is, my guide for avoiding the stupid, evil, wonderful event that is March Madness:

  • The first order of business is to remove any and all sports-related apps from your phone. You can’t be notified about buzzer-beaters, Grayson Allen trips and Ed Cooley wardrobe malfunctions while ascending to Hawkra. If you have a flip phone, please skip to the next bullet and also leave a comment below; I’m genuinely curious if anyone on here has a flip phone.

    Purging your phone is important because if you’re anything like the average American, you check it roughly 76 times an hour. You don’t need to be reminded of your fandom on this little mini-vacation every time you check your phone to see if you got a new Instabook follower. Better yet, just get rid of your phone altogether.
  • Now that you’ve thrown your mobile device into the nearest snowbank, I recommend unplugging your television sets. There’s a chance you could see a basketball score on the ticker, and you can’t let such worries plague your mind as you reach Hawkra.
  • Next, I’d assemble your closest friends or acquaintances or nearest reluctantly willing strangers and play Settlers of Catan for hours on end. Don’t keep track of time, the standard calendar is an invention of greedy fishermen anyway. If you don’t know what Catan is, you can buy it on Amazon here. Once you’ve placed your order light your computer on fire, you will no longer need it.
  • Pause your Catan playing for only sleep and sustenance. Bathroom breaks can be taken in between turns. For food, just stock up on milk, flour and vitamins.
  • Now that you’re clear on the rules of Catan, it’s time to build a vendetta against one of your playing partners for no good reason. Maybe they screwed you over last game or maybe you just don’t like their face. Logic has no place in Catan!
  • You’ve now placed the robber on your rivals resources three turns in a row. Good. You can see he’s starting to crack. This is a game of mental survival, not just brick-hoarding. This ... is ... HAWKRA.
  • Sheep! Sheep! So much Sheep! What could the settlers POSSIBLY do with so much friggin’ sheep that carried such little value. What a bunch of IDIOTS.
  • Turn on the radio to just maybe catch the evening news. What’s that you say? The radio’s battery has been dead for the past three days? I hadn’t even noticed, we’ve been playing this fun and wholesome board game for so long.
  • Seriously, Kris, why would you give Evan a wheat for a wood? He’s going to win on his next turn now.
  • If you’re still reading, please send all complaints to my dear editor, @mattcabel
  • You should probably call your mom. It was her birthday a few days ago and you never did take her to the movies. That’s right, your cell phone is basically a big, electric ice cube since you threw it in the snow. Mom will be fine.
  • SUCCESS! Three wins in a row, LOSERS! Call me the LONGEST ROAD GAWD.
  • Day 41. I no longer count sheep in my sleep. The sheep count me. I am the master of their domain. I am Catan.
  • Hey guys I think the snow melted. Did we miss March Madness?

    Who cares, I’ve got six points on the board here. Does anyone have any wheat?

This is my way of saying we’re a Settlers of Catan blog now. You’re welcome.

Go, continue attacking the week, avoid the racket that is March Madness (don’t worry a gambling guide is incoming) and tell all who will listen that if you roll another seven I’m going to hang you by my tube socks.