Once we’re all finished canceling our Super Bowl plans and swearing off football forever (or at least until training camp opens in July), it’s time to fill that gaping hole in our schedules. Or maybe some of us are so despondent over the results of a certain football game Saturday that we just need something positive to plan for.
If so, fear not; we’ve got your back. Here are a eight future events to focus on, eight ways to assure yourself that, yes, there is living to be done even after your team exits prematurely from the postseason. (Orioles fans went through similar doldrums in 2014, when the team got swept by the Royals in the ALCS, so they’ve had a little experience here.)
So cheer up already, and get ready for...
Martin Luther King Jr. Parade
Who doesn’t love a parade? And while a post-Super Bowl parade for the Ravens would have been nice, how about a parade in honor of one of the key figures of the 20th century, a man who fought (and died) for the idea that all people deserve dignity and respect? Baltimore has been throwing an MLK Day parade for two decades now, and we’ve gotten pretty good at it, with marching bands, step teams, floats and all sorts of celebratory stuff. The marching starts at noon Jan. 20 at the corner of Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. and Pratt Street, then heads south on MLK to Baltimore Street. promotionandarts.org.
Academy Award nominations were announced Monday, which means it’s time to argue about who got left out (no love for J Lo? Outrageous!), to complain about how-of-touch the motion picture academy is (once again, only men were nominated for Best Director? What about Greta Gerwig and “Little Women”!), to try and see all the nominated movies you’ve somehow missed (better get to The Charles to see “Parasite” while you still can) and start figuring out the upset win you can predict, thus ensuring success in the Oscar pool (think Renee Zellweger is a Best Actress sure-thing for “Judy”? Don’t forget Scarlett Johansson for “Marriage Story,” or even Saoirse Ronan for “Little Women”). The Oscars show is early this year — Feb. 9 — which means you have less than a month to become an expert.
Sports teams still in pursuit of glory
OK, the Ravens had a good run, but they’re done until September. Howzabout following the University of Maryland Terps, whose men’s and women’s basketball teams are both making noise on the national scene. The 20th-ranked women handily beat 24th-ranked Michigan last week, 77-49. Admittedly, the 17th-ranked men’s team had a tough week, losing to unranked Iowa, 67-49. But it’s early, and there’s a lot of basketball left in the season (remember, even the Ravens lost to Cleveland before catching fire). Next up for the women is Nebraska on Jan. 16, while the men take on Wisconsin Jan. 14.
Celebrate the legacy of Edgar Allan Poe
The Ravens may be done for the moment, but the man who gave us “The Raven” is still going strong. In fact, this coming weekend, during which the esteemed Mr. E.A. Poe, author of “The Raven,” would have turned 211, is filled with opportunities to celebrate his legacy. A free PoeZella Birthday Bash is set for 5 p.m. Saturday at Zella’s Pizzeria, 1145 Hollins St., featuring a display of Poe-themed photographs from the Baltimore Camera Club, plus pizza and a special toast. poeinbaltimore.org. Also on Saturday, Poe birthday celebrations are planned for 3 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. at the famed author’s final resting place, Westminster Hall and Burying Ground, 519 W. Fayette St., with dramatic performances, readings of some of his most famous works (including “The Raven,” of course) and a visit from the famed Poe Toaster. Free, but tickets required, available through eventbrite.com. And on Sunday, Baltimore’s Edgar Allan Poe House & Museum, 203 N. Amity St., will be officially added to United for Libraries’ Literary Landmarks list, during a free ceremony set for 1 p.m. poeinbaltimore.org.
Elvis and the bulls
Desperately looking for something to do this weekend other than watch the shockingly Ravens-less NFL playoffs? Well, Elvis will be in the building at Highlandtown’s Creative Alliance, 3134 Eastern Ave., for the annual Elvis’ Birthday Fight Club, a mix of music, performance, burlesque and decidedly non-lethal fisticuffs fit for the once-and-future King. 7:30 p.m. and 10 p.m. Friday, 9:30 p.m. Saturday. $25-$31. creativealliance.org. Over at Royal Farms Arena, 45 of the world’s premier Professional Bull Riders will be hanging on for dear life at the PBR Pendleton Whisky Velocity Tour’s Baltimore Invitational. 8 p.m. Friday, 7 p.m. Saturday. $24-$134. royalfarmsarena.com.
Now that Baltimore’s Super Bowl plans are shot, it looks like Feb. 2 is suddenly up for grabs. Here are a few suggestions on things to do that day that don’t involve a pigskin: the celebration of centuries of Chinese art and culture that is Shen Yun will take to the stage at 2 p.m. at the Hippodrome, 12 N. Eutaw St. ($93-$195.50, france-merrickpac.com); playwright Sam Shepard’s Pulitzer Prize-winning “The Buried Child” will be presented by Theatrical Mining Company at 2 p.m. at the Function Coworking Community, 4709 Harford Road ($10, theatricalmining.org); The Ballet Theatre of Maryland will perform “The Snow Queen” at 3 p.m. at the Gordon Center for Performing Arts, 3506 Gwynnbrook Ave. in Owings Mills ($20-$25, jcc.org); the jazz duo of Mike 'N' Ike will have their weekly jazz session at 7 p.m. at Cabaret at Germano’s, 300 S. High St. (germanospiattini.com).
If you’re totally bummed and the only way to get through the next few weeks is to focus on something seriously in the future, try: Celine Dion at Royal Farms Arena Feb. 24 (42 days from now); Balticon fantasy and science fiction convention May 22-25 (130 days from now); Artscape July 17-19 (186 days from now); Rod Stewart and Cheap Trick at Merrriweather Post Pavilion Aug. 15 (215 days from now); Maryland State Fair Aug. 27-Sept. 7 (227 says from now).
And lest we forget...
Pitchers and catchers report for Orioles Spring Training on Feb. 11, and Opening Day is March 26 against the Yankees. Go O’s!