A post where someone travels back in time four months to tell themselves how their supposedly “great draft” went in the future.

•December 13, 2010 • 1 Comment

So one of my fantasy football leagues, the THUNDERDOME which is made up of Steelers fans and bloggers, was emailing about our playoffs this morning and we were all laughing about how a team that started out 1-4 ended up being a top seed, games that went bad and players that had let us down. I was responding to something Mike said and added the following;

You know what would be great, a post where someone travels back in time four months to tell themselves how their supposedly “great draft” went in the future.

“Do you have flying cars yet?”
“No, but Michael Vick is considered a front runner for MVP.”
“What? What about Kolb?”
“Gone.”
“Well, I have Romo is my back-up.”
“He’ll snap his collarbone pretty early on.”
“Oh shit! That sucks. At least I drafted Randy Moss , so I’ll get all those receiving yards from Brady.”
“Hahahahahaha. So naive, four month younger self.”
“What do you mean?”
“Moss is barely on the radar in Tennessee.”
“WHAT? Well who did Titans trade to get Moss? Chris Johnson?”
“Oh, no one. They picked him up off of waivers.”
“Why would Boston waive Randy Moss?”
“They didn’t, the Vikings did. By the way, you really should try to trade for Chris Johnson. And pick up that Woodhead kid while you can.”
“The one cut on ‘Hard Knocks’ by the Jets? Is he even on a team?”
“Yes. Now, I don’t have much time left here, but when you think you should bench TO; don’t.”
“Really?”
“Really. The day you bench him will be the day he gets 27 pts.”
“But by me not benching him, don’t I throw the fabric of the universe off and maybe he doesn’t get 27 points?”
“Listen younger self, fantasy football has nothing to do with the actual games. You should know that by now.”
“Anything else?”
“Yes, the Penguins are going to suck in October. Start making gifs with sunglasses over dogs and just say ‘Deal with it’ and move on.”
*POOF AS OLD SELF GOES BACK TO THE FUTURE*

“Sunglasses on dogs that say ‘Deal with it’?”

Related, Draft 2.0 When your novelist friends think your draft talk is about your book.

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Steelers 23 Bengals 7: The difference between winning and losing.

•December 12, 2010 • 3 Comments

Bengals – 7

Steelers – 23

The Friday Football Foodie: Thursday Football Dessert, Vanilla Ice Cream, Single Malt Scotch and Ground Pepper

•December 9, 2010 • 1 Comment

Just a quick Thursday Night Football dessert suggestion if you are looking for something sweet to finish off the Colts season tonight’s Indianapolis-Tennessee game. Good vanilla ice cream, about an ounce of single malt scotch (it doesn’t have to be the good stuff), and a few turns of the pepper grinder yields a sweet treat which surprisingly tastes of caramel with a slight bite of ground pepper. Delicious.

And if you’re looking for something sweet and white sangria-ish without all the work of cutting up fruit, may I recommend Ike Taylor’s Ike-T to drink? Continue reading ‘The Friday Football Foodie: Thursday Football Dessert, Vanilla Ice Cream, Single Malt Scotch and Ground Pepper’

Steelers 13 Ravens 10: Recap

•December 5, 2010 • 2 Comments

Unflattering t-shirt, shorts and all.

WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

Bengals next week. Don’t dismiss Cincinnati, they’re dying to play spoiler in the AFC North and almost came back against the Saints this week.

The Friday Football Foodie: Maker’s Mark Manhattan Mini Cupcakes

•December 2, 2010 • 4 Comments

December. You’re already going to be baking. A lot. More than you probably want to, but you just cannot say no to another cookie exchange, holiday party or even just bringing treats into the office.

December is also when football watching all weekend, every weekend starts to become an iffy proposition because of all the aforementioned holiday parties, cookie exchanges and treats for the office you’re baking for. Which is why I start looking for treats in December that can pull double duty between bringing to a football event (boozy) and something that seems festive and colorful for the holidays (mini cupcakes). Recipes that can be easily doubled, satisfy a large group of people, and are relatively easy to make.

As I mentioned last week, December also means we’re out of meaningless football games. Joke all you want about playing for pride, but there are always more than a few teams gearing to play spoiler at the end of the regular season. Missing football in December is always a risky bet. New England-Chicago or Jets-Dolphins next weekend mean just as much to me as Steelers-Bengals in case it comes down to a Wild Card slot, even though I know I have multiple holiday obligations that same Sunday.

So not to be too manipulative, putting forth the extra effort beforehand goes along way during the holidays. If you happen to find yourself at a holiday function on a Saturday evening or Sunday afternoon — or for that matter, Monday or Thursday night at an office holiday party — no one is going mind the boorish guest who parks themselves near a TV or keeps checking their phone for scores if they bring something as seemingly extravagant as a boozy mini cupcakes.

How am I doing this holiday season? Not well. Every time I think about Sunday night’s Steelers-Ravens game, my pupils dilate, my heart flutters and I lose feeling in my extremities. I nearly blacked out reading Cory’s post at Three Rivers Blog, What’s Really At Stake: Steelers vs Ravens, I got so nervous, especially after Pittsburgh lucked out in overtime against the Bills last week. Add in a week of Baltimore heckling nonsense along with fears about the Steelers OL and Bruce Arians play calling, not to mention Ben’s broken foot, and my nerves are completely shot. The only thing that comes close to making me this tense is having another conversation about how to fit in visits with all of our in-laws.

Maker’s Mark Manhattan Mini Cupcakes

You will need… Continue reading ‘The Friday Football Foodie: Maker’s Mark Manhattan Mini Cupcakes’

The Friday Football Foodie: Arrogant Bastard Beer Battered Mashed Potato Balls

•November 22, 2010 • 4 Comments

The palpable shift in intensity around football around Thanksgiving is always invigorating. The end of the bye weeks in the NFL. Fantasy football leagues that end their seasons in Week 15 or 16 are getting ready for their play-offs. The great rivalry/hate weeks are gearing up in college football before pre-Bowl games break. The Backyard Brawl. Michigan-Ohio State. Florida-Florida State. CoughNotre Dame-USCcough. BYU-Utah’s Holy War. Probably two or three Bayou games that end with someone winning a cup made of gator teeth and wild boar snouts.

True, most of the Thanksgiving Day NFL games are usually (don’t say “turkeys” don’t say “turkeys” don’t say “turkeys”) turkeys (dammit, you said “turkeys”), and unfortunately this year doesn’t look any better going into Thursday with the 2-8 Detroit Lions hosting the 8-2 New England Patriots, 2-8 Dallas Cowboys hosting the 7-3 Saints, and the 8-2 Jets playing the sad 2-8 Bengals in the new-ish-since-2006 Thanksgiving evening game. The evening game was supposed to provide some relief for fans tired of the Lions and the Cowboys each fourth Thursday of November, but if anything, the extra game just reminds us how stubbornly the league (read: Jerry Jones’s Cowboy annual home field advantage on a short game week) can resist full-scale change.

Thanksgiving also gives Steelers fans across the nation a chance to remind everyone that the referees are so biased against Pittsburgh they once gave the team “heads” when Jerome Bettis clearly called “tails” while the coin was in the air, so consider yourself reminded for 2010 calendar year.

We’re through the meat of the season, kids. Wildly early playoff pictures are not so wildly early anymore. Losses now matter even more. Looking at the up coming games takes on extra weight as teams are about to play their division rivals for the second time of the season. Snow games. The excitement you look forward to during the off-season? Late November through December. It’s finally here.

Arrogant Bastard Beer Battered Mashed Potato Balls

This week’s Football Foodie recipe was inspired by Stone Brewery Bistro’s Spud Buds, their interpretation of classic mashed potato balls which are usually given a bread crumb coating and baked. I first tried these treats on a tour of their brewery a couple of summers ago and have been in love with them ever since.  The strong — but not overpowering —  hoppy, malty taste of Arrogant Bastard stands up really well in cooking and provides much more punch than you’re typical beer batter made with lighter brews.

Since mashed potatoes are usually one of the items every makes way too much of at Thanksgiving, this is an easy way to use them up for a football watching snack without feeling like you’re eating the same leftovers for three days in a row.

You will need… Continue reading ‘The Friday Football Foodie: Arrogant Bastard Beer Battered Mashed Potato Balls’

The Friday Football Foodie: Kielbasa Beer (Tomato-less) Sloppy Joes

•November 19, 2010 • 4 Comments

For the first time in Friday Football Foodie history, we go into the weekend without Jeff Reed kicking for the Pittsburgh Steelers. After last weekend’s Sunday night loss to the Patriots, I was ready to stop defending Reed, but I don’t know if I was ready to see him go just yet. He wasn’t on the field when Ben threw a pick-six, he wasn’t behind the defensive scheme that never seemed to pressure Brady, nor was he the one who took out our entire offensive line.

However, he missed what should have been an easy 26-yarder and blamed the grass. No, the other grass. Turf grass.

Cotter held a touching Jeff Reed Memorial Service over on One For The Other Thumb, while the rest of Yinzer Blogland seemed muted in its response. Not that Shaun Suisham is anything to get excited about —  he’s bounced around the league for the past five years with about a 79% kicking percentage on 107 attempts compared to Reed’s 81% on 207 attempts, and… Well. That’s about it. Canadian. I guess that’s something. Went to Bowling Green and was cut from the Steelers during training camp in his rookie year back in 2005.

It just feels odd that the second highest scorer in Steelers history (behind the great Gary Anderson) would leave the team in such a bitter fashion. Yes, he was upset the Rooney family didn’t give him the contract he felt he deserved in the off-season, but it seemed as if he had resigned himself to the fact that the Rooneys were not going to spend Al Davis-Sebastian Janikowski-GHB money in Pittsburgh.

Then again, Reed was also a little prescient about this season saying back in August, “Life’s not fair and I have to move on because if I don’t perform, I won’t be here anyway.”

Kielbasa Beer (Tomato-less) Sloppy Joes

Spend enough time going to potlucks, tailgates and poker games, you are bound to run into a variation of either chopped kielbasa, sausage or little smokies in brown sugar and barbecue sauce to be poked at with toothpicks. Sometimes they have pineapple, a fruit jelly of some sort or beer mixed in. It’s a completely addictive dish, but unfortunately one that keeps you tied to a hot plate and left with a mess of used sticks.

Sloppy joes can be, well, anything with ground meat and peppers and onions. Usually with tomato sauce or barbecue sauce mixed in, or in the case of Dave of Dave’s Football Blog‘s Hot Beef Dip (which we covered way back in 2007 when people still commented on blogs) made richer with mushrooms and cream cheese.

Anyway, I had been thinking of making the kielbasa snacking medallions for Thursday Night Football, but it just didn’t seem like a proper dinner. What if I made sloppy joes, but instead of ground meat, I used chopped kielbasa? And what if instead of tomato sauce, just beer? Would it work? What would I call it? What if the Bears-Dolphins game became so boring, I turned it to the Tampa Bay-Philly hockey game just to see some scoring? Would the dish still count towards the Football Foodie?

Yes, it worked. Yes it counts towards the Football Foodie, because I guarantee we’re making this at least a couple of more times this season.

You will need… Continue reading ‘The Friday Football Foodie: Kielbasa Beer (Tomato-less) Sloppy Joes’