Let's talk actual football for one quick minute before we get into bars and snacks. The Patriots have won a couple games in a row, and they will win their final six, all against average-to-crappy teams, and enter the playoffs with a two-month winning streak and unreasonably high expectations.
Then they'll lose to a team with a competent quarterback and you will have read it here first. Their terrible, injured defense isn't any better than it was three weeks ago; they've just hit an extended soft patch in the schedule. Ugh, I'm getting predepressed just typing about it. Time to discuss happier things, like bars and beers and chicken partition.
With Thanksgiving behind us and the best days of our lives ahead of us (playoffs and who knows, maybe Nobel prizes or lottery victories or at least amicable out-of-court settlements), we've now entered the late-middle part of the NFL schedule, where even though the games get bigger each week, my interest starts to wane.
I'm not built for the long haul, fan-wise. I don't like to say I get bored easily, because that tends to imply either A.D.D. or ambition, and I have neither. But after a few months of Sundays on the couch, I do start to get a little bit uncomfortable with the routine. What I'm saying is that by this point in the season, I've memorized all the announcers' blood becurdling tics and pet phrases (mostly, they just like to over-annunciate "NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE!" and chuckle), and Emily has memorized all my joke-rants about said tics and pets, so it's time to start venturing forth into the wild to watch our football with the great semi-washed, replica jerseyed masses.
Sports and bars are two of my favorite things, but I don't love sports bars. Aren't the universe and I fascinating and unpredictable?!?! I find sports bars to be overly stimulating; there are too many things to hear and smell and stare at, and too many large men in nylon mesh shirts. They're like strip clubs without the strippers. Or with strippers working day jobs as pigtailed pitcher-fetchers.
So I'm currently in the market for a football-watching bar to bring my Sunday afternoons back to life, but I'm pretty picky. I don't want there to be more than two games on at a time, because I can't handle the confusion caused by fans of games C or D cheering at times that make no sense to those of us watching games A or B.
I would like there to be pitchers of fizzy yellow beer, because pitchers are festive! and I get at least 3 pints out of each one while Emily employs all sorts of time-wasting tactics like waiting for foam to settle and chewing her food. And speaking of Emily and food, I would like to find a football-watching bar that serves mini hamburgers, because I find it emasculating to split normal-sized hamburgers in the presence of strangers yelling at televisions.
There should also be chicken wings and chicken fingers, because, for a biologist, Emily has exceptionally poor chicken anatomy knowledge. She says she likes wings, but she means boneless wings, so she means chicken fingers. Wings have bones in them, and theses bones serve an essential regulating function. Trusting myself around boneless fried chicken is sheer madness; might as well sit down to a bowl of de-shelled pistachios, or go the slightly faster route and shoot myself in the heart.
The reason I can still fit into my Sunday best football sweats after all these years is that the time spent gnawing around bones keeps my wing-consumption to a respectable level. (I also removed the drawstring.) If Mars made bone-in M&M's, I'd be a swimsuit model. But my dainty lady does not like to gnaw amongst strangers, and therefore must have a separate order of chicken fingers.
I don't think we're going to find the right bar in time for this Sunday's Patriots game, though, so it's time to drum up another sad-ass excuse for football-themed Bloody Mary and deviled egg variants. This week, the Patriots will be beating the Cheez Whiz out of the dirty, rotten Philadelphia Eagles, and I will be eating and drinking as follows.
For the Deviled Eggs
Man, Philly's tough. I already shot my cream cheese wad on a New York recipe, I don't want to go the hacky cheesesteak route, and I'm not entirely certain what a hoagie is. Thank goodness my dear friend Bobby America is an Eagles fan and a New Orleans native. We will craft these eggs in his honor, which means we will add horseradish and tomato paste to the filling and top them with shrimp.
For the Bloody Marys
Back to you, Bobby A. "Bloody Marys hurt my stomach. Can I just drink Heineken instead?" Sure thing, buddy.