Football, Deviled Eggs, Bloody Marys: NFL Week 9
This has been a tough week to be a fan of the New England Patriots. First and most crappily, tens of thousands of Patriots fans spent a good percentage of the week without electricity due to power lines that showed less resilience than you might expect, if you expect something with "power" right there in the name to be tougher than dead leaves and partially frozen water.
We didn't lose power at my house, but I still suffered right along with my be-darkened fellow fans, for I had to watch the Patriots lose on Sunday and then endure a week of trying to reconcile backup wide receiver Julian Edelman's indecent assault arrest with last week's Ben Roethlisberger-bashing.
You may recall that I questioned the character of anyone who could root for the oft-accused but never-convicted Pittsburgh quarterback. Well, I can think of one redeeming quality for Roethlisberger: At least the man is good at football. Edelman's season total of three catches per indecent assault charge prevents him from making even that shoddy defense.
I'm not saying that being good at your job—regardless of profession—much mitigates creepy-to-criminal conduct outside the office, but it does provide an answer to the question, "Wait, why are we consenting to share a planet with this person? What's he doing to earn his oxygen? Oh, he's good at football. Well, that's ... something."
You know how when Steve Jobs died, the whole world pretended he was a saint for a couple days at first, because we have a somewhat childish collective inability to recognize flaws in our heroes? The general consensus was, "He made awesome toys, ergo he must have been a wonderful father and a better-than-average bowler, at the very least."
Or, when faced with overwhelming evidence that the hero in question is a jerk or a terrible miniature golfer, we bend over backward to make excuses about how genius demands sociopathy. (Note: I have no opinion on Steve Jobs' character and I kindly beg you to please pretend the same for a couple minutes. I don't know nearly enough about the man's life to make judgments, I'm just using him as the most prominent recent example of the way we struggle to classify every detail of a person's life based on evidence of one outsized strength or weakness.)
With pro athletes, we've come to expect so little by way of decent behavior that we can shrug off all but the most egregious transgressions. Just last week, Patriots fans largely laughed when our amiable knucklehead of a tight end was photographed with a porn actress. Most rational sports fans have long since given up on the idea of placing athletes on moral pedestals or treating them as role models for our children's behavior, so it's easy enough to explain away a legal, consensual encounter with a porn lady. When your kid asks about it, you just say, "Yeah, posing half-naked with porn people is kinda scummy. Please don't be kinda scummy."
But back to Edelman: He's accused of doing something beyond kinda scummy. He allegedly reached up under a stranger's skirt at a nightclub on Halloween. Who knows if he did it, innocent until proven guilty and all that. I get it. But it's still a gross story that makes the not-particularly-likable Patriots that much harder to cheer for. Just under 4 percent of the active roster (Edelman and Haynesworth) have been accused of groping women in bars in the past year.
But of course I can suppress my disappointment come Sunday afternoon, because that's what sports sheep do.
This week the Patriots play the Giants, and now that Peyton Manning's injured, I'm sure I can drum up the energy to transfer my irrational hatred of that pleasant-seeming stranger over to his brother, Giants quarterback Eli. The Giants are going to score about a billion points, and for the sake of consistency in my inaccuracy, let's say the Patriots are going to score a billion and one, and thereby redeem every negative thing that's ever happened. And for the sake of consistency in eating and drinking, let's come up with New York Giants-themed Bloody Marys and deviled eggs to nurse us through the action.
For the Deviled Eggs
When the Patriots played the Jets, we discussed that New York teams provide fertile ground for eggs because New Yorkers think they invented most foodstuffs not directly linked to the Garden of Eden. This week, let's indulge their pizza provincialism by topping our eggs with sliced pepperoni. But let's do this right: Get a stick of pepperoni and slice it yourself. None of that thin, baloneyish, presliced nonsense.
For the Bloody Marys
Step 1) Open a bottle of Andre.
Step 2) Drink it straight from the bottle while you make a Bloody Mary.