Football, Deviled Eggs, Bloody Marys: NFL Week 14
This weekend the very good but fatally flawed New England Patriots are playing the very fatally flawed Washington Redskins. I've never been less excited for a Patriots game in December. The Pats' last opponents, the Colts, are terrible too, but at least they came with a storyline: They're historically awful, and it's fun to mock Indianapolisians, what with their six-syllable city and their car race and everything.
The Redskins offer a more mundane sort of incompetence: They've won a third of their games, which isn't enough to be relevant but also not so few as to be interesting. They don't have any exciting players or controversies, unless you can muster the energy to get all exercised about their offensive team nickname. I agree that "Redskins" is a mean and stupid thing to call a football team, but I can't claim to care enough to actively root against them.
For these reasons I'm not distraught at the prospect of missing the first half of Sunday's game on a bus to Portland. My girlfriend and I had a blast on a day trip to the Boston of Maine a couple months ago, so we're pushing our luck with toothbrushes and spare underwear this weekend. I wasn't able to rearrange my work schedule to get there on Friday or Saturday like a normal person, so we're going Sunday and Monday. This is perfect.
We save $16 on our hotel room by going Sunday, and that will get us 64 extra Buffalo wings at any number of Portland sports bars offering off-peak chicken inducements. This is just one of the reasons I love going to bars and restaurants on Sunday evenings without a football-specific agenda.
Sunday is my favorite day of the week, because it has the best newspaper and the best radio (and often the best sports). I know a lot of people spend Sunday nights in a self-induced pre-depression lest they wake up Monday morning unprepared to piss and moan, but I'm largely self-employed, and Will Gordon Industries offers very generous hangover flex time.
I haven't managed to get my girlfriend on the WGI payroll just yet, though, so my Sunday nights are still somewhat constrained by the working class dread of Monday morning. We usually spend Sunday nights at home, but last week I stumbled upon an ingenious way to get Emily up and out on Sunday night.
If I sleep until noon and then sort of flop around and whimper until 3, then I can dodge brunch. I find brunch to be something like going out and living, but not really, because it's not dark and there's rarely soup or bourbon. Deprived of brunch or mid-afternoon margaritas, Emily's much more interested in going out for dinner, lest Sunday morph into one giant PreMonday.
So last Sunday we skipped house at about 5:00 and enjoyed a several-stop mini-dinner tour of our neighborhood favorites and also of the Plough and Stars, where I went because I'm a sucker for their fried chicken and for the opportunity to bitch about paying $7 for a pedestrian microbrew in a ritzless part of town. The best part of our tour, other than my rather inspired bitching, was throwing elbows with the sorts of people who go out drinking and chickening on Sunday nights.
A lot of Sunday night bar patrons are service industry workers, who tend to be personable types or at least types who understand how to manage a bar's various socio-retail transactions with minimal fuss. Sunday night bargoers from other walks of work tend to be semi-professional drinkers who aren't always interesting or pleasant, but who also tend to know the drill. These wretches might be inveterate hand-biters in every other part of their life, but they know how to treat the paws that feed them.
Then there are the tourists, such as Emily and I in Portland this Sunday night, who are just thrilled to be drinking on a school night. Won't you consider joining us in spirit this Sunday? I can't recommend it highly enough. And if you can't make it out with us at night, you should still meet your Bloody Mary and deviled egg quotas during the football-watching hours with the following recipe variations in honor of the Washington Redskins.
For the Deviled Eggs
The Washington Redskins don't actually play in Washington or the other Washington: their field is in Maryland. I do believe this calls for some Old Bay, and a small shake of celery salt while you're at it.
For the Bloody Mary
Ooh, this one feels important. How best to adulterate the standing Serious Eats Ultimate Bloody Mary recipe to make it a Bloody Maryland? I know, this is finally our chance to break out the rum. In recognition of the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, how's about we replace boring land-lubbing vodka with a properly nautical drink like a nice dark rum? There's so much action in the rest of the drink that you can be bold with your rum. I like Cruzan Black Strap.