Tag Archive | super bowl

Sunday Fun-day

Peter Wolf

“LIGHTS OUT! Uh-huh! Blast, blast, blast!” Remember this gem from J. Geils lead singer Peter Wolf?

Unless you live under a particularly large rock, you know the Baltimore Ravens defeated the San Francisco 49ers last night, 34-31. After a fun-but-far-too-late Ravens party, I’m…let’s just say “tired,” but here’s a quick rundown of the game and other notable news from last week:

 Super Bowl Breakdown
Led by the MVP efforts of QB Joe Flacco, the Ravens dominated the first half, finishing at 21-6. But the 49ers returned in the second half with a 19-point surge to close the gap at 31-29, despite a third-quarter power outage that delayed the game for 35 minutes. Though 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh pleaded for a holding call on a fourth down with under two minutes left, the refs disagreed, and the Ravens finished on top.

Now, impress your boyfriend:

  • At four hours, 14 minutes, this was the longest Super Bowl ever.
  • The Ravens failed at the first fake field goal attempt in Super Bowl history.
  • The “OH!” shouts you heard as Alicia Keys sang “Oh say does that…” were Ravens fans mimicking a Baltimore Orioles baseball tradition of…enhancing the National Anthem.
  • Beyonce was joined by Destiny’s Child for a knockout halftime performance. “Beyonce did not cause the power outage,” NFL commissioner Roger Goodell joked.
  • The Ravens’ Jacoby Jones set a Super Bowl record with his 108-yard kickoff return.
  • Flacco received a Corvette Stingray for his MVP performance. And, more important, got to meet Beyonce and Jay-Z.
  • Miss any of the commercials? Catch them here.

Bold Statement
Ray Lewis gets most of the attention, but another Ravens linebacker, Brendon Ayanbadejo, hopes to use Super Bowl spotlight now and beyond—not for football, but for gay rights.

Ayanbadejo has long been vocal about his cause. In a recent New York Times interview, he described his passion’s roots in a childhood amid many diverse lifestyles, including living in a University California-Santa Cruz LGBT dorm directed by his stepfather.

“I was raised around gay people in a very liberal society. Discrimination was never allowed.” (By the way, the UC-Santa Cruz “Banana Slugs”? Best. Mascot. EVER!)

Gordie Howe and me

Gordie Howe and me on our shared birthday, March 31, in 1993. (Nice bangs, dummy.)

Icy Hot
Hockey is already well into its abbreviated, 48-game season (due to a lockout this past fall). The Chicago Blackhawks and San Jose Sharks lead the NHL, both still undefeated at 7-0…Sadly for me, Pittsburgh’s Chris Kunitz netted a hat trick (three goals in one game) against my second-to-last Washington Capitals in a 6-3 loss on Sunday…The Montreal Canadiens’ Max Pacioretty rejoined his team Sunday just eight days after emergency appendectomy… Catch Pacioretty against the Boston Bruins for an anticipated matchup this Wednesday on NBC’s Rivalry Night.

Know Your NHL: Hockey Hall-of-Famer Gordie Howe (also known as “Mr. Hockey”) is considered perhaps the best player of all time. Known for his skills at scoring and brawling, he is the namesake of the “Gordie Howe Hat Trick”—a single-game achievement of a goal, an assist, and a fight.

Dame Diggins
No. 2 Notre Dame senior guard Skylar Diggins had a career-best 33 points in a 77-67 defeat of the Tennessee Lady Vols on Monday. UT had hoped to upset the Irish on a night dedicated to legendary former coach Pat Head Summitt, whose 1,098-208 career record makes her the winning-est coach of any Division I men’s or women’s teams ever. The court is already named for Summitt, but a banner was raised in her honor in front of a sell-out crowd. Summitt, merely 60, retired last April after a diagnosis of early-onset dementia.

Sad Stalemate
Recently featured on HBO Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel, Houston Rockets’ 6-8 rookie Royce White, 21, is 260 pounds and covered in tattoos. But he can’t fly, can barely drive, and can’t enter his closet if his suits and hats aren’t perfectly arranged. His generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) make his life a daily battle. And have nearly ruined his pro career.

Requiring special conditions under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), such as a personal doctor, not the team’s, to determine his mental ability to play, the Iowa State phenom is currently suspended from his $3.3 million annual contract, and has not once set foot on the court.

“What comes along with mental health that goes untreated: alcohol abuse; marijuana abuse; suicidal behavior; homicidal behavior…I advocate for a healthy, safe work environment.”

The Rockets claim to have “bent over backwards” to meet his needs, and that the situation will cause an imbalance in authority between coaches, doctors, and players’ decisions. Hopefully the two sides will reach an agreement. Regardless, White says he will give up the NBA to prove to the world at large that mental disorders are just as devastating as physical ones.

Winter Sports Star Caleb Moore Dies
Winter X Games competitor Caleb Moore passed away Thursday after injuries sustained in a snowmobile crash. He was 25. It is the first death in the Games’ 17 years.

The Dark Knight…Disappears?
In an incident that any American woman will find hiii-larious, a confused bat recently terrorized players at a Marquette/Providence game. Players and coaches fled, ducked, and threw towels at the bat as Ozzy Osbourne’s Crazy Train played. I’ve heard the bat both was and was not caught—will Christian Bale play in the sequel?

Table Manners
DC locals: head to the Arlington Drafthouse tonight for a special premiere of the new 106.7 The Fan Sports Junkies’ Comcast SportsNet TV show, “Table Manners” (details here).


Super-rority: Game Day Recipes from my Homegals

“Delta Delta Delta, can I help ya help ya help ya?”

OK, I wasn’t a Tri-Delt, but how about “Kappa Kappa Gamma, can I lend a recipe-hand-a?”

pillsbury snackadium

Really, Pillsbury? Really?

Meh? Well, whether you pledge Greek, American, Asian or otherwise, the second-best part of game day is the food. And who better to ask for party recipes than your girlfriends, like my rockin’ Centre College sorority sisters or my DC digital divas? Here are some great, casual Super Bowl dishes from some lovely ladies for you to serve or bring along to the party.

First, an easy onion dip from Leslie, Kappa dorm-mate, proud West-By-God-Virginia farm gal (who introduced us to the vast healing properties of Bag Balm), and host of far too many late night Paul Simon sob sessions (mostly me):

Equal parts: 1 cup diced yellow onion; 1 cup grated Swiss cheese; 1 cup real mayo. Sprinkle with paprika, bake at 350 until warm and bubbly. Delish!

Next, from Eve (@naive), designer extraordinaire and yearly host of DC’s best Super Bowl chili cookoff, Eve’s Sweet & Smoky Turkey Chili (full recipe below—takes a little concentration, but well worth it): It’s a recipe of taste/feel in terms of seasoning, so you should adjust as you like. The cinnamon and chocolate are what make it really unique, so you may want to be light on those until you get the taste you want.

From Dana, dear Centre friend, mentor, and amazing mom, a Super Bowl approach you might not normally think of: fondue: It’s spicy and cheesy. Just grab a jar of Alfredo sauce and a block of pepperjack cheese. Warm to melt the mixture, then serve in small crock pot, and dip in veggies or cubes of bread. Yum!

Kat, classmate, BFF, Louisville lover of dogs and decorated writer with an operatic voice offers her Smoked Salmon Spread (#2 below)

And of course, the twins: Lani and LeeSa, Centre volleyball’s Towers of Power, my Kappa “big sisters,” and “girls gone wild” when “wild” meant “party til 2a.m., then study your butt off til dawn for your double majors that land you both top jobs on Capitol Hill.” See Lani’s “Jalapeño Popper Spread” and LeeSa’s “Buffalo Chicken Calzones” (#’s 3-4 below). (Also check out Lani’s beautiful jewelry offerings from Stella and Dot!)

I don’t know The Food Network’s Robin Miller, but her No-Fuss Guacamole is easy, and because it can be made in a sealable plastic bag, your kids can help with the squishing, and there are no dishes to clean! (Hang on through the 15-second ad first. Man, I hate those.)

Finally, two vegetarian options from yours truly. First, Trader Joe’s Sausageless Italian Sausages—I swear you can’t tell they are made of vegetables (Thank you “The Fabulous Mizz Rhonda” for introducing me to them.)

I’m also a big fan of Asian lettuce wraps—you can use regular chicken chunks or veggie (I like the Quorn brand myself). Marinate in mandarin sauce, then spoon into bibb lettuce leaves with diced cucumber, carrots, sesame or chia seeds, sliced almonds and Chinese crunchy noodles.

Happy snacking!

Eve’s Sweet and Smoky Turkey Chili
(serves 10-12)

1 pound ground turkey (not breast)
5-7 links sweet Italian turkey sausage
1 package diced pancetta (approx. 8 ounces)
(2) 28-ounce cans of fire-roasted crushed tomato
(1) 8-ounce can plain tomato sauce (I like Hunt’s)
(4) 16-ounce cans black beans
(2) 16-ounce cans dark red kidney beans
1 beer (or more if you are pre-partying)
(2) bay leaves
(2-3) cloves minced garlic

Also, for taste: olive oil; chicken stock; chipotle or regular chili powder; chipotle tabasco sauce; cumin; cinnamon; cayenne (IF you like it spicier); brown sugar; Hershey’s Natural unsweetened cocoa powder; aged balsamic vinegar

1. In a skillet on medium/high heat, brown the turkey. Add chipotle chili powder, tabasco, cumin, cinnamon to taste. If you like it a little spicy, add just a dash of the cayenne, no more.

turkey chili

A smoky, lightly chocolate-y chili everyone will will love.

2. Add a small amount of the beer to deglaze the pan and add 2 tablespoons of the cocoa powder and a splash of the balsamic vinegar3. Stir/cook until the meat is coated. Put meat aside.

4. Repeat steps 1-3 with the sausage (cut open the links and break up the sausage in the pan).

5. In a 5-quart dutch oven, on medium heat, add two turns of olive oil, the pancetta and garlic. Cook until the pancetta is crispy but not burnt (keep an eye on your garlic, too). Reduce the heat to low.

6. Add the crushed tomato, beans, 1/2 of the can of tomato sauce (reserve some if you want to make the chili more soupy later) and the cooked turkey and sausage.

7. Stir well so that everything is mixed together.

8. Add two bay leaves, 1/2 cup of chicken stock, 1/2 cup of the beer, and season well with the chipotle chili powder, tabasco sauce, cumin and cinnamon to taste.

9. Add 1/4 cup of brown sugar and 1/4 cup of Hershey’s powder and 1 tablespoon of the balsamic vinegar.

10. Cook on LOW for at least 3 hours (best if 5-6), stirring every 20-25 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning at that point. You may want to add more sauce if the chili has become thicker than you’d like.

11. Remove the bay leaves and serve!

Kat’s Super Smoked Salmon Spread
(2) 8-ounce packages cream cheese, softened
12 ounces smoked salmon, chopped
3 dashes Worcestershire sauce
2 Tbs. horseradish
Juice from half a lemon (fresh squeezed only)
1 tsp. chopped fresh dill
3 Tbs. chopped red onion
2 Tbs. capers

Using a medium bowl, stir cream cheese until sfot. Fold in the salmon, Worcestershire, lemon, horseradish, dill, and onion. Mix well. Serve with a sturdy cracker like pita or bagel chips.

Lani’s Jalapeño Popper Spread
(2) 8-ounce packages cream cheese, softened (you can use light but not fat-free)
1 cup mayo (light)
(1) 4-ounce can chopped green chilis
2-4 Tbs. pickled jalapeños, chopped
3/4 cup grated parmesan
3/4 cup dry breadcrumbs
Stir together cream cheese and mayo until smooth (use blender or processor). Add chilis and peppers. Put this mixture into a greased 8-9 inch dish (pie plate works). Sprinkle the mixture of parmesan and breadcrumbs on top of cheese mixture. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes or until hot and bubbly. Serve with crackers, toasted French bread, or Frito Scoops.

LeeSa’s Buffalo Chicken Calzones
**Chicken requires overnight marinating, so allow this in your plans or just buy precooked buffalo chicken.**

1 can pizza dough
2 cups cubed chicken breast
2 cups buffalo wing sauce
1/4 cup chunky blue cheese dressing
1/4 cup diced celery (this is optional but yummy)
1 cup mozzarella cheese shredded
1 cup mild cheddar cheese, shredded

1 Day Before: Pour cubed chicken into a bowl or food safe storage container. Top off with 3 Tbs. buffalo sauce. Stir to coat. Cover and store in the fridge to marinate overnight.

Preheat oven to 500 degrees. Heat a large skillet over medium to medium high heat. Cook chicken and additional 2 Tbs. buffalo sauce. Stir well, cooking chicken for 5-10 minutes or until fully cooked. Transfer to a clean bowl. Add an additional 1/4 cup buffalo sauce to chicken. Stir to coat. Set aside.

Prepare a baking sheet with silpat, parchment, olive oil or cornmeal. Stretch dough into a large circle or rectangle. Coat one half of the dough with chunky blue cheese dressing – almost to the edge but not quiet. Top off with cooked buffalo chicken and celery. Sprinkle with a mixture of both cheeses – roughly a handful will do. Fold over the dough. Roll and pinch the edges to seal. Sprinkle with a touch more cheese.

Bake for 12-15 minutes. Let cool for a few minutes, then cut with a serrated knife into as many slices as desired.

Go Me, It’s My Birthday…

OK, it’s not, but wow it feels like it. This week we have the Super Bowl, dating bombshells, reptiles, temper tantrums, murder, Beyonce, bear hugs, flying tomatoes, and more. Read on… (And for a quick review on the philosophy behind this blog, click here.)

donkey free stock photo.biz

Cheesed off?

Donkey Cheese
The Australian Open concluded this weekend with Belarus’ Victoria Azarenka beating China’s Li Na, and Serbia’s Novak Djokovic defeating Great Britain’s Andy Murray. Djokovic is the first male to win three Aussie titles in a row. The win is great for his “Novak Café” chain, for which Djokovic recently purchased a large part of Serbia’s donkey milk to make, yes, a cherished cheese known as pule. Sorry, McDonald’s.

But the women provided the real drama (yeah, women, drama, ha ha). Serena Williams was predicted to win the Open, but disintegrated (demolishing her racquet Jimi Hendrix-style) against another rising African-American star, Sloane Stephens, 19. Stephens later lost to Azarenka, whose 10-minute injury timeout was jeered as fake. Fair or foul? You decide.

Super Storylines
Out of hundreds, here are just a few Super Bowl headlines you should know:

BALTIMORE: Fans mostly cheer linebacker Ray Lewis (#52—he does the big dance before each game). But you’ll also hear “controversy” and, well, “fatal stabbings.” In 2000, Lewis was allegedly involved in an unsolved double homicide during an Atlanta nightclub fight. He was acquitted after a plea agreement, but his role remains a mystery. He is retiring after this season, and victims’ families take comfort in that.*

On a lighter note, watch for offensive tackle Michael Oher (#74, he’s a big boy), of “The Blind Side.” Oher grew up on the harder side of my hometown, Memphis, but was adopted by the Tuohy family, who ensured his education at Briarcrest Christian School (my volleyball nemesis!) and Ole Miss. Sandra Bullock received the Best Actress Oscar for her role as mom Leigh Anne.

Not Sammy, but you get the idea...

Not Sammy, but you get the idea…

SAN FRANCISCO: Quarterback Colin Kaepernick (#7) ranks third in the NFL (32 teams) in “quarterback rating” (QBR), a subjective but important measure from 1-100 based on factors like completions, mistakes, and general contributions to a win.

His 76.8 is only behind the two best QBs (who just missed the Super Bowl–Peyton Manning and Tom Brady). Kaepernick took over for injured starter Alex Smith, then set the NFL QB record for most rushing yards (181) in his first playoff game. Maybe it’s from lifting “Sammy,” the tortoise Kaepernick got at age 10—and is now 115 pounds.

Gridiron Guidance
Even experts struggle to follow 22 people on the football field. Here are two easy tips:


2-4-6-8…Wait, who are we playing again?

Who’s Who? When I was a peewee cheerleader, a coach offered this advice after we encouraged the defense to “do it again, first and ten!” Simply, the team huddling farther from the ball is the offense. They make their plan while the defense just has to wait and see. This is especially helpful if you leave the room and need to know who has the ball.

Offside: One frequent football penalty is “offside”—basically, when a player on either team crosses the line of scrimmage before the ball is snapped. The ref will signal by placing his hands on his hips like a ticked-off teacher. Similar penalties are “encroachment,” “false start,” and “illegal motion.” We won’t get into those nuances, just look for the guy who jumps too soon.

Curves Ahead? Danica Dating
Aside from Andre Agassi and Steffi Graf’s post-tennis marriage, this one may be a sports first. NASCAR driving diva Danica Patrick, 30,  has confirmed she is dating JR Motorsports teammate and competitor (NASCAR is schizophrenic that way) Ricky Stenhouse, Jr.

The news has jump-started (sorry) Danica’s career, which struggled last year, though she was voted “Most Popular Driver.” Her November divorce from Paul Hospenthal is pending; Stenhouse is 25, the 2012 NASCAR Nationwide Series champion, and adorable.

NASCAR Notes: NASCAR is rooted in the souped-up Prohibition “rum runner” cars moonshiners used to outrun the law…NASCAR stands for National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing…NASCAR has some 75 million fans, nearly 1/3 of America…The first 2013 race, the Daytona 500, is Feb. 24.

Tiger on the Prowl?
Maybe as big as “RickDan” (not my acronym, and I’m glad) is the rumor of “TigVonn”–golfer Tiger Woods dating champion U.S. skier Lindsey Vonn (back on the slopes and winning after a debilitating bacterial illness). Both deny it, of course, but word is they have been together since November. Both are divorced, Vonn from skier Thomas Vonn and Woods from wife Elin Nordegren after he reportedly cheated on her with more than a dozen women. And she reportedly took a golf club to his SUV more than a dozen times.

Then again, other sources (well, the Enquirer) say the whole Vonn thing is false, to win Elin back. Maybe Tiger should talk to Manti Te’o.

Say Their Name, Say Their Name
SPOILER ALERT!!! We’ve known for some time that Beyonce will perform the Super Bowl halftime show. Now it seems she won’t be alone. After opening with “Crazy in Love,” she is expected to be joined by fellow Destiny’s Child members Kelly Rowland and…the other one.* Those who have stood by Beyonce will be thrilled (as long as there is no lip-syncing); those politicians who stood behind her at inauguration will wish they could again.

Nuke Laloosh

“Bull Durham’s” Nuke Laloosh was not the best interviewee.

Grammar Gaffes
OK, every week I hear this one from athletes and commentators–male, female, white, black, purple, rich, poor, and it DRIVES ME BATSH*T CRAZY! And it is: “Was” vs. “Were.” As in, “We was so excited to win!”

Come on people, you know better. Most athletes/commentators attended college, at least for awhile, and Lord knows there is enough controversy over college athletics already, so just try a little. Was is singular past tense, for one person: “I was at the game today.” “DWade was shooting the lights out.” Were is plural past tense. “We were cheering for the Nationals!” (Because who wouldn’t?) “They were sitting in our seats.” OK? OK.

I Love You, Man!
After eighth-grader Owen Groesser’s hoops performance last week despite his Down syndrome, I didn’t think I could be more touched. But then Miami Heat fan Michael Drysch hit a $75,000 half-court shot and was literally tackled by Heat star Lebron James in a massive bear hug. No bodyguards, no agents, just full-on athlete adoration.

And that’s why I write this blog—for the triumphs and trials not just of the players, but of the everyday fan, the armchair quarterback, the wild-for-the-Minnesota-Wild wife. It’s not the stats, it’s the stories that weave sports into the American fabric. I hope to continue to show you here day after day.

Final Buzzer

  • 6-8 Baylor women’s basketball center Britney Griner set two records this week, dunks—yes, dunks (11) and career blocks (665).
  • Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o admitted to Katie Couric that he knew Facebook girlfriend Lennay Kekua didn’t exist, but continued the ruse to protect his reputation and family.
  • Extreme sports megastar Shaun “The Flying Tomato” White struggled in the Winter X Games, placing fifth in the highly hyped Snowboard Slopestyle battle with Canadian rival Mark McMorris, who won. But White finished on top with a “six-peat” gold in the Snowboard Superpipe.
  • Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo is out for the season with a torn ACL.
  • A number of top men’s hoops teams fell this week, including Louisville, Syracuse, and Duke in a staggering surprise loss to Miami, 90-63.
  • New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton has been reinstated after the “bounty” scandal in which coaches and players were implicated for accepting money in exchange for intentionally injuring opposing players.

Coming soon this week: Someone’s in the kitchen with Super Bowl recipes…(not me, thank goodness!)

*Washington Post, Jan. 24, Ray Lewis’ Ties to Atlanta Murders Now a Footnote, But One Victim’s Family Still Struggles to Cope

*93.9 WKYS Washington, DC