THIS WEEK THE SOUTHWESTERN TEXANS FACE...
I'm not generally one to poke fun at team names -- let's face it, "Texans" isn't the most creative name in the world -- but I do have a bit of a pet peeve as far as names representing the area that they're from.
When Billy Sullivan was awarded an AFL franchise in 1959, the team was named the Boston Patriots.
Ok, that makes sense. Boston was a pivotal city during the American Revolution, and while I'm not sure that the average Bostonian was really that much more patriotic than the average Philadelphian at the time, I can appreciate the tribute to the area's revolutionary past.
All was going well and good until the team relocated to Foxborough in 1971 and then declared themselves the New England Patriots.
Now, I know that the trend is for a team to stake claim to an entire state if they move to the suburbs or even, as is the case with the Jersey teams, to pretend that they're actually in a different state.
This is why the Arlington Rangers are the "Texas" Rangers and the Glendale Cardinals are the "Arizona" Cardinals. It's a cheap attempt to endear yourself to those not in your crappy city and get them to like your crappy team.
But the thing about the Patriots is that they moved 22 miles away from Boston and declared themselves for an entire national region. It's not like they suddenly started making a presence in Connecticut or Vermont. A marathon runner can cover that in an hour and a half.
I acknowledge that this isn't quite as egregious as the Golden State Warriors or the Los Angeles Angels of Earth. But you know what? We're not playing them this week.
This is the equivalent of me saying I have a 50 acre property just because my neighborhood has a communal mailbox. The whole thing just defies logic and makes you look like a high school d-bag. But if you've ever been to Southie, I guess it really shouldn't come as a surprise.
STOKE THAT HATE FLAME
1. Where it all went wrong. Remember when the Texans were good at football? That was waaay back about a year ago when our beloved 11-1 team went to Massachusetts (or New England, as it may be) and began a streak of losing 12 of the next 15.
2. Makes sense. Bill Belichick was born in Nashville, TN.
3. Heh. I know this is dated, but I still find it funny, and in this godforsaken season we all need reason to laugh.
GAME DAY MEAL
This weekend marks one of my all-time favorite Game Day Meals. Yes, kids, we're talking about Thanksgiving leftover weekend!
In my family, as you may have garnered after a bunch of these things, we take our food quite seriously. Thanksgiving dinner is a week long event that culminates in a massive feast, and we each have our responsibilities.
My mom makes her garlic oregano roast turkey and her stuffing, which includes peas and sausage (amazing!). She also produces a sweet potato casserole with apple and walnut. My sister makes creamed corn casserole and pumpkin bread. My brother-in-law's mom is responsible for the broccoli casserole (by the way, this is the extent of our annual casserole consumption). I make a brined and smoked turkey (yes, we have two turkeys) and a chorizo, cornbread stuffing topped with roasted poblano (yes, we have two stuffings... no, I don't call it dressing). My wife is the queen of pie and makes an apple pumpkin pie that is to die for. There are always other bits and bobs, but those are the standards. And of course, there's home brew.
Yes, that's about 15 times more food than necessary. DON'T YOU JUDGE ME!!
Anyway, come Sunday, there's something fantastic about taking all the leftovers out of the fridge, microwaving them to nuclear temperatures, and enjoying the fruits of our labor in front of yet more football. Simply brilliant.
THREE OF THESE STATEMENTS ABOUT NEW ENGLAND ARE MOSTLY TRUE
1. In Massachusetts, it is both illegal to give beer to hospital patients and illegal for candy to have more than 1% alcohol. Good thing we were in Florida when I gave my wife a wee heavy after the birth of our first daughter (no, that's not a dirty joke... see below for reference).
2. Rhode Island is officially called the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations in which there is nary an island named Rhode. The name originated from a very early comparison of Aquidneck Island to the Greek island of Rhodes as well as a reference to the reddish appearance due to the red clay. Rumor has it that the Patriots will soon change their name to the New England Patriots of Greece and Red.
3. There is a Massachusetts ordinance that says that one may not grow a goatee unless one first pays a special license for the privilege of wearing one in public. As I grew my goatee while a graduate student in Boston without paying for said license, I am now a fugitive of the law.
4. Before settling on "New England," the original colonists of the new world first considered "Crappy England" and "WTF" as potential names for their colony.
BEST QUOTES ABOUT NEW ENGLAND
"What New England is, is a state of mind, a place where dry humor and perpetual disappointment blend to produce an ironic pessimism that folks from away find most perplexing." --William Lange
"Springtime in Massachusetts is depressing for those who embrace a progressive view of history and experience. It does not gradually develop as spring is supposed to. Instead, the crocuses bloom and the grass grows, but the foliage is independent from the weather, which gets colder and colder and sadder and sadder until June when one day it becomes brutishly hot without warning...It was fitting, then, that the first people who chose to settle there were mentally suspect." --Rebecca Harrington
"Poor dull Concord. Nothing colorful has come through here since the Redcoats."--Louisa May Alcott
BEER OF THE WEEK
As is my wont, I'm again dipping into the world of American interpretations of classic styles. This week we're drinking Dirty Bastard Scotch Ale from Founders Brewing company in Grand Rapids, MI.
Aside: Michigan is another underrated player in the craft brewing movement. Many brilliant brewers up there.
Scotch Ales are fantastic if only because they're also known as a "wee heavy". In reality, they're very malty and sweet beers that tend to be very light in the hops and fairly high in the alcohol content. Dirty Bastard definitely stays true to the style.
It is a dark red color with a thin head. An abundance of crystal malts make for a very sweet beer with toffee, and malty tones. It's the type of beer that would make a good trick or treat gift as it's like candy in a bottle. The 8.5% ABV is noticeable, though, as it does have a fairly warm mouthfeel.
It's a decent beer for the occasional drink, but it's not the style that I would want on a regular basis. If you're passion is sweet, malty beers, give it a go.
Kareem Jackson (Thinks I'm thankful for). Jackson should be back this week. This is by NFL mandate so that they don't have to implement the mercy rule.
Darryl Sharpton (Duh) Did you expect otherwise?
Jawanza Starling (No, I Donwanza) Yes, I'm reusing that joke from last week. No, it's not because I'm lazy. I just like it. Ok... so I'm lazy.
Wade Smith (Sack Allowance) Wade Smith has been on the injury list the whole season, but I stopped putting him on here mainly because I started to pretend he doesn't exist.
Jeff Tarpinian (Tarpoutian) Raise your hand if you would have believed me in the preseason if I told you that Tarpinian's absence would be notable enough to mention. Liar.
Rob Gronkowski (Darryl Sharpton syndrome)
Aqib Talib (CB is how you say ILB in New England)
Steve Gregory (Still having symptoms from recovering the butt fumble)