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Oh fuck yes, people. We survived the off season and we are on the eve of the first full slate of NFL action for the year. If you read any of my Sunday Gravy posts you know that I’m ready to throw down the elaborate, extensive dinner menu at any time but when it’s football season? Fuck right off! I am affixed to the sofa, beer in one hand and remote in the other. What I hope to bring to you with this new concept for an NFL in-season post is something you can either prepare ahead and get in and out of the kitchen in the time it takes to complete a referee’s review or something you can get on and off the grill while your team plays at a different time of the day.
The way this is going to work will depend on when my team – the Vikings- plays during the day. Since we are not playing until the second Monday Night game, I have free reign to cook for the starving masses on Sunday. Even with the available time to cook whatever I will not be breaking tradition. The opening day tradition in the “right” family household is… grilled brats.
By the way am I going to be the only person here who will actually finish watching the second Monday Night game? Holy shit that’s like a 10:30 start for you poor East Coasties. I work until 7:00 PM weekdays so a 7:30 local start is goddamn perfect. Gives me time to get home, get the beverages ready and watch at my leisure. I’m sure the neighbors will be scared shitless by some random screaming at 10:00 at night but fuck ’em it’s football season.
If you’ve gotten used to such luxurious menu items as my brisket or the glorious quiche lorraine well this ain’t gonna be that! This is football food in all of it’s lack of glory. You want classy? I can’t help you today. In addition to grilled brats, we are going to have some elaborate dishes such as onion dip and chips:
I slaved hours over a hot spoon to make this. No I didn’t.
The always mandatory opening day pork rinds:
These fuckers are the quickest route to crack open your first beer that I know of.
And you must have some delicious crunchy nuts of choice, you know, for health reasons:
Goddamn I love cashews. It’s hard to break down the nut hierarchy but I can narrow the top three down to cashews, macadamia nuts and pistachios but I mostly love them all.
That’s it! Now that’s a challenging menu to throw together isn’t it?
To prepare the brats: start up your charcoal grill but don’t use too many coals because these fuckers cook in about 3 minutes. Get a cooking pot or dutch oven, add in the brats, pour in a beer or two (use the cheap domestic shit for this) add in half a stick of butter, again for health reasons, and add in half of a coarsely chopped onion. You will simmer the brats for about 15-20 minutes until they resemble, as my brother so eloquently puts it “until they look like an old man’s dick”. They will be an off-putting stage of grey and they will be in what I like to call the “Roethlisberger State”. Take the
dicks brats out to the grill and put a nice crisp brown to them. Just a couple of minutes really. It’s kind of a shame to waste these glorious coals so if you have something else you would like to grill on there then do so. Also use a little caution because once in awhile one of the sausages will develop a little pinhole opening and you have to be careful because this old man’s dick may just shoot you right in the eye and you don’t want that.
Serve the brats in a quality bun with a little mustard and that’s pretty much it. Get after it. Serve with the above mentioned sides or you can add in a can of ranch beans, or baked beans but to be honest brats and beans, while delicious, are a pretty lethal combination a few hours later. Just a fair warning.
Vikings vs 49er’s Preview:
I thought I would include this here for the folks who will be passed out before the end of the first Monday Night game.
The Vikings open the season by traveling to the “Mistake” in Santa Clara. Seriously you spent a BILLION dollars and couldn’t even put in a decent turf? The ownership was more worried about installing decent wifi so you could text in your order of a wheat grass and lemon curd smoothie instead of, you know, putting decent fucking grass on the field. And to make matters worse they schedule every tractor pull, Super Moto-X (SUNDAY, SUNDAY, SUNDAY!!!!) and Taylor Swift concert on the planet to recoup the cost and to make up for the fact that this billion dollar fucking facility is occupied for a grand total of 10 days a year. Buncha fucking dickheads! If the marquis attraction is the team then give them a decent playing surface you goddamn google zombies!
The Vikings welcome back our former league MVP Adrian Peterson. Couple this with the rise of our second year quarterback Teddy Bridgewater and a scary fast receiver group and our offense should be balanced and multi-faceted. The biggest concern is the right side of the line. I have total faith in our rookie right tackle, T.J. Clemmings, seriously Phil Loadholt was a fucking offensive foul personified, but the loss of All Pro center John Sullivan is a bit of a concern. We also start a new right guard in Mike Harris so basically from the center position right, we are all new. Joe Berger takes over at center and he proved to be a versatile multi-position offensive line stalwart last year when we lost our right side then as well. Let’s hope for the best.
Defensively, I fully expect this team to be a top 10 defensive unit. There is crazy depth at D-line featuring Beastly Everson Griffin, the remnants of Brian Robison and the human fire hydrant Linval Joseph at or near the nose. The linebacker corp is manned by my new favorite Viking and San Pedro resident Anthony Barr who is entering his second year. He is joined during the nickle formation by his former UCLA team mate Eric Kendricks who should be able to eventually move to the middle and will be our long term “Mike”. The secondary added depth by drafting Trae Waynes at corner in the first round. He will be used in the nickle to start since we have the luxury to let him develop. Harrison Smith at safety is reason alone to watch the game. He is quick to recognize the play, quick to break on the ball, advantageous with a turnover and can hit like a motherfucker.
The 49er’s? Well? I will defer to our own Covalent Blond to answer that.
I’m expecting a close game. The Vikings enter as 2 1/2 point road favorites and I can’t remember the last time I could say that. I’m thinking it will be a nail biter, for me anyway, the rest of you will be passed out face down on the floor before this one finishes up. I think the Vikings win and seal the deal on a late turnover.
Final score prediction Vikings 24 Niner’s 17.
If anyone has any additional opening day traditions I would love to hear them. Drop us a line in the Commentist section.
Football! Hell Yes!