Suds With Securb: Hey Tagliabue, I give up!

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The NFL is a paradox. Their commercials depict iron men grimacing with the sole intent of letting us know how tough and mean the players are, and quarterbacks asking if we are “tough enough” to play their position. So with all this testosterone running wild what happens during the 2005 Opening Kickoff? The NFL gives us a delusional henpecked ex-drug addict in a football helmet singing Crazy Train, gone Hollywood pop punk bands Green Day & Good Charlotte, and Rihanna. Who the hell is Rihanna?The edgiest band on the entertainment card was The Rolling Stones. 60 year old men in tight jeans and spandex; it was horrifying if not sad to watch.

What Jagger said was, “One time you were my baby chicken, now you’ve grown into a fox/Once upon a time I was your little rooster, now I’m just one of your cocks.”

OK, we are not morons and we all know what Sir Wrinkly Face meant. But are we now censoring double entendre? Can the NFL censor because what they think we are saying? I guess they can! They can do this because Janet Jackson showed her breast.

I can watch topless bush women of the Kalahari with brown pancake breasts down to their knees all day long on PBS. One firm brown hooter during the Superbowl two years ago and now I sit here watching the most boring pre-game show I have ever seen. Two years later we are still being punished for one freaking nipple.

NYPD Blue got away with showing skin on broadcast TV so why can’t the NFL? I have figured out why. The NFL doesn’t want to make waves. They don’t want to give the government any reason to take a closer look at their monopoly.

Last week we had every government official from the city level all the way up to the Whitehouse telling us that if anyone is caught price gouging during Katrina they will face jail time. The NFL is the worst price gougers in the history of corporate America, not including the price of tickets and parking. Can someone tell me why a 16 ounce beer cost 500 – 600% more on the inside of a sports arena? Do the math. This ridiculous cost compares to gas suppliers trying to charge $12 for a gallon of gas.

All the way to the game we pass signs outside bars that say 16 oz. Bud Draft $1 and the second we step inside the world of Tagliabue we are paying $6 – $7 dollars or more for the same beer. Is the transportation cost to get a beer across the stadium parking lot so much they have to mark a beer up 600%? No. It all comes down to greed, supply and demand.

Week in and week out fans are getting screwed by these stadiums on the price of beer, yet ever so slowly they are finally giving us the reach around.  In the cases I have seen the microbrews and “premium beers” are only 50 cents to a dollar more than their macro counterparts putting their mark up at a mere 300 – 400%. That makes the better beer the better deal.

This fleecing only fuels one of the most time-honored traditions in sports history: tailgating. Most patrons of arena events are smart enough to get a good base buzz going on in the parking lot before entering a bizarre world where a single 12 oz. beer cost as much as a 12 pack from a local gas station.

Sticking with the theme of NFL paradoxes we watch away games at home and watch home games at the stadium. When we get to the stadium there are a few basic supplies that we need for tailgating at home and on the road. When traveling to your local stadium I suggest at least two coolers, one for food and one for beer. I actually carry a third soft-sided cooler for my specialty beers that I don’t want ice cold.

As nightfall comes and the winter months are upon us a slightly chilled barleywine or Imperial Stout is a welcome friend. Keep in mind these high ABV% beers can blow your head off. You want to be able to make it through the gates after paying close to a hundred bucks for a nosebleed seat. Be sure to take it easy with the big beers.

Selecting beers for tailgating is a simple science. In most cases the season and your location will dictate what you are drinking. For those first tee-shirt games of the season some crisp refreshing pale ales, lagers and wheat beers seem to be the logical choice for cooling off while baking under the summer sun. During bitter playoff Sundays of January an Imperial Stout, Barleywine or Strong Ale can help take off the winter chill.

While coolers are the key component to properly tailgating with beer, great grills are an absolute necessity for feeding the hunger beer will undoubtedly bring on. Notice I didn’t say a good grill. You want a grill that will light fast and allow you to regulate the heat easily.

My weapon of choice is a baby Weber that offers plenty of real estate for food and for those longer tailgating sessions it can even be used as a smoker. If you are a hardcore tailgater you can go with two grills; one for cooking and the other for warming and/or smoking.

One trick that I also find to be very helpful is to put as much food as possible on skewers. This eliminates the need for plates & utensils allowing the braver tailgaters to serve themselves directly from the grill instead of lining up cafeteria style.

If you are college frat boy there is one more critical piece of tailgating equipment that sits near the top of the list. While tailgating The Black Crowes show this past summer, some frat guys were more than pleased to show me the extreme side of tailgating with a classic double funnel going in the parking lot of the Tweeter Center. I passed on the opportunity to inhale 3 Bud Lights in 2.5 seconds but these guys are a testament to the fact we still control the outside of the arena. This is where the beer flows free and the smell of burgers permeates the air.

By now you all must be ready to kick off your own flavor of tailgating so to help you moving, I’m going to provide some beer suggestions and TheManRoom exclusive grill recipes that you’ll want to write down, print out or use whatever means necessary to make sure they’re by your side the next time you fire up your new great grill.

Regular readers of my columns have figured out by now all Securb endorsed recipes call for beer. Many recipes call for “a bottle of beer” but we know “a bottle of beer” could be anything from a sweet Belgium Triple to a bitter IPA. So what kind of beer should be used for grilling?

If you look around on various brewer websites they actually have suggestions for cooking with their products. A lot of brewers will also have food suggestions and pairing for their beers. If a beer compliments a type of food at the table, in most cases it will also compliment it in a recipe.

The big key to cooking with beer is sticking with beers you’d drink on their own merit. If a beer doesn’t taste good out of the bottle chances are it will taste just as bad mixed in with food. This being said, I am not suggesting cooking with a 1995 Bigfoot but definitely go with a better beer. The following recipes exemplify this time-tested strategy.

Dogfish Head Golden Chicken

 

  • 2 lbs of boneless chicken breast
  • 1 – 12 oz bottle of Dogfish Head Midas Touch
  • 2 Tablespoons of chopped garlic
  • ¼ cup of Balsamic vinegar
  • 1 Teaspoon of Rosemary
  • Salt and Pepper to tasteMix the Dogfish Head Midas Touch Golden Elixir with the garlic, salt, pepper, rosemary and vinegar. Cut the chicken in slices and skewer them with bamboo skewers. Marinate them overnight. It is very important that they are skewered before they are marinated. If not, the bamboo with burn like a matchstick when you put the chicken on the grill.Brooklyn Beef Tips 
  • 2 lbs of Sirloin Tips
  • 1 – 12 oz of Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout
  • 1 tablespoon of Hoisin Sauce
  • ¼ Rice Vinegar
  • Salt & Pepper to tasteMix the Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout or comparable Imperial Stout with the Hoisin Sauce and vinegar. Skewer the beef tips as described above and marinate at least overnight. I like to go 48 hours.Tailgating does not have to be a sport only played on the road. Every Sunday during football season we tailgate here at Casa de Securb within the confines of my secondary ManRoom, the deck. By 1 PM every Fall and Winter Sunday the fireplace is lit, meat is coming off the grill and the big screen is split-screened between the CBS and FOX game.When tailgating at home we have a few favorite recipes we like to nibble on during the day.

    Smoke The Magic Sausage

     

  • 2 links of Kielbasa
  • 1 -12 oz bottle of Magic Hat #9
  • 1 bottle of Open Pit BBQ Sauce
  • 1 teaspoon of chili powder
  • Smoked TabasccoI typically start this recipe by smoking the Kielbasa over hickory. If you don’t have a smoker, grilling it will do just as well.After the sausage comes off the grill slice it into bite-sized pieces. In a saucepan, add the Magic Hat #9. If that is not available I would suggest finding another Pale Ale brewed with apricots or some other fruit to your liking. Add the BBQ sauce of your choice, the chili powder and smoked Tabasco to taste. Here is the trick; you want to reduce the sauce on the BBQ sauce beer mixture until it gets back to the consistency of the BBQ sauce when it first started. I let is simmer for and hour or two over a very low heat. I would not suggest cooking this unless you have time to wait. Typically I will put these on at the start of the game to have as a halftime treat.Now you have your food and your beer so you should be all set to go. Enjoy the season because it goes by fast and before you know it we will be watching the Superbowl halftime show with Aaron Carter, Gwen Stefani, Hilary Duff & special guest hosts The Olsen Twins. Commissioner, please hear my logic. The music of the NFL should be the same music that the players listen to in the locker room to get themselves up for the game. This years half time show should be DMX, Velvet Revolver, Jane’s Addiction, 50 Cent & special guest host Steve O. Alas, I think we have a better chance of seeing Janet’s piercing again before we would see a great halftime show like that.

    Remember, we still own the parking lot! So here are my beer picks for the weekend warriors rocking the parking lots of America with real music, great food and tasty beers.

    Sherwood Forest Brewers Archer’s Ale
    This is one of the best beers you can find in a can. The color is a deep orange with a white head. The aroma is very malt forward with nice fruit tones and a touch of Acetaldehyde. It is very balanced on the palate with a nice dry hop finish.
    Commercial Description
    Archer’s Ale is hand crafted with the finest hops and malts. It is brewed as a traditional English style ale, amber in color, full bodied with a blend of precisely balanced hops and a hint of sweetness for a refreshing finish.

    Brooklyn Lager
    The color of this beer is great reddish amber. The nose is all about German malt with ever so slight hints of hops. It is medium on the palette and as I swallow here they come, the hops. No, this is not a hop bomb but the hops are perfectly present. If you need a great summer beer this is the answer to your prayers.
    Commercial Description
    In the late 1800’s Brooklyn was one of the largest brewing centers in the country, home to more than 45 breweries. Lager beer in the “Vienna” style was one of the local favorites. Our flagship beer, the award-winning Brooklyn Lager is amber-gold in color, and displays a firm malt center supported by a fine bitterness and floral hop aroma. The aromatic qualities of the beer are enhanced by “dry-hopping”, the centuries-old practice of steeping the beer with fresh hops as it undergoes a long, cold maturation. The result is a wonderfully flavorful beer, smooth, refreshing and very versatile with food. From the most modest picnics to the country’s finest restaurants, Brooklyn Lager is enjoyed with everything from salads to steaks. Or, of course, by itself. Availability: Year-round in 12-oz bottles, 15.5-gal and 5.2-gal kegs

    Long Trail Ale
    The beer has a nice amber color. The aroma is of malt with flowery hop undertones. The mouthfeel is medium and shares the same balance on the palette that it promises in the aroma.
    Commercial Description
    Long Trail Ale is full-bodied amber ale modeled after the “Alt-biers” of Dusseldorf, Germany. Our top fermenting yeast and cold finishing temperature result in a complex, yet clean, full flavor. Originally introduced in November of 1989, Long Trail Ale quickly became, and remains, the largest selling craft brew in Vermont. It is a multiple medal winner at the Great American Beer Festival

    My number one pick for the dog days of tailgating is…

    Harpoon Summer
    Harpoon’s Octoberfest is now hitting the shelves but if you look around there are a few stray cases of this great beer still hanging around. The body of this summer beer is clear and golden, as you would expect from a summer offering. It pours with a generous white head. This beer has a very well rounded palette. It is crisp, fresh and delivers a hoppy fruitiness. The finish is nice and clean with no aftertastes, just a slightly hoppy flavor. This is probably the best summer offering on the market right now and a great transition beer for those of you that want to explore the world of better beers without diving head first into stouts or strong ales.
    Commercial Description
    Harpoon Summer Beer is a light-bodied, golden ale that is brewed in the Kolsch style. It originated centuries ago in the German city of Cologne. Clean, clear, and crisp – it makes an ideal summer beer.

    And don’t forget to head on over to the new TMR Sports zone and participate in the weekly interactive “Beat the House” NFL football picks.

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    So are senior citizens safe enough for Paul Tagliabue’s “family safe” Opening Kickoff 2005? I guess not. The censors bleeped The Stones as they played their latest replication and rework of their classic hit “Brown Sugar”, this time calling it ‘”Rough Justice”. So I can lip read Jon Gruden dropping the F bomb for the rest of the season but God forbid Mick Jagger says “cock?”