Tag Archives: Super Bowl

The Souper Bowl: A Recipe for Success

OK. It’s not likely that I’ll watch much, if any, of the Super Bowl Sunday. And beyond the fact that the Steelers aren’t playing, I actually have an excuse. I’ll be returning to NE Ohio from Hilton Head.

And I recognize that nobody watches, or at least claims to watch, the game. Instead they get giddy over the commercials and from the food and beer that is consumed from sunrise till sunset. It turns out that Super Bowl Sunday trails only Thanksgiving as a day when we huddle with family and friends and stuff ourselves.

So as a public service, here’s an article from Wine Spectator that provides some recipes for soups and other goodies as well as suggestions for wine to take the edge off the brew, for those making it through the halftime show with Madonna.

Super Bowl XLVI in Indianapolis brings football fans a highly anticipated rematch between quarterback Eli Manning’s New York Giants and Tom Brady’s New England Patriots. Along with it comes this year’s Wine Spectator rematch of Super Bowl party foods and the wines (and beers) that pair with them.

New York and Boston offer an abundance of hometown specialties that make for some contentious competition—specifically soups, sandwiches and pies of every ilk.

When it comes to soup, New England and Manhattan both lay claim to signature chowders. We’ve got recipes from some of the best chowder house chefs in both metropolises.

Two of Boston’s top oyster houses contributed offerings this year: Neptune Oyster on Salem Street and Island Creek Oyster Bar in Kenmore Square. Neptune chef Michael Serpa crafted a more manageable version of the restaurant’s signature New England Clam Chowder for Wine Spectator readers (the soup’s various elements are made separately at the restaurant and combined to order). Owner Jeff Nace says the clam-driven chowder has a lot of minerality coupled with the fat from the bacon and cream. He suggests pairing it with a Chablis or white Rhône-style blend. (For the beer-inclined, he recommends Guinness or the local Harpoon Oyster Stout). He also says the Neptune chowder is a favorite among the Patriots themselves: All-Pro wide receiver Wes Welker is a Neptune regular and chowder aficionado.


And can it really be a Super Sunday without the Steelers?


Pittsburgh Steelers: Pro Football Season Begins Sunday

I’m a little late in posting today. I’ve discovered that as you advance past age 60 life becomes a series of doctor’s appointments — whether you’re sick or not. Fortunately, I’m not. But I get to spend a considerable amount of quiet time in waiting rooms these days. Wonder if Obamacare will fix that?

Anyway, during the probing this a.m., my doc asked me to opine about the Pittsburgh Steelers. Specifically, she wanted to know if Ben Roethlisberger would be able to play on a bum ankle against Denver Sunday. She thought he was limping during the game with Browns last Sunday.

Ah, you’re the doctor. How the hell should I know? And why the Steelers let Big Ben play against the hopeless pathetic 10-loses-a-year-minimum Browns is anyone’s guess. I digress.  Wow. I guess I am a little grouchy after the stint in the waiting room.

Anyway, I don’t watch pro football anymore until the playoffs start and the Steelers begin their annual march to another Super Bowl. Here’s from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

And I know that everyone believes that Denver quarterback Tim Tebow is being followed on Twitter by the coaching staff in the sky.

But folks — consider this.

Myron Cope is in heaven waving the original Terrible Towel.

And God is a Steelers’ fan.

Just sayin’.


Does Steelers Loss Point to America’s Decline?

Well, OK. That headline may be overstating things just a tad. But c’mon. If one of the most powerful nations — the Steeler Nation — comes up short in the big one, does it bode well for others trying to maintain their position at the top of the food chain? Think about it.

So the Pack is Back. Congrats. And congrats to their fans. Anyone who has the gonads to walk around with a chunk of cheese on his head deserves a win every once in a while. Just sayin.’ And I managed to sleep soundly through the second and third quarters. So the game overall wasn’t all that bad.

And recognizing that my Terrible Towel now has few tear stains on it, I’m not sure the Super Bowl was even the top news story last night.

How about The Huffington Post being acquired by AOL for $315 million. Wonder what the valuation of some of the old lamestream media properties — NYT, WaPo, Chicago Tribune, USA Today and so on — is these days?

Here’s from a NYT article:

Arianna Huffington, the cable talk show pundit, author and doyenne of the political left, will take control of all of AOL’s editorial content as president and editor in chief of a newly created Huffington Post Media Group. The arrangement will give her oversight not only of AOL’s national, local and financial news operations, but also of the company’s other media enterprises like MapQuest and Moviefone.

By handing so much control over to Ms. Huffington and making her a public face of the company, AOL, which has been seen as apolitical, risks losing its nonpartisan image. Ms. Huffington said her politics would have no bearing on how she ran the new business.

The deal has the potential to create an enterprise that could reach more than 100 million visitors in the United States each month. For The Huffington Post, which began as a liberal blog with a small staff but now draws some 25 million visitors every month, the sale represents an opportunity to reach new audiences. For AOL, which has been looking for ways to bring in new revenue as its dial-up Internet access business declines, the millions of Huffington Post readers represent millions in potential advertising dollars.

I’m sure that others will opine with more insight than I will on this, but the deal with The Huffington Post, which to a large degree is a content aggregator not content creator, strikes me as a big deal. First, it points to the fact that people, now regardless of age, get their news — if they get it at all — online or increasingly on a smartphone or iPad. Second, The Huffington Post represents a new style of opinion journalism — much less centered in the “he said she said” of traditional journalism and certainly far less boring than traditional media.

And The Huffington Post manages to combine some important news — taken amazingly enough essentially from traditional media such as the NYT and WaPo — with a large helping of celebrity information, gossip and rumors. That apparently draws audiences, online, in print and via the airwaves.

And I was actually thinking about that while watching the Sunday Today show. As many in this country may know, there is a big story brewing in Egypt and throughout the Middle East, but the story that got equal or perhaps more attention on the Today show: Lindsay Lohan and the latest incident involving this troubled celebrity. By the way. Who is Lindsay Lohan? And why is she the subject of so much national attention and angst? Opps. I digress.

Oh by the way. The Huffington Post had the story days ago. Go figure.

Anyway, I knew it was going to be a long night Sunday for those of us who believe in truth, justice and the American way when it took another celebrity, Christina Aguilera, almost two minutes to botch the national anthem.

Epic fail — from before the game started to the very end.



Pittsburgh Steelers, Super Bowls and Winning Teams

Well, the three-game pro football season finally comes to an end Sunday with the Steeler Bowl — oops, Super Bowl — in Dallas. And yeah, I’ll be tethered to the TV, waiving the original Terrible Towel and downing triple Jamesons.

OK. Admittedly, there are more important things happening in the world right now. Well, don’t tell that to my brothers, Mom and Dad and friends who live in Pittsburgh, or the millions of Steeler Nation expatriates, some as far away as Hungary. I know. It’s not snooker — but the Super Bowl will get a large audience outside the USA.

And I’ve opined about this before. With the exception of the nearly yearly appearance of the Steelers in the Super Bowl, I don’t pay much attention to pro football these days. Pro sports in general, for that matter. If you want to watch one corporation squaring off against another one better to watch the action on Wall Street. That’s a real blood sport.

Saying that, there’s a lesson from the success of the Steelers that can be applied to creating winning teams in business, education, government, whatever: have patience, stick with your plan, treat employees and others fairly and with respect, and manage the organization with dignity and ethical conduct.

Here’s from a NYT article by Judy Battista, “Rooney Method: Build Methodically and Await Rings“:

Art Rooney II was glancing at the enormous video screen and plush seats, taking in Jerry Jones’s monument to revenue with a bemused smile. Pittsburgh will probably never have a home quite like Cowboys Stadium, which will be host to the Super Bowl on Sunday. But this week Rooney, an owner and the president of the Steelers, had something that Jones, the owner and general manager of the Dallas Cowboys, wanted desperately: the opportunity to explain how his team keeps returning to the Super Bowl every few years.

Rooney’s remarks in the middle of the lavish dome were in stark contrast to those made by Jones at a news conference, when he explained how badly he misjudged his team this season.

“Panic doesn’t seem to work; let’s put it that way,” Rooney said. “Enough people seem to have gone through that. Our philosophy is you pick good people and try to stick with them.

“There’s no guarantees. There are ups and downs in any sport. But if you have the people in place, you always have a chance to be successful. That goes back to my grandfather and down to my father.”

More than by any player or coach, the Steelers are identified by the way they have done business for 40 years. They build through the draft, take care of their players, maintain financial discipline, eschew flashy hires and treat people well.

And more:

“Some teams change quarterbacks like underwear,” the Steelers’ Hall of Fame linebacker Jack Ham said. “Then you have this organization. Stability is the key, and they let people do their jobs.”

Ernie Accorsi, the former Giants general manager, tells a story about Kevin Colbert, the Steelers’ director of football operations, whom Accorsi calls the best general manager nobody knows about. Since Accorsi retired, he has consulted with other teams looking to rebuild.

One team was looking for a general manager. Accorsi called Colbert, who has been with the Steelers since 2000, a run that has included appearances in five conference championship games and three Super Bowls.

“I didn’t even tell him the money,” Accorsi said. “I said this is a good job. He said: ‘I could never do that to the Rooneys. I don’t care what they would pay.’ Where you going to find that?”


Two weeks ago, when Dan Rooney, now the United States ambassador to Ireland, returned to Pittsburgh for the A.F.C. championship game, he spoke to a handful of reporters about the N.F.L.’s labor strife. During that conversation he offered a bombshell of a quote that summed up the Steelers’ ability to take the long view of success.

“I’d rather not have the money,” Rooney said about the proposed 18-game regular season.

That comment snapped a few heads around the league, particularly among owners who would rather have the money. But Rooney wonders why it is necessary to change something — 16 games for 32 teams — that has worked successfully for years. It is a mind-set the Steelers have leaned on in the past: do not make sea-change decisions in haste.

The remark also resonated in the Steelers’ locker room, where stories about the Rooneys’ unusual affinity for the people who work for them are limitless. They shake the hands of each player after games, win or lose. They offer advice to new players on where to send their children to school. They take the men and women who work in the cafeteria at the team’s training facility to the Super Bowl.

Hey, sounds like a good management philosophy and formula for putting together a winning team.

And for those of you who want to relive the start of the glory days, here’s the original Pittsburgh Steelers fight song by Happy Louie, circa 1972.

Go Steelers!

Just sayin’.

Super Sundays and the Pittsburgh Steelers

OK. I’ll admit it. I dozed through much of the second half of the Super Bowl last night. And looks like I missed a decent game. At least that’s the view of the TV Talking Heads who kept me company while I chased the belt on the treadmill this morning. Still, without the Pittsburgh Steelers, can it really be a anything more than just one more game in a season that begins in August and ends in February?

For me — nah, not really. But then I’m a lifelong Steelers’ fan. So a year ago I was sitting tall with eyes wide open from the first commercial until the last. Last night, well, might as well have had American Idol on. Oops. I digress.

Saying that, I really do understand the appeal of the Super Bowl.

  • It’s the equivalent of a national (world?) block party — coming at a time of the year when there really isn’t that much to do or look forward to post-holidays and pre-Spring. Wonder if the number of Super Bowl parties rival those held on New Year’s Eve?
  • We apparently enjoy — and look forward to — the Super Bowl commercials — although throughout the rest of the year we try to avoid advertisements at almost any cost. I read in The Plain Dealer Sunday that 51 percent of those responding to a national survey said they watch for the ads — not the game.
  • It’s a big deal for the teams and players — and for the teams and fans they represent. I’m sure the win is special for the city of New Orleans and the people who live there — football fans or not.

And that last point gets me back to the Pittsburgh Steelers.

I’m really not that much of a football fan — or of professional sports in general. But for the past four decades, the Steelers have provided a common bond for the community — and for me with friends who I don’t see regularly any more — even if for only a week or two during the year. That’s something special — and it’s something that people in New Orleans are experiencing now. And dare I say it? I hope that it happens someday in Cleveland as well.

A Super Sunday in early February — when your team is playing in the big game — really is good for the community.