Here at Liberty Unyielding’s Football Commentary Service, our Inner Circle of way-favorite teams has gone completely bust. There’s not a one left standing after an occasionally invigorating season of play.
We did have a couple of NFL hopefuls that made it to the second round of the playoffs, and congratulations to Denver and Dallas for that. We congratulate the Steelers for earning a playoff berth as well.
Now, however, we hear the fat lady starting to warm up, and it’s time to go all Obligatory, all the time.
We’ll start the discussion with the question that’s on every mind: what victuals should we lay in for the football viewing vulnerability windows
today tomorrow and tomorrow? [Author’s note: assume any further mentions of when the Packers and Seahawks play, if there are any, refer to your other Saturday. I am incapable, it turns out, of moving my living room and dining room into the den, kitchen, and downstairs hall, and back again, and blogging at the same time. Thanks to reader Ritchie Emmons for his astute reminder.]
OK, that’s not really the question. The question is, what if it’s the Packers and the Colts in the Super Bowl? Is that even possible?
The oddsquad doesn’t think so. The Seahawks are giving giving 7.5 with a couple of hours to go here before they take the field in Seattle. The Patriots are favored by 7 hosting the Colts.
And Green Bay has some challenges to overcome. Aaron Rodgers is gimpy, and the Legion of Boom is back. The Seattle D slashed and burned its way through the second half of the season; last week, it held the Panthers’ much more mobile Cam Newton to 230 yards in the air, sacked him twice, and bagged two picks.
Meanwhile, Green Bay is bottom-of-the-pack against the run, and the Seahawks’ Marshawn Lynch, with his 1,300 yards, will be wearing painted 24K gold cleats. So we’re just saying. The Packers have their work cut out for them.
The Patriots, for their part, may be getting old, and they may not be relentlessly “best on paper” these days, but Tom Brady Stubble still wins hands down over Andrew Luck Beard.
That said, it’s Andrew Luck Arm they have to worry about. The Patriots will probably do a Belichick and focus their ho-hum secondary like a laser on Luck’s go-to WR T.Y. Hilton, hoping to take him out of the picture. That leaves Luck with a couple of big tight ends, however, with whom to bumfoozle some of the most beatable corners in the league.
Luck’s offensive line has to step up and give him that extra half second. On the other side of the ball, the Colts have been only mid-pack throughout the season, and Rob Gronkowski is raring to catch Brady. The Patriots will apparently have LeGarrette Blount on the field to punch the run, but as of this writing, there’s still no decision on Jonas Gray for tomorrow. Having both would certainly help the Pats keep the whole field in play. Brady will have to overcome the loss of his starting center, in any case. But, as with Seattle, New England goes into tomorrow’s game with the edge.
The Gastronomic Question
Now, we were just playing with you earlier, when we said that victuals for the games aren’t the big question. Of course they are. And what better way to provision yourself for some pigskin action in these trying times than to check out all the wild and wonderful things you can do with bacon?
You may not have been aware, for example, that Betty Crocker has come out with a mix for Maple Bacon Cookies. Now you are. (We saw the mix at the grocery store a few days ago.) This helpful video will either annoy or inspire you.
You won’t have time to make this next one before today’s game starts, but it looks insanely good, and may be a good tip for Sunday evening: Whipped bourbon bacon sweet potatoes.
For those who are all about the beef, check out this crockpot recipe for bacon-wrapped beef tenderloin in a balsamic glaze. You’re going to simmer for 5-6 hours (a bit longer if you like your beef well done), so get started early.
If you’re short on time, and still have the digestion of an 18-year-old, you can’t go wrong with a zip through the Carl’s Jr. drive-through for a classic bacon cheeseburger.
Finally, of course, there are those who just like their salads. Bacon’s got you covered.