Sunday, September 23, 2012

Where NFL Replacement Refs meet Gary Bettman and the NHL

The New York Times reports that many casual football fans are turned off by the mind-meltingly slow pace of NFL games due to the dithering, amateurish replacement officials. The NFL's lockout of their regular refs, it seems to me to me, presents not merely a chink in the previously impenetrable armor of the NFL, but a wee bit of a vacuum. If fans are turned off by the length and pace of NFL games, might they be inclined, I dunno, to watch something else?

It is a vacuum (however slight) that could be, and should be, filled by hockey. Hockey can easily sell itself to disenfranchised football fans. After all, both football and hockey are fast and violent, both require precise teamwork and vision, and both are sports where players sometimes do things that we ordinary mortals cannot even conceive of.

And to exploit this opening ... Gary Bettman and the NHL have engaged in a pissing contest with Donald Fehr and the NHLPA. Talk about murdering the goose that lays the golden eggs.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Take That, Roger Goodell

In his tenure as NFL commissioner, Roger Goodell frequently talked out of both sides of his mouth.

"I'm for player safety," he says, while at the same time asserting, "The NFL desperately needs an 18 game regular season."

He has doled out suspensions like the most popular house in the neighborhood doles out Snickers bars on Halloween. At the same time, he awkwardly hugs every draft pick as they walk across the stage on draft day.

Remember that scene in Chinatown? "My sister! My mother! My sister! My mother!" Yeah, you know what I'm talking about.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Rationalizations and Lines: The Steelers Lose in Denver to Open the 2012 Season

'Why does that strike me as a massive rationalization?'

'Hey, don't knock rationalizations. I don't know anyone who could get through the day without two or three juicy rationalizations. They're more important than sex.'

'Aw, c'mon. Nothing's more important than sex.'

'Yeah? You ever gone a week with out a rationalization?'

The Steelers pass defense was torched by Peyton Manning last night:  Well, lots of teams have been torched by Manning in his career.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Sunday Recipe: Hot, Hot, Hot Fra Diavolo Sauce with Casareccia

The first time I had a fra diavolo sauce that blew my hair back was at a little joint in Boston's North End (pictured here. Yes, the lines are like that. No, I am not in that photo.) It was spicy and fresh -- not to wax poetic, but it tasted like sunshine.

Fra Diavolo is a spicy sauce meaning 'the devil's brother.' It is generally paired with pasta and/or seafood. (At Giacomo's, I had it with linguini and langostines. I have posted a variation on this sauce -- here -- paired with polenta.) In the years since my trip to Giacomo's, I have made fra diavolo probably hundreds of times, amidst various seasons, but right now really is best this time of year to make -- when you can easily lay your hands on vine-ripened, home-grown, dripping with flavor tomatoes and fresh hot peppers.