Merciful God Sez: "It's okay, my son; I know it's been difficult, but for the next five months, you don't have to talk to your family.  Don't come crying to me if the Steelers win the Super Bowl, again, though.  They answer to the other guy."

Merciful God Sez: "It's okay, my son; I know it's been difficult, but for the next five months, you can stop talking to your family and cultivating meaningful relationships. Don't come crying to me if the Steelers win the Super Bowl, again, though. They answer to the other guy."

Lo, and the Lord said unto the faithful, ‘The football is good, and thou shalt have it.’  But, unto his children he spake a caveat, ‘Ye, the football shall be watchethed, but only by he who eateth a bunch of wings and puncheth thine walls when his starting quarterback injureths himself and is lost for the majority of the season.”

I, for one, would like to take a moment to thank our Lord for the return of our most favorite of pastimes and drinking excuses.  In His honor, I will worship at the alter of my local bar, and genuflect by watching the heinous play of my wayward Bengals.  Also, I’ll drink a shit-load of bloody Marys.  For those of us who have looked forward to the first week of football, the excitement is almost too much to handle.  Last season, I was so excited that I was passed-out next to a dead hooker before half time.  In an effort to help you get the most out of the first time in seven months you’ve cared about something, I’ve decided to put together an itinerary.  Note: all times are PST; because games start at 10 a.m., we get to drink a lot earlier than all you Quakers, out there.

3:oo a.m. – Wake up.  Practice tantric masturbation for three hours to center yourself.  Orgasm pure energy.

6:00 a.m. – Make a pitcher of margaritas [FN 1].  Put on your “Get Pumped” mix CD to get pumped in a manner commensurate with the occasion.  Mine consists of fourteen straight tracks of “I Don’t Know Much (But I Know I Love You)” by Aaron Neville.  Drink the pitcher of margaritas.  Shit, while your at it, make a margarita pizza [FN 2].

7:30 a.m. – You’re going to want to warm up your rage muscles, because even though it’s the first week, you’re inevitably going to see something in their play which convinces you that your favorite team is going to have a shitty season.  Such as, “they’re from Detroit.”  I like to do ten minutes of yelling exercises, followed by three sets of wall punches.

8:30 a.m. – Make your lucky breakfast of two soft-boiled eggs with toasted, buttered, French bread soldiers [FN 3.]  Sure, this lucky breakfast hasn’t worked in terms of bringing you happiness during the football season, but – hey! – you’ve never gotten Ebola after eating it, so it must be doing something right.

Soft-Boiled Egg sez: "OH, MY GOD - WHAT'S IN MY HEAD?!?!  OH, NOOOO!  I CAN SEE MY BRAINS!!!  AVENGE ME!!!"


9:00 a.m. – Generally, this is the time of day when you’re going to start getting the shakes and hyperventilating, in anticipation of kick-off.  The best way to calm  these sensations?  You guessed it: drinking mescal and huffing model airplane glue.  Another way to calm yourself is to set a terrible towel on fire.  And a Steelers fan.

9:30 a.m. – bang hot chicks.

9:45 a.m. – [If you happen to be on the East Coast – or follow a team other than those that generally start their games at 1:00 EST – good for you!  You get to start drinking now, and will be able to get drunk, throw up, nap, and start drinking again, all before your particular kick-off.  Hooray, you! ]  Begin your pilgrimage to the sports bar (unless you have Dish Network, in which case, fuck you and your Sunday Ticket.)  I suggest leaving a trail of cigarettes, so you can find your way home after the game.

10:00 a.m. – Ohboyohboyohboyohboyohboyohboy. Order second bloody mary.

10:01 a.m. – Well, it’s official: the Bengals are mathematically eliminated from the playoffs.  If you listen closely, you can hear Mike Brown being inept while counting his money and blindly piloting my favorite football team towards yet another unyielding maelstrom of suck.

10:02 a.m. – Order your third bloody Mary since getting to the bar.  Also order nachos.  And wings.  And artichoke dip.  And a breakfast burrito.

10:30 a.m. – I tend to be a pretty reticent football viewer while I’m at the bar, but I’m not averse to standard, perfunctory conversation every once in a while.  It’s important to know, however, that if you’re engaged in conversation with someone while the game’s going on, there’s a good chance you may be interrupted by the other person when someth- OH, MY GOD, HOW THE FUCK COULD YOU DROP THAT FUCKING PASS!  CATCH SOMETHING, YOU FUCKING MONGOLOID!!!

1:00 p.m. – Well, the morning game is over, and you have several options open to you: (1) you can stay at the bar and continue to try and woo that cute bartender (I think his name is Dave); (2) you can emerge from your cavern of iniquity, scratchy-throated and heartbroken, to voyage home and nap the nap of the valiant; or (3) if you’re a Steelers fan, you can, you know, eat babies, or whatever it is you sick fucks do.  I generally opt for the nap…

And remember, fellas: much like with strippers, the bartender will not fuck you.  Unless, of course, you tip a gracious 12% and do that sexy move where you like the hot wing sauce off of the front of your Phillip Rivers jersey.

And, remember, fellas: much like with strippers, the bartender will not fuck you. Unless, of course, you tip a gracious 12% and do that sexy move where you lick the spilled hot wing sauce directly off the front of your Phillip Rivers jersey.

1:30 p.m. – …But not before making a traditional post-game snack of chile con queso.  Melt shredded cheddar and Velveeta in a double boiler, then add in some cream, onion, peppers, and whatever else your shriveled, defeated heart can dream up.  Slow down your afternoon drinking by nursing 18 Modelo Negros.  Weep softly.  Nap.

5:00 p.m. – Tune in to Football Night in America to watch an hour and fifteen minutes of Brett Favre coverage.  Get out your punchin’ fist one more time.

9:00 p.m. – It’s been a long day, so you’re going to want to pack it in a little early.  Stake yourself out a nice, comfortable spot next to the toilet.  And, hey, no worries about work tomorrow, because when you call in sick, you won’t be lying.  Plus, it will give you all day to drink before Monday Night Football.  God, I love this sport [FN 4].

FN 1.  As such: 1.5 parts good tequila, 1 part lime juice, 1/2 part Cointreau (or Triple Sec.)  Rim the glass (not in the sexy way) with salt, and pour over ice.
FN 2.  As such: Awww, you know how to do this, already, you chef, you.
FN 3.  As such: boil water, drop in the eggs, remove from the heat, then let steep for 7 minutes (for XL eggs, 5 or 6 for smaller ones.)  Remove eggs and run under cold water.  Cut off the tops and dip toasted matchstick-sized segments of french bread into that luscious volcano of cholesterol.
FN 4.  Apologies for the lack of culinary excellence in this post, as well as for it being so Bengals-centric.  Speaking of the Bengals, please be sure to take a moment to join the revolution.  If not for me, do it for Karen, here…

If she had rap-sheet and a bad attitude, we'd be looking at Mike Brown's new defensive end.  And, because it's obligatory at this point: "I'd defensive HER end."

If she had an arrest record, questionable work ethic, and bad attitude, we'd be looking at Mike Brown's new defensive end. And, because it's obligatory at this point: "I'd defensive HER end."


"Cat? What cat? I don't know nothin' about no cat."

My ethno-geneological makeup is predominantly British, but because I’ve seen The Godfather over two hundred times, like to blatantly ogle and cajole pretty girls, and have hit someone in the face with a chair just because they looked at me wrong, I’m pretty that makes me at least 95% Italian.  Add in the fact that my truly Italian friend and I used to drive past Sam Giancana’s house in Cicero, and I’m practically a made man, to boot.  Hell, I’ve actually been to the Old Country a couple of times, too, and have even dated a girl from Palermo who, I’m pretty sure, is going to unexpectedly stab me sometime in the future.  She’s probably planning it right now – that’s just how blatantly Italian my predilections are.  But these predilections aren’t merely limited to my hot temper, slicked-back hair, and fuckin’ cool track suit.  No, they go beyond the aesthetic and barrel full-bore into the culinary.  I love reading old Italian cookbooks, picking the brains of elderly Italian family chefs, and adore watching Giada Di Laurentiis’ rack cook up a nice ravioli on the Food Network.  You’ll always know you’re at a Chef’s Prerogative party as soon as you see the veritable feast of Italian meats, cheeses, wines, and roofies in your drink.  And, even though I love a good lasagna or cannoli, my favorite Italian meal is the Sunday feast of spaghetti and meatballs with homemade gravy.  It’s simple, sure, but then again so is “put penis in vagina, remove, repeat.”


Giada's beauty commands me to kill. But first, to masturbate.

What I like most about this time-intensive meal is that you can drink a lot while making it.  Your friends and family would be wont to worry if they caught you chillin’ on the couch at ten in the morning, nursing a scotch, watching a Scrubs marathon on Comedy Central.  Nurse that scotch while patiently stirring a rich gravy at ten in the morning, however, and. . . well, they’re still likely to worry, but fuck them, because you’re the chef, Goddamit.  In all seriousness, there’s nothing better than gathering all your friends and family around you in the kitchen, putting on Ol’ Blue Eyes’ Live At The Sands, opening several bottles of Chianti, and telling every one how they’ve let you down, each in their own special way.  It’s truly magical.


"Ha ha ha ha ha ha. You're adopted."

A quick note on this meal:  I’m generally one to cook lighter, more traditional, seafood-based Italian cuisine; but I’ll be honest with you – every once in a while I just get a hankering for some red-checkered table cloth, Bayonne-type Guido shit.  I make sure that my gravy has tons of meat, that my meatballs are big and rich, and that my gun is well concealed.  I also like to have a bunch of courses, just like they do in It-lee, but I don’t feel like writing a long post today, so go look it up.  Also, Your soundtrack is going to need lots of Louie Prima, Dino, and The Chairman.  For added authenticity, invite some crazy Italian broads over and have them threaten to cut you if you cheat on them.  Anyway, on to the cookin’, you fuckin’ mook. 

Buy dis shit, you rat bastahd:

Olive oil
Pork, Lamb, Beef
Tomato paste
San Marzano peeled tomatoes
Basil, salt, pepper
Parmigiano-Reggiano, Peocrino Romano
Bread crumbs (non-seasoned)

Cook, You Motherless Fucking Mutt

Let’s start out with the sauce: sweat onions and garlic in some olive oil.  Throw in the tomatoes and tomato paste.  Oh, shit – actually, brown the sausage before you sweat the onions.  Okay, so then just season and let it simmer.  Also, I like to put just a little dried oregano in there, as well, and while I do, I like to say the word “oregano” in a British accent and pronounce it “Oh-ray-gone-o.”  I don’t know why I do this.  In a bowl, combine your three meats with two eggs, bread crumbs, parsley, onions, your cheeses, minced garlic, some olive oil, and a touch of water.  Mix that shit up and roll into balls the size of my testicles.  If you’re not sure how big that is, just go ask your mother.  Brown those in some oil, then throw ’em in the sauce. 


"Oi, wass wrong wif cawlin' it oh-ray-gone-oh? Ass how it's pronounced, innit? Answah cayfully, mate, I don't wanna hafta shoot two blokes in the face, today, yeah?"

After cooking your sauce for several hours, peel yourself up from the kitchen floor, finish that fifth bottle of wine, and start the pasta.  I normally make my own pasta, but I’m way better at this than you are, so go ahead and just stick with the boxed kind (I prefer the thick spaghetti.)  Once you get it al dente, toss with some of the pasta water and gravy in a hot pan.  Plate with a few meatballs, some fresh parsley, and an ass-load of cheese.  Sit down with your gathered friends and family and discuss how, while you may have your differences, you can all agree that a good meal can be transcendent, that blood truly is thicker than water, and that the city of Pittsburgh can go eat a big bag of dicks.



See? Even Mapquest thinks so.