"First Down," sayeth the Lord.

"First Down," taunteth the Lord

Like that first drink of wine after crossing the desert; like embracing your lover after being apart for as long as your heart can bear; competitive football makes its much-needed return this weekend, quenching our feverish, absence-fueled longing and desire.  And, unlike your girlfriend, football didn’t cheat on you with its spikey-haired supervisor when it had to go to Dallas for that business trip, last month (fuck you, Diane!).  Now, I know that this weekend is “only” college football, and that a lot of the matchups aren’t all that “marquis”; but if that’s your concern, you probably shouldn’t worry about it too much, as your ballet practice and hug-tag competition will probably preclude you from watching much of it, anyway.  For those of us who love football in any form (so long as it doesn’t involve Bon Jovi team ownership or Canada, that is), this Saturday allows us the chance to breathe a nice, long sigh of relief, knowing that we are again in the loving arms of our most favorite of pass-times, secure in the knowledge that she won’t abandon us again until the cold, sun-bereft days of February.  The pass-time of which I speak is football, of course, but perhaps even more important, includes its corollary: boozing during football.

You may kindly remove Old Glory from your helmet, good sir, and keep your "football."  We don't award points for punts here in America.

Kindly remove Old Glory from your helmet, you socialist swine - we don't award points for kick-offs in American football!

As Virgil wrote in The Aeneid, “Any man not needing the intoxication of drink during the vexing play of his home team is no man at all, but a God; and such Gods do not exist.”  I’m pretty sure ol’ Virge was talking about the importance of getting good and shit-faced during the play of ones favorite football team, because as any fan knows, bad play is downright unbearable while sober.  As a Bengals loyalst, I wholeheartedly agree – tying one on not only makes the good times more enjoyable and the bad times endurable, but as football fans, is our God-given right.  As such, I have endeavored here to give you a sort of booze syllabus, with which you can approach not only this Saturday’s games but all the glorious dual football-dayed weekends to follow…

Breakfast Booze: Bloody Mary

I would totally go medieval on her ass.

I would totally go medieval on that ass.

For the longest time, I had an inexplicable aversion to Bloody Marys.  Once I turned twelve, though, my palate changed, and they became a staple of my weekend brunches.  A good Bloody Mary should be spicy enough to give your senses a swift kick in the nuts, yet booze-laden enough to say to them, afterwards “I’m sorry baby, you know I love you – come here, give Daddy some kisses.”*  In a blender, mix vodka, tomato juice, Worcestershire sauce, horseradish (made from real horses, please), lemon juice, some jalapeno, salt, pepper, blood, Mary, and lemon juice.  Pour over ice in a tall glass, and garnish with celery, two olives, and a shot of Bourbon on the side. 

Afternoon Hootch: Salty Dog

Wow, just looking at this drink makes me want to make out with ugly chicks

Wow, just looking at this drink gives me the overwhelming urge to make out with ugly chicks

Holy shit are these fuckers refreshing.  Just combine vodka and grapefruit juice over ice – couldn’t be simpler.  The good thing about these guys is that they’re light and can be drunk at a good clip without having to worry about your one-way ticket to black-out island being punched.  They’re soothing, too: without the aide of Salty Dogs, furniture tossing-related homicides would have been up about 125% in my greater living room area during the soul-destroying 2006 NFL season/BCS championship game. 

Nightcap: Scotch

Apparently, this bottle of scotch was trying to stay anonymous, knowing that otherwise, I would try to drink it.

Apparently, this bottle of scotch was trying to stay anonymous, knowing that otherwise, I would attempt to drink it.

Chances are, you’re going to need to decompress, a little, after yelling at the T.V. all day (I mean, seriously, how the fuck do you drop that fucking pass?!?!?!).  The best way to do this is to nurse a few scotches during the late game, then gracefully fall asleep on your living room floor.  The Glenlivet has always been my favorite affordable scotch, but if you’re some kind of high-fallutin’ upper crust type, feel free to drink something more expensive, just to make me feel inferior.

Well, I hope that this booze primer has been helpful, and I also hope that you are as far into your cups as is necessary to numb your senses when your team fumbles on the game-tying drive, with less than two minutes left to play in the game.  Cheers!

P.S.  Just to keep some semblance of a culinary presence in this post, here’s a recipe which will transform anything in your pantry into food your guests will swear you bought at a gas station: make a quick roux, add cream and grated cheese, and melt over low heat.  You now have a cheese sauce you can dip practically anything in: pizza bagels, pizza hot pockets, french bread pizza, even regular pizza.  As for me, I like to dip cheese sauce in my cheese sauce.  For those of you who may be lactose intolerant, however, you may want to man the fuck up and consider growing a sack – pansy.

"Hey!  Making shitty food out of shitty food is my schtick!  That is a pretty good recipe, though."

"Hey! Making shitty food out of other shitty food is my schtick! That is a pretty good recipe, though."

*And if you read that line with the voice of Billy Dee Williams in your head, then you’re just the kind of person who’s going to make it in this world, and I want to be your friend.