An Appetite For Success

You have had seventeen weeks of trial and error, some good, some bad, what works and what doesn’t. This is where we separate the contenders from the pretenders. With only four weeks remaining until Super Bowl Sunday, it is time to make your Football Food choices that will have you in position to have the perfect spread on Super Sunday.

Does a final decision need to be made today? No, absolutely not, this is what the playoffs are for. We use these next three weeks to see the board clearly, to give any last dips, frozen food or limited edition bag of Doritos their moment in the sun. Will they be making the cut when you roll into the grocery store and place your final orders the week of Super Bowl LIV.

I grew up in New York and every year I would have my friends and family over for my annual Super Bowl party. I believe I offered a cream of the crop experience. The only reason my party was a solid time year in and year out was because of consistent and constant preparation leading up to the big day. Is it the same food every year? No, not at all, you need to adapt with the times and have an ever evolving game plan. When my beloved New York Giants made their run to the title in Super Bowl 46, I ate chili on every offensive drive the entire post season. I farted for weeks straight, the stench from my lucky sweatpants was unbelievable, but when your team is competing you do everything in your power to support the squad. The farting, the burping, the odd color bowel movements – all part of the process on your way to a championship. I haven’t eaten chili since Super Bowl 46 but you can bet your sweet ass that if the Giants ever need a late season push to get us over the hump, the crock pot is coming out and we are having ourselves a good ol’ fashion chili chow-down. Sometimes it’s a pallet necessity, a craving, a flavor of the week or sometimes it’s just good old fashioned good luck. For a period of time in January and February 2012, I felt God in that chili.

So let’s start the selection process, all the essentials, what to keep, what to get rid of as we rapidly approach this years Super Bowl. Time for you to make the big decisions:

The Dips
Buffalo Chicken Dip
– The buffalo chicken sensation seems to be a relatively new trend but you really cannot go wrong with this choice. The cheese, the spice and the buffalo flavoring has been a hit at Super Bowl parties since it was introduced on a regular basis in Super bowl XLI between the Colts and Bears.

Taco Dip
– This is something to always consider. All year long we hammer tacos, quesadillas, burritos and for some inexplicable reason we neglect the Mexican cuisines more often than not on the big day. This gives you in opportunity to keep this food group firmly alive and thriving during the game. Cheese, sour cream, salsa, refried beans – its been a party favorite since Doug Williams and the Redskins took down the Broncos in the 88′ big game.

French Onion
– This is your grandfather’s big game snack. Ask around and you will hear tales of your grandaddy sitting down in front of a 22” TV set with a TV tray in front of him, cigarette in one hand, Genny Cream Ale positioned next to the F.O. dip on that sturdy but out of date cross folded tray. This dip was a staple before the Super Bowl became a holiday. This was the snack, accompanied with a bag of chips. Super Bowl I – Lombardi, Packers and French Onion Dip. The Classic.

The Chips
– The ultimate dipping chip, they were the first, they will be the last, our everything. They have changed the game with the “Scoop” – seriously think about the dark ages where we didn’t have the luxury of a scoop chip. The pain and struggle of finding a durable chip that wouldn’t snap off in the dip and then trying to hide the fact that you are finger banging the communal dip in hopes of scooping the chip out of the depths of cheesy goodness. Close your eyes and envision Super Bowl 31, Favre, Bledsoe and your Mom emptying a bag of the teal, pink and reddish old school Tostitos bag onto a plate for you and your family to enjoy. Nostalgia.

It’s January 25th 1987 the Giants defense led by Lawrence Taylor, Harry Carson and Carl Banks are dismantling John Elway and the Denver Broncos. At halftime, a new snack is introduced, it has only been around for a year, maybe less… The Cool Ranch Dorito appears like a beacon in the night, a jug of water after walking through the desert. Sometimes you know an absolute game changer when you see it. The halftime show played, a high school band and a drill team performed “100 years of Hollywood Songs” with a bunch of dancing Disney characters (yikes) you attempt to drown out that display of bullshit and you chomp down on a Cool Rancher. Doritos, versatile, Nacho or Cool Ranch. When you know, you know.

Classic Lays
Play the hits. You need a salty chip, you need a classic so the people who are less adaptive to spice, sizzle and excitement don’t complain and start a bitch fest before you’re in a bad mood because you gambled and lost on the opening coin toss. The Classic Lays is as timeless as Tom Landry winning a Super Bowl in a suit, tie and trademark hat. Don’t hate it because it’s timeless, it is still around and prominent for a reason. Show the respect it deserves.

Main Courses
Sub Platter/Party Sub
This is a Scors Super Bowl Party tradition. The party sub, the 3 footer, half Italian Mix and half Turkey/Cheese. Since my wife and I moved out of New York, it took trial and error to find our sub spot thats comparable to the NY Italian Delis that were as much a staple of my life as anything. Good news, I think we found a place for this year. Do yourself a favor, in the weeks leading up to the Super Bowl, order subs from your top three places, one each week and then decision time, the best gets your sub order for the Super Bowl. Wild Card Weekend starts the Sub- A- Thon. It’s been brought to the party for generations, From Montana to Rice on the field and from your fat Uncle to your table off the field.

Chicken Wings
The endless debate of whether or not wings are a main course. You can eat enough chicken wings that it certainly becomes a main course. Wings on Super Bowl Sunday are as iconic as Coach Mike Ditka being carried off the field by the 85′ Bears. Like the aforementioned Sub-A-Thon you need to accompany that move with a Wing-A-Thon. Start this weekend off right and order the first of three weeks of wings that will end in an ultimate Super Bowl feast. Garlic Parm, Medium, Teriyaki, Buffalo, Dry Rubbed.. So many choices. Party note** if you are going to eat wings, DO NOT lick your fingers, it’s a gross move, nobody wants it, use a napkin. It’s my biggest pet peeve of all time.

Other items to consider
Pigs In a Blanket
Cheese & Crackers
Rye Bread Dip
Garbage Bread/Stromboli/Pepperoni Bread
Baked Ziti

Meatballs (Italian style or Swedish)
Cheeseburger Sliders

So there you have it, start Wild Card Weekend off on the right foot and get the grub you need that will have you in the best frame of mind to succeed when the lights are the brightest, when the pressure is the highest and know that five months of eating all weekend have been worth it.

We will have a full Super Bowl Menu blog as the big game approaches but I hope this helps you put the right food on the table for you, your friends and your family. Eat up everybody!