Welcome to Week 9 Blitzers. Two things I love about being a bartender are serving drinks that people enjoy and people watching. First, the guys over at Blitzed NFL gave rave reviews to last week’s Purple Viking. Giving it a 9 out of 10 on the Blitzed Barkeep’s Booze scale, it led to some very questionable, albeit hilarious statements from our Blitzed Crew. If you missed it, check out this week’s podcast featuring a great guest Sir Yacht - an internet ranting sensation and die hard Browns fan.
The second thing I enjoy is how you get to people watch, or in this case, listen. You get to see people transform from sober to drunk as the night proceeds and it’s because of the drinks you make for them. I felt like that’s what happened on the podcast this week with the guys as the drinks continued to flow. It was entertaining to hear the show go on as they enjoyed the Purple Viking more and more. It was eerily similar to watching the teams from Florida this season as their once promising seasons have taken a clear detour from happy hour into the dreaded late night shot taking. My apologies to the Dolphins, Jaguars and Bucs fans but your teams efforts seem to be a bit frightening lately.
Speaking of frightening, it’s Halloween Week! I love Halloween. People come to the bar in costumes and flirt with each other because someone is dressed up like a sexy devil or muscle bound super hero. Then the lights come on, the make-up and masks come off and reality sets in. Once attractive costumed-clad patrons are now middle-aged divorcees with muffin tops and Dad-bods. Decisions are beginning to be questioned and definitely blamed on the booze. That being said, this Barkeep also saw plenty of tricks and treats come out of the NFL in Week 8. No, I’m not talking about TP-ing Bill Belichick’s house or throwing eggs at Tom Brady’s car (that was already done by our Blitzed Rookie two nights ago - also blamed on the vicious Purple Viking). Here were some Halloween specials that got my attention:
Green Bay Packers vs La Rams - TRICK
The Packers have one of the greatest 4th quarter artists of all time in Aaron Rodgers. We were denied seeing his magic due to a disgruntled WR-turned-RB-turned-returner-turned-Raven (shocking that he was traded shortly after the game) disobeying his coaches’ requests to kneel. Yep, you guessed it. Like your buddy who takes that last Tequila shot after being told they shouldn’t, he runs the ball out of the end zone, vomits it up to Rams, and ends the chances to win the game for the upset-minded Packers.
Houston Texans vs Miami Dolphins: TREAT
After a dismal 0-3 start, the Houston Texans ‘puke and rallied’ back to life with 5 straight wins and now have a 1.5 game lead in the AFC South. Deshaun Watson put on his Sherlock Holmes costume and solved the Miami Dolphins defense to the tune of 16/20 for 239 yds with 5 TD passes. That’s right, he had more TDs than incompletions. Lamar Miller even looked like his old self (133 yards, 1 TD). Just when it appeared a negative could come out of this game with the loss of DeAndre Hopkins’ drinking buddy Will Fuller (torn ACL), the front office reloaded and traded for former Broncos WR Demaryius Thomas. Isn’t it great when you have that one friend show up just when things get rough to keep the party going?
Cleveland Browns vs Pittsburgh Steelers: TRICK
Halfway through the 3rd quarter in the Cleveland- Pittsburgh game, Pittsburgh had just forced a safety which means that Cleveland had to free kick. The problem here is that no one on the Pittsburgh return team knew that you had to field the ball on a free kick, allowing the ball to roll 10 yards behind any Steeler on the field. The Browns jumped on the Pittsburgh gift, scoring shortly thereafter and cutting their deficit to 16-12. I tried telling Pittsburgh not to open that bar tab with the brand new credit card but they didn’t listen. Hey, free gifts and shots for everyone apparently. Fortunately they closed out their tab before doing any more damage and won the game 33-18.
What’s sure to be a TREAT this week, is my game of the week. Last week, I didn’t give enough credit where credit was due and I picked against Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints (6-1). This week they have a chance to knock off the Rams (8-0) as two high flying offenses go head to head. Both teams score over 30 points a game (LAR- 33.0 and NO- 33.4 to be exact), both offenses average over 400 yards a game (LAR- 455.5 and NO- 400 even) and both are right around 300 yards passing per game. This is a great game for a New Orleans classic drink, don’t you think?
Vieux Carre (VEEOO ka-RAY):
3/4 oz Rye Whiskey
3/4 oz Cognac
3/4 oz Sweet Vermouth
1 tsp Benedictine liquor
1 dash Peychaud’s Bitters
1 Dash Angostura Bitters
Lemon Twist for garnish
Blitzed Build: Place the whiskey, cognac, vermouth in a mixing glass. Add the Benedictine liquor, then both bitters. Fill the mixing glass halfway with ice. Stir with a bar spoon until chilled (approx. 30 seconds). Strain into a chilled rocks glass. Rub lemon twist around the rim and drop into the cocktail for garnish.
This week’s Blitzed Barkeep recommendation literally translates to ‘the French Quarter’ and is a staple drink when one visits the amazing city of New Orleans. Let’s pretend we’ve had one too many Vieux Carres and simulate the game. Drew Brees, back at home, decides to celebrate his new records with the fans on Bourbon St. the night before the game. He doesn’t arrive back home until 4am and shows up to the Superdome smelling of Hurricanes and Sauzeracs. The Rams, realizing Brees isn’t in any shape to throw the ball, stack the box with their now seven former 1st round draft picks and bottle up dynamic duo Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram. Backup Teddy Bridgewater is forced into action as Drew Brees is too busy lifting his jersey and flashing his shoulder pads for black and gold beads from the fans. A Dixieland band somehow finds its way onto the field and plays ‘When the Saints Go Marching In’ over and over. The Rams pick off Bridgewater three times, overwhelm the partied out New Orleans Saints on both sides of the ball and move to 9-0 by the score of 42-7.
It seems that was all a drunken dream. These smooth Vieux Carre’s can lead to some wicked hallucinations. Drew Brees just doesn’t seem to age and he continues to light up the stat line every week. New Orleans is one of the hottest teams in the league and is at home where they have a clear home field advantage behind the rallying ‘Who Dat’ cry. I learned my lesson by going against them last week in Minnesota. Los Angeles is really, really good but they have been tested of late. I think this is the week they suffer their first loss and the ’72 Dolphins can finally pop that champagne bottle. Final score: New Orleans 40, Los Angeles 33.
Well Blitzers, that’s all from your Blitzed Barkeep for now. Remember to drink responsibly, take Brady’s name in vain and always give your keys to a friend if you’ve had too much. Tune in to the Blitzed NFL podcast this Tuesday to hear the guys review this week’s drink of the week and recap all of the action during Week 9.
The Blitzed Barkeep is a #TeamBlitzed All Pro from Bills Mafia. You can follow Blitzed Barkeep on Twitter here.