The National Football League Wildcard Playoffs have come and gone. We saw a veteran guest rudely show their young host the door, a young quarterback beat a timeless veteran
in the final seconds, another quarterback got bitten by a game ending interception and the run of a lifetime caused an earthquake in the northwest that was felt throughout the football world. Even the self important judges on CHOPPED would have been hard pressed
to find fault in the final results. But all those results actually did was guarantee the four winners tickets to face the four teams that got to take last week off in the next round.
It also means that we have four new matchups in the National Food-ball League Divisional Playoffs. We are down to the final eight teams. It’s time to look past the generalities
& cheap plays on words and look for some real substance in the food we put up to represent each team. Our crack team of researchers back in the test kitchen have been scouring the comments in the last blog as well as the
Allrecipes files to try and come up with that little bit extra that the Divisional Playoff round deserves. So this round I decided to let actual Allrecipes recipes do the talking for me.
Ravens at Steelers
Even with my faux pas of suggesting boiled crabs instead of steamed crabs, the Ravens were able to top the Chiefs and their BBQ. This round however, they are coming up against
their hated divisional rival and a team that they have both beaten & lost to this season. The Steelers and their fans are as rock solid as a case of Iron City Beer and the food that represents western is solid too. I felt that I had to heed the advice of the
Raven’s fans and go with a steamed crab recipe. I also felt that I needed something substantial for the Steelers that had a little more flair than the humble pierogie.
Steamed Blue Crabs vs Pittsburgh Potatoes
Packers at Falcons
The Cheeseheads may have taken out the Cheesesteaks in the wildcard round but they are going to face a little more of a challenge when they face the Dirty Birds this week.
Just presenting a hunk of cheese isn’t going to give the Packers a chance at doing the Lambeau Leap no matter how much snow & ice builds up on the highways & by-ways of . The Falcons have been sweet at home this year behind the pass & catch duo of Matt Ryan
and Roddy White so I went looking for a real peach that could represent at their level.
Wisconsin Native’s Beer Cheese Soup vs GA Peach Pound Cake
Seahawks at Bears
I may have shortchanged Seahawks fans by suggesting a cup Starbucks coffee but what a cup of coffee that turned out to be. Marshawn Lynch broke more tackles on his way to
the end zone than my nephew does on bath night. The Seahawks beat Da Bears earlier this season but it really doesn’t matter how you played then, it matters how you are playing now so I knew I had to up my game too. Da Bears, outside of a blowout in the snow
at the hand of the Patriots, finished the season with some offensive flair so I knew I had to find a food that showed some flair too. I have no faith in Jay Cutler to win his first ever playoff game especially against a team that is essentially playing with
Asian Salmon vs Chicago-Style Hot Dogs
Jets at Patriots
Normally when you give the ball to Peyton Manning with just under three minutes to go and all he needs is 3 points to win, the game is over but someone forgot to tell the
Jets and they stuffed their bagel down the throats of the Colts. They will need to come into Foxboro and beat the Walking Talking Touchdown Tossing Ken Doll and the rest of the Patriots at their own game. The Patriots have been the whole package all season
so they need something that embodies that to put up against one of the two teams to actually beat them this year. Throw out that blowout from a few weeks back. The Jets just had a bad night in kitchen.
Style Clam Chowder vs Firehouse Clambake Style
Those are the matchups that we have on the gridiron & the griddle. From a purely football standpoint I am liking the Steelers, Falcons, Seahawks and Jets (only because Dad
is a J-E-T-S Jets ! Jets ! Jets ! fan and I would be disowned if I picked against them). From a purely Food-Ball standpoint I am taking the Steamed Crabs, Beer Cheese Soup, Chicago Hot Dogs (only because there is a hot dog place in called “Hot Doug’s”) and
the Manhattan Style Clam Chowder because clambakes have never done it for me.
So who or what do you like as we get another step closer to the Super Bowl ?