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Give Yourself Some NFL Knowledge For Superbowl Parties

Thursday, January 22, 2015


Super Bowl parties attract a lot of folks who don’t root for either team and are casual NFL fans at best.

But worry not if you’re one of those people panicking for something to say at your friend’s soiree besides “tasty dip” during next week’s Super Bowl between Seattle and New England.

We’re here to help with the following bons mots that show both some NFL knowledge and your insight into the local connections to the Seahawks and the Patriots.

Give yourself a first down by noting that the University of Oregon is tied with Wisconsin, Rutgers, Texas A&M for the most players on the two rosters – four.

Give yourself a field goal by adding details about the history of the four Ducks: Patriots running back LeGarrette Blount (“He must be real talented because he was a total knucklehead in Eugene” – serving multiple suspensions, including one that lasted much of the 2009 season for a post-game punch of Boise State’s Byron Hout); Patriots safety Patrick Chung (“Can you believe he was 16 when he enrolled at Oregon in 2004? He was one of those Ducks you first noticed at Autzen Stadium as a special teams demon.”);  Seahawks fullback Will Tukuafu (“How amazing it is this former Ducks defensive end is still in the NFL as a fullback?”) and Seahawks center Max Unger  (“A four-year starter at Oregon, this guy was one of the best Ducks recruits from Hawaii until some guy named Marcus Mariota.”)

Give yourself a touchdown by naming the other two players with Oregon college connections—Patriots cornerback Brandon Browner from Oregon State and Seahawks cornerback DeShawn Shead from Portland State.

Give yourself a first down by noting that Pete Carroll – besides being a former Patriots coach – brought about the return to dominance of USC in the Pac-10, including a national championship in 2005. He skedaddled to Seattle in 2010 ahead of NCAA sanctions that happened on his watch and that ended up crippling the Trojans for years to come.

Give yourself a field goal by adding that he was a fallback choice for the Trojans in 2000 after USC couldn’t land then-Oregon State coach Dennis Erickson, then-Oregon coach Mike Bellotti and then-San Diego Chargers coach Mike Riley.

Give yourself a touchdown by remembering Carroll’s record as Trojans coach against Oregon State was 6-2 and against Oregon was 4-3. Take a two-point conversion by remembering Caroll’s “class with a capital K” moment when he cursed Bellotti in 2006 for having the temerity to challenge a referee’s call.

Give yourself a first down by noting that Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson – when he’s not spouting ridiculous theological statements that God somehow cared about the NFC championship game – first attracted your notice when he threw for 296 yards as Wisconsin’s quarterback against Oregon in the 2012 Rose Bowl.

Give yourself a field goal by adding that last Sunday’s miracle comeback by the Seahawks against Green Bay shouldn’t have surprised anybody who saw Wilson almost lead the Badgers to a tying touchdown in the final seconds of the Ducks’ 45-38 Rose Bowl win three years ago.

Give yourself a touchdown by remembering that Wilson had transferred to Wisconsin from North Carolina State, and then by speculating whether the Ducks would similarly benefit in the upcoming 2015 season by trying to get a transfer at quarterback to replace Mariota.

A native Oregonian, Hank Stern had a 24-year career in journalism, working for more than a decade as a reporter with The Associated Press in Oregon, New Jersey and Washington, DC. He worked seven years for The Oregonian as a reporter in east Multnomah County, Washington County and Portland’s City Hall. In 2005, he became Willamette Week’s managing news editor and worked there until 2011.


Related Slideshow: 6 Hangover Cures from Top Portland Bartenders

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Hair O' the Dog.

Jeff Seymour, Interurban (4057 N Mississippi):

"[W]hen the day after can be wasted ... the only cure is to jump back on the train and deal with my hangover the next day. If it's a weekend, I'll head to Radar for a killer brunch and 2 or 3 mimosas and an Irish coffee for dessert. Then it's time to find all the rosé. It can be still or sparkling, I really don't discriminate. A few bottles later I'm right as rain."

You might be prolonging--and amplifying--the inevitable, but Jeff's words offer a tempting solution to a New Year's Day downer. Along with some savory eats, alcohol's beautiful, empty calories level out our post-binge blood sugar crash. Still, you can run but you can't hide--you'll do well to plan for a more permanent salve.

And remember, the folks serving you on a national holiday might well be feeling the hurt themselves. Whether or not the mimosas are bottomless, your bartender's meager savings are not. So tip well and stay happy!

For your hangover-numbing relief, Interurban opens at 3 pm New Year's Day. The rosé will be flowing. 

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Water, Protein, Water. Repeat.

Jordan Felix, Multnomah Whiskey Library (1124 SW Alder):

"My hangover cure often goes in 3 steps:

1) San Pellegrino Sparkling BIG bottle & a Vita Coco coconut water. Both tend not to fail me but if they do, a Campari & soda with no citrus helps immensely.

2) Grab a Steak & Egg sandwich from Meat Cheese Bread on SE 14th & Stark. I don't know how they do it, but this sandwich is a miracle.

3) A litre of water and a Boylan's ginger ale. It's all about hydration!"

Time-honored advice for a reason--alcohol is well-documented to cause dehydration. And, while many pro drinkers swear by greasy carbs the next day, protein--especially the amino acid cysteine--may hold the key to replenishing your sapped reserves. 

So drink and eat up, Portlandians, and by that we mean agua and steak. And if you're vegan--well, you can still have a protein shake.

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Burn, Baby, Burn.

Lucas Plant, Barlow (737 SW Salmon):

"My hangover cure is heading to Minizo, in the food carts on Mississippi next to Prost. Try the Shoyu Ramen and ask Ken to go all in--his kimchi and garlic paste will sweat out last night's bad decisions, and get you ready for round two."

Savvy bartender at Barlow and co-founder of Bull in China--Portland's premier craft barware shop and recent darling of the NY Times--Luke knows how to spice things up on either side of an epic night out.

You may want to avoid extreme remedies like habaneros or the infamous ghost chili pepper--not to mention Eeyore plushies and a swift kick in the nuts (Seriously, a pretty decent Youtube vid that gets GREAT around 2:30--a hangover helper in itself).

But fermented foods like kimchi replenish your body's "good" bacteria, and garlic, high in the amino acid cysteine, cleanses your rotting gut of all the debris.

No stranger to herbal digestifs--or professionally perfect timing--Luke added, "Totally forgot. After the ramen, a Fernet seals the deal!" Booze out. Booze in. Repeat.

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Grease the Wheels.

Jesse Leo, Nightlight Lounge (2100 SE Clinton):

"Grease, man. Something that'll make me tired. Gravy! You been to Tabor Tavern? They have a breakfast sandwich called the rev, and it will--it'll blow your mind. Crispy fried chicken, bomb-ass pepper gravy, cheese--it's amaaaazing."

While not exactly supported by science--greasy food can clog up an already-taxed liver, and deliver few of the nutrients your body actually needs--Jesse's folk wisdom resonates with what's become a solidified part of Portland's culinary canon. At the very least, a rich, heavy breakfast will stick to the ribs, putting you--and those sudden flashes of last night's drunk texting--right back to bed.

While Jesse can be found most Saturday nights happily spinning up Nightlight's seasonally-rotating specialty cocktails, you don't have to wait for the cure: Nightlight is offering up a special New Year's Day brunch from noon to 3--moderately priced, adults-only (mmmimosas!), and exceptionally crafted. Sure, there're vegan options, but c'mon. You know you want gravy.

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Potassium! Okay, and Maybe a Shot.

Daniel Osborne, Teardrop Lounge (1015 NW Everett):

"For summertime, Teardrop's Piña Colada is all fresh ingredients. Coconut cream, pineapple juice, pineapple gomme. A very good source of potassium!"

But Ptown's chilly winters call for something slightly more...bold.

"My go-to tequila is Olmeca Altos Blanco. It's a very good source of alcohol!"

As for Piña Coladas, I have to admit, as a former bartender, that no matter where I worked, the blender was somehow always broken...just right now...just for you. It's a safe bet that Daniel and the staff at Teardrop are a tad more hospitable.

In contrast to the Piña Colada's sweet, creamy blanket, tequila is not for the faint-of-heart--nor the faint-of-gag-reflex. But it remains, for the faithful, an unstoppable cure--not, we might argue, just for hangovers, but for modern guilt, deep insecurities, and those graceful good manners your friends thought you had. Proceed with caution, young Jedi.

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The Big O.

"Orgasms! I'm being serious. It creates blood flow and oxygen intake." 

This from Beckaly Franks of Clyde Common (1014 SW Stark), whose attractive bar staff and inventive cocktails make for a seductive experience on their own. 

While we might not all be so lucky as to have, um, help with this cure, Beckaly's observations are right on point. A recent study of migraine sufferers by German neurologists found that a majority found relief through sex, with many experiencing "moderate to complete" alleviation of the monster headaches.

Men, too, experience increased brain activity during orgasm. One study even suggested the effects are similar to heroin, which makes sense to those who've experienced major post-coital stupor right after the big moment.

Ah, well. Naptime is good for hangovers, too, right?


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