A Beer Drinker’s Guide to Super Bowl XLV

For those of you who don’t know me, I’m a Chicago Bears fan. That also means I’m a Chicago beer fan. I  have a mild superstition about drinking a local beer from the team I’m rooting for when watching a game. So, for ten days straight, starting with the weekend of the Bears’ January 16 NFC Divisional matchup with the Seahawks,  and throughout the week  into their NFC Championship game against the Packers, I drank nothing but Chicago’s Goose Island. But my beer superstition couldn’t overcome Jay Cutler’s poor first half performance, or cure his torn MCL. Backup QB Todd Collins looked like he’d had about 10 beers before the game as he tried, but failed, to throw 2 interceptions before being pulled toward the end of the 3rd quarter. And though I tried to rally backup backup QB Caleb Hanie by drinking more, his furious 4th quarter 2 touchdown effort fell just short.

So now the Packers head to the Super Bowl and I’m left to feature a beer from Wisconsin. Though I’m no fan of Wisconsin sports teams, I have nothing against their beer, and there’s no lack of craft breweries to choose from. However, until last week I’d never had a beer from there. I follow Lakefront Brewery on Twitter but never tried anything of theirs. But based on the recommendation of a diehard Packers fan, Wisconsin native, who is a friend of my fiance from their college days at Notre Dame, I decided to give it a try. Continue reading

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Twitter Makes “All The Tostitos” a Championship Meme

Yesterday I ranted a bit about how Tostitos was missing out on a big opportunity by not engaging with fans on Twitter in advance of and during the Fiesta Bowl and the BCS National Championship game, which they sponsor. But silly me. Who needs to market your own brand when you have one of the most famous announcers in college football and the Twitter community to do it for you?

In case you’re not a college football fan, or fell asleep before the end of the game, ESPN’s Brent Musberger, calling the play-by-play for the National Championship Game, uttered these soon-to-be famous words as Auburn lined up for what would be the game-winning, National Championship-clinching field goal:

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Sorry, Tostitos. Your #BCS Sponsorship Just Got Scooped

I woke up this morning to see something that made the social marketing geek in me giddy with excitement.The sports news arm of The Onion, everyone’s favorite mock news site, used their Twitter account, @OnionSports, to sponsor the trending topic #BCS on the day of the BCS National Championship Game. This coincides with the launch of their new show, Onion SportsDome, premiering tomorrow on Comedy Central.

I love Onion Sports Network for inserting themselves into the existing conversation around the biggest event in college football with creative, fun, talkable tweets that promote and enhance their brand. They’re not just trying to drive direct traffic to their website or a contest via the promoted tweets — they are producing great, relevant content that supports the identity of their new show in a non-intrusive, marketing-y way. Seriously – take a look at their tweets today. They’re fantastic.  Continue reading

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Snowpocalypse December 2010 – Brooklyn, NY

Photos from the New York City blizzard, aka “Snowpocalypse 2010,”  December 26 & 27. From  Brooklyn’s Sunset Park neighborhood (23rd Street/3rd & 4th Ave) and Bay Ridge neighborhood (72nd-73rd Streets/Ridge Blvd & 3rd Avenue).

All photos taken with my iPhone 4, most filtered with Instagram.

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A Beer Drinker’s Guide to the MLB Postseason: Phillies and Reds

Just like the Twins last night, the Reds are on the rope tonight. After getting no-hit by Roy Halladay in Game 1 and blowing a 4-0 lead in Game 2, leading to a 5-4 loss, the champion of the NL Central Division faces an NLDS sweep for the fourth consecutive year. If the Reds have any hope, their fans will need to be keeping the local beer flowing, so let’s get down to it.

Cincinnati Reds – Hoppin’ Frog Brewery (Akron, OH)

I’ve never tried a beer from Cincy, but there’s a beer from Ohio that I love, and I knew that I’d simply have to feature it here. Hoppin’ Frog’s Hoppin to Heaven IPA is one of the strongest ales I’ve ever tasted. It’s overflowing with spice and hops and provides a sure kick in the pants that the Reds will need tonight to keep their postseason hopes alive. I can’t believe that they have a Double IPA and even Triple IPA. Those might just kill you unless you’re a serious IPA drinker. Continue reading

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A Beer Drinker’s Guide to the MLB Postseason: Giants and Braves

Yesterday I featured  four recommended breweries’ offerings to accompany the ALDS matchups in the MLB Postseason: 512 Brewing from Texas and Cigar City Brewing from Tampa Bay for the Rangers and Rays; Brooklyn Brewery and Summit Brewing Company for the Yankees and Twins. Hopefully, Twins fans are loading up on Summit EPA right now to drown their sorrows, as their team was promptly swept out of the playoffs by the Bronx Bombers.

Today, we look at local brews you might wish to partake of while watching the NLDS games, starting with the Atlanta Braves and San Francisco Giants.

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A Beer Drinker’s Guide to the MLB Postseason: Twins at Yankees

Previously on A Beer Drinker’s Guide to the MLB Postseason, I featured Texas’s 512 Brewing for the Rangers and Tampa’s Cigar City Brewing for the Rays.

Now, with the Twins heading to Yankee Stadium in search of staving off a sweep into elimination from the postseason, I turn my focus to beers from Minnesota and New York.  Since the Twins need all the help they can get, let’s start with them, shall we?

Minnesota Twins – Summit Brewery (St Paul, MN)

A couple years ago I was on a business trip to Minneapolis. In the spirit of the not-yet-born Beer Tour, I decided to try a local beer from Summit Brewery while at dinner with a client. It was so good that, when faced with three hours to kill in the MSP airport on the way home, it was my obvious choice for company. Continue reading

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A Beer Drinker’s Guide to the MLB Postseason: Rays at Rangers

As a sports fanatic I’m naturally superstitious. I wear certain hats, t-shirts, and jerseys, or certain combinations of all three, that I convince myself somehow have an impact in the game’s outcome. If my team wins one week I’ll wear the exact same combination the next week. If they lose, it must be something I did wrong. In reality, I know that this is ridiculous. I have no affect on the outcome. But as a sports fan it’s hard to sit back and let go of control and leave it simply in the hands of the players themselves.

I’m sure you wouldn’t be surprised to hear that my latest superstitious method of controlling the outcome of a game is the beer I drink during the game. When the Cubs or Bears play, I must drink Chicago’s Goose Island. When Notre Dame played Stanford a couple weeks ago, I refused to drink the Sierra Nevada Tumbler Ale that was in my fridge. (It didn’t help)

A few weeks ago I got a tweet from Andrew Henderson at The Beer Sessions about his new Craft Monday Night Football blog series, encouraging readers to drink particular craft brews from the cities represented by that week’s MNF matchup. Bears vs Packers was Goose Island vs Sprecher. Dolphins vs Patriots turned into Cigar City vs Sam Adams. This inspired me to do a post about great craft beers from the regions represented in the MLB Postseason.  So without further ado, your guide to the postseason brews: Continue reading

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ESPN, You’re Doing It Wrong

By now you’ve probably heard news of ESPN’s upcoming brand and web property, ESPNW, “a whole new world for female athletes and sports fans.” As soon as I saw the following tweet from one of my favorite sports bloggers, Julie DiCaro of Chicago Now’s A League of Her Own, I knew that a storm was coming.

I’m already insulted by ESPNW. As if women don’t like the same sports men like. #BahFri Oct 01 02:03:30 via web

Julie’s tweet unleashed a furious stream of responses from other bloggers – both male and female – about how a separate TV network for female sports and opinions is completely ridiculous and unnecessary.

Then, ESPN’s own Sarah Spain came to the rescue to clarify the intent of the new femme-brand in a series of tweets, which I’ve compiled below:

Haven’t seen one clever joke about #ESPNW, just a bunch of rehashed stereotypes. Congrats on reaffirming need for a different pt of view.

Here’s my take on #ESPNW, for those interested–& those who are spouting incorrect info w/out having a bit of knowledge about its mission… Plenty of women can relate to ESPN & like it as it is–I am, for the most part, one of the them. But accepting that the avg woman isn’t going to like the same sports, shows, presentations, etc. isn’t a concession or a bad thing, it’s fact. Every other industry knows its market–sports does too. High % of men, smaller % of women. This just wants to look at that chunk of women & see if there are ways they’d rather get their sports. Not about pushing wmn’s sports, it’s about giving a platform 2 women’s voices/perspectives–a more balanced take. Just b/c the current norm is to gear sports programming towards a certain market, doesn’t mean that’s the ONLY way to package it. I LOVE ESPN as is, but I swear I’m 75% dude. Plenty of women like sports but want to feel more connected/feel like the coverage is geared to them & not just that they, too, can watch this program that mostly men like. Why not let it launch first & see what’s it about before mocking it. The immediate responses like “24 hr coverage of dishwashing championships” just shows that the idea of viewing sports from a women’s pt of view is still tough for people. Give it a shot & if you hate it then leave it. Easy as that.

I wholeheartedly agree with Sarah that there is a need for different voices and perspective and making it more balanced. But to me, “balanced” and “different perspectives” doesn’t mean that it needs its own brand or blog for women to connect with ESPN.

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If Only Fans Could Run a Baseball Team

Today’s Cubs Fan Report highlights a story in which Cubs owner Tom Ricketts says he’s listening to what fans are saying about the team.

We’ve tried to be just one big giant ear to our fans. Hopefully, when we accumulate some of the knowledge we’ve gained, we’ll come up with some great off-season moves.

Let’s hope Ricketts is not a fan of the Cubs on Facebook:

In other news, this sculpture, originally located in Luisenpark in Mannheim, Germany, will replace the noodle that so fleetingly appeared outside Wrigley Field:

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