Game day: Let’s get it

Game Day

It’s game day. College season begins tonight. Grab a cocktail,* find a comfy chair, and settle in. The season is going to go by faster than you think.

In the interim, check out my column today for the NY Times Fifth Down Blog, about zone blitzing.

* I recommend a Tom Collins or an Old Fashioned, though maybe go easy if you’re not quite in mid-season form.

Tom Collins

  1. ice cubes
  2. 2 oz. dry gin
  3. 2 oz. lemon juice
  4. 1 teaspoon sugar (gomme) syrup
  5. soda water
  6. slice of lemon

Old Fashioned (two recipes, I think every man should know how he likes his)

  1. 2 ounces (60 ml) bourbon
  2. Splash of simple syrup or 1 cube sugar and just enough water to dissolve the sugar
  3. 2 dashes bitters
  4. Old Fashioned glass
  5. Place sugar (or syrup), bitters, and water in old-fashioned glass
  6. Crush sugar if needed and coat glass
  7. Add 2–3 cubes ice and whiskey
  8. Garnish with twist

And an old school version:

  1. Dissolve a small lump of sugar with a little water in a whiskey glass
  2. Add two dashes Angostura bitters
  3. Add a small piece of ice
  4. Add a piece lemon peel
  5. Add a (1.5 ounces or 44 mL) whiskey
  6. Mix with small bar spoon and serve, leaving spoon in glass.

  • Jay

    Excellent, football and old fasioneds. Right up my alley, though “old fashioned” is a method, not a drink. Here’s the method:

    Add fruit and sugar to a glass. Muddle. Fill glass with ice and pour in liquor. Stir. A variation, though not traditional, to the method is topping off the drink with club soda.

    Try making a lemondrop (not the shot, but with those ingredients) this way. It’s delicious, though my favortie is bourbon (Bulliet makes a good (and reasonable) mixing bourbon). If using bourbon, use an orange slice and orange bitters.

  • Brad


    Just wondering if you had enough material to attempt an explanation of how teams commonly play the 2-Deep Zone Blitzes. 3 Deep is certainly the most common, but teams like the Steelers do a great job at zone blitzing while keeping a Cover 2 look.


  • jfwells

    My new favorite is the Transcontinental, courtesy of guest poster Matt Ufford on EDSBS’s Digital Viking post of June 26:

    * 1.5 oz rye (or bourbon – something with more of an edge like Knob Creek works well)
    * 1 oz grapefruit juice (NOTE: REAL grapefruit juice. Pink grapefruit juice is too sweet, unless you’re making it for a girl or a Tennessee fan)
    * ½ oz St. Germaine elderflower liqueur
    * 2 dashes bitters
    * Fresh sage

    Muddle three sprigs of sage in a shaker, add ice and ingredients, shake, serve neat.

    I make mine a double.

  • Brad,

    Teams will do it, but not as often as you’d think. The reason is that Cover 2 is good because you can jam the underneath guys: the cornerbacks jam the receivers and funnel things inside, and the OLBs/Nickel guys can jam the slots/TEs and also run up the field with them on vertical routes. This underneath technique is integral to making it work. With a zone blitz you lose most of that, which hurts a Cover 2 defense far worse than a Cover 3. It’s a very unsound defense, and really is only used as a “game” — to fool the other quarterback.

    I can write up some stuff on it though, but it’s not used for its soundness.

  • WBE Jerry

    Chris, didn’t want to call attention to it at the other site, but CMU’s QB’s name is “LeFevour” rather than “Levour.”

    I assume the mistake is because when you have more football information crammed in your head than most of us know about the entirety of all subjects, some of it leaks out sometimes.

  • John N

    I inherited this go-to concoction from a friend east of the Mississippi. I call it the “Nazarethine Dichotomous Gustatory Emulsion”:

    1 part Jack
    4 parts Coke

  • Silver Charm

    Loaded DiGiornos for me.

    And when I say loaded I mean extra mushrooms, extra cheese, extra pepperonis and extra sausage.

    EXTRA GOOD I might add!!

  • Let the games begin!!.. I’ll take two of both drinks. Just one request to the officials on the field: “Let the kids play” as I would ask them.

    Keep spreading u’m!

  • Brad

    Depends though Chris. I mean I think most Cov 2 Zone blitzes end up being a version of 1/4, 1/4, 1/2 with usually a boundary Corner playing 1/2 while the Boundary safety rotates over top to play 1/4’s with the Field Corner, while the Field safety can be brought down into the box, either playing underneath and providing an extra hat, or being a part of the game itself (Pittsburgh does this a lot when they bring Polamalu (sp) off the edge).

  • sebstokrator

    Chris, you never cease to amaze me. Not only are you football guru, you know how to mix up an excellent Old Fashioned.


    I’m not sure I’d call an old fashioned a method. I think I’d call it a classification, like a sour for instance.

  • JKLK

    I’ve been enjoying a simpler variation on the Tom Collins: lemonade and gin, in about a 3 to 2 ratio with ice. I use Minute Maid lemonade, which is simple and inexpensive. Not the same animal as a fine mixed cocktail with real ingredients, but enjoyable nonetheless.

  • sullivan013

    How about a ‘real’ old fashioned? Single Malt Irish Whiskey, neat. Anything else is just a drink.

  • Use powdered sugar or baking sugar in the Tom Collins for a crisper flavor on hot tailgate days. If the weather gets chilly, and it will, switch to a white russian. Use good vodka (Stoli Gold) and switch the cream to 2% milk for a crisp finish on warmer days. Toss a pinch of cinnamon on top for an aromatic touch but don’t over do it or it is just too much like egg nog. Oh, and if you are going to an Indiana, University football game (and there is really no reason to) be sure to check out the new addition to the North end of the stadium. Say what you will about IU as a school, they have a magnificent campus. One of, if not the, best looking in the country.