May 30 – Jet Fuel

Franchise Faces

With the recent controversy over the Washington Redskins team name, that got me thinking long and hard (heh, long and hard!) about franchise monikers and where they came from. Today, I want to look at teams that share a common name. In that process, we’ll decide which team lays claim to the name based on factors such as years in existence, success, superstars, etc. Of course, teams that leave one city and relocate to another, playing under the same nickname, don’t count. This also applies to minor league teams that share their affiliates handle. So, on with the list:

#5: Cardinals – St. Louis (MLB), Arizona (NFL)

Bird species are a popular name for teams in all the major sports, but Cardinals is the only one that is shared by two franchises and this duel isn’t too hard to sort out. The St. Louis club has existed for over 130 years, known as the Cardinals since 1900. In their long history, they have won 11 World Series Titles, 19 National League Pennants, and 20 MVP awards. They even have 17 Hall of Fame players to their legacy. Arizona, on the other hand, has enjoyed far less success, although they were also established over 100 years ago, even playing for a time in St. Louis. Their only championships came long before the modern day NFL, in 1925 and 1947. Winner: St. Louis

Cardinals

#4: Oilers – Edmonton (NHL), Houston/Tennessee (NFL)

Currently, both teams are trying to work their way out of the basement of their respective leagues, but this battle isn’t close. The Oilers success in Edmonton in the mid-80’s, led the town to call itself the ‘City of Champions’! Hell, they struck more riches than a prospector, with signing the legendary Wayne Gretzky and drafting future Hall of Famers like Mark Messier, Jari Kurri, Paul Coffey, Grant Fuhr, and Glenn Anderson. The NFL Oilers moved from Houston to Tennessee and don’t even exist anymore, dropping the moniker in favour of calling themselves the Titans. Winner: Edmonton

#3: Jets – Winnipeg (NHL), New York (NFL)

Both teams have tasted the heights of success, but have also suffered crushing defeats – let’s call them crash landings – during their existence. Heck, this is Winnipeg’s second go-around with an NHL franchise, the first time ending with the club’s departure to Phoenix, where they were renamed the Coyotes. But there were better times in the 1970’s, when Winnipeg dominated the World Hockey Association, winning three Avco Cups and showcasing ‘Mr. Hockey’ Gordie Howe. New York also enjoyed success in 1968-69, winning their lone Super Bowl and displaying their own superstar, quarterback Joe Namath. Winner: New York

Jets

#2: Rangers – New York (NHL), Texas (MLB)

The New York squad is a member of the Original 6 NHL clubs and that holds a lot of weight in hockey circles. That said, the Rangers are the team I hate the most thanks to the childhood disappointment of watching them defeat my Vancouver Canucks in the 1994 Stanley Cup Finals. I have to be impartial, though, and acknowledge the storied history for New York, including four Stanley Cups. In Texas, the Rangers have existed since 1972, having moved from Washington. They have yet to win a World Series, losing back-to-back championship seasons in 2010 and 2011 (ironically, to the St. Louis Cardinals and San Francisco Giants, also on this list). Winner: New York

#1: Giants – San Francisco (MLB), New York (NFL)

Both franchises have won championships in recent years, but San Francisco has strung together three World Series titles in the last five years, earning the distinction of being a dynasty team. On top of that, the baseball club has a long history that transferred over with them, following the team’s move from New York in 1957, where they were the original Giants of the Big Apple. That’s not to take anything away from the football squad and their own storied existence, winning eight league championships, including four in the modern era. This was a tough race to decide, but history always wins out. Winner: San Francisco

Super Saturday Shot Day: Jet Fuel

Honourable mentions include the Kings (Los Angeles (NHL) and Sacramento (NBA)); the Lions (Detroit (NFL), B.C. (CFL)); and the Panthers (Carolina (NFL), Florida (NHL)). Surprisingly, no NBA teams made this list and only the Sacramento Kings share a nickname with another pro squad. It’s also interesting that three different New York teams share their name with another franchise.

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November 9 – Mind Eraser

Blackouts: Good or Bad?

Today, the Sip Advisor puts aside all the jokes and funny pictures and gets serious, examining one of the greatest issues facing the drinking world: blackouts.

Alternate Blackouts

Sorry, blacked out about being all serious and stuff!

In the interest of full disclosure, I have to admit that I am prone to the odd moment of blacking out when on a really heavy drinking bender. Most of Sip Nation jokes about missing scenes and not remembering what we did the night before. Some of these blackouts have been the cause for great stories and laughs later, but they can also be a little scary.

I know the day after one of these moments, I can feel a little off. I’m not sure if it’s from embarrassment over forgetting what happened or the brain having to reboot.

The Disney theme parks have been home to two of my most infamous blackouts. I detailed the first for the Hidden Mickey original recipe and in that post, I promised to share the details of Mrs. Sip and my country crawl at Disneyworld: Epcot, during our honeymoon. Well, little sippers, pack your bags and prepare for another adventure:

Adventure

Our cruise ship (18-day Panama Canal route) arrived in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. at 7am to end that leg of our journey and we were two of the first people off the ship, quickly catching a cab to the airport to grab a rental car, before making the three-hour drive to Lake Buena Vista and the last couple days of our vacation at the Florida theme parks.

While Mrs. Sip enjoyed a little nap, I drove furiously (is there any other way), with the goal of being in the park for 1pm. We arrived at our hotel, checked in, bought our tickets, and hopped on the shuttle to the park, making it into Epcot for just slightly after our target.

We had always hoped to do the Epcot country crawl of enjoying a drink in each showcase and this was our opportunity. We also visited during the park’s Food and Wine Festival, providing ample opportunity to make our dreams a reality. After a wonderful Mexican lunch outside that country’s pavilion, we grabbed our first beers of the day (each ordering a sampler, which contained four half glasses of various styles).

Epcot Checklist

As we started to work our way through the brew, we looked at each other and neither of us was really feeling up to party. We had drank pretty heavily the night before, given it was the final night of our cruise and we had some stock to finish. We chatted about just taking it easy and enjoying the country showcases, perhaps returning to the country crawl idea later in the day… then fate intervened.

Out of nowhere, we started chatting with two brothers and their female friend from Philadelphia. They too were enjoying a beer sampler each, but seemed to be a little deeper into the drinking than we were. Once they heard it was our honeymoon, they decided to crash it and join us for a little bit, frequently announcing to the massive crowd that we were honeymooners.

Mrs. Sip and I played along and decided we’d hang out with these strangers for a little bit before splitting off and doing our own thing. We ended up spending the rest of the day with them, stopping off at each pavilion for drinks, food, and laughs. The two guys were great at poking fun at other guests (isn’t people watching awesome!) and drawing fellow drinkers into our circle. We even left the park briefly to meet their parents.

Epcot Adventurer

This is such an awesome idea… next time!

Given it was our honeymoon, they were also quite generous in buying Mrs. Sip and I a couple drinks and the last thing I remember from the park was downing Irish Car Bombs in the United Kingdom showcase pub. From that point on, things are a little fuzzy and even fuzzier as I write this one year later.

Ever the gentleman, I do remember making sure Mrs. Sip got a seat on the packed shuttle bus we boarded, while I swayed back and forth in the aisle. The rest of the night disappears into a black hole from that point on.

Stage Before Blackout

The next day I awoke to stories that Mrs. Sip had ordered late night cheese bread (a staple of her drinking diet) from Domino’s and that I had insisted on ordering a pizza to go along with it. After eating one slice, I reportedly passed out and was dead to the world until morning.

We visited the Universal Studios parks the next day (by the way, those attractions are not to be missed) and I was thankful I had driven and wouldn’t be inclined to drink. I did have a beer or two over the day, always quick to hop back on the trolley, but was definitely in recovery mode, as my frontal lobe tried to mend itself.

So, blackouts: good or bad? Wait, what was the question?

Drink #313: Mind Eraser

Mind Eraser Shooter

  • 0.5 oz Vodka
  • 0.5 oz Kahlua
  • Splash of Club Soda
  • Garnish with Lime Wedge

What is your opinion on the ominous blackout? Is it something to be enjoyed and marveled at? Or is it something to be feared and avoided at all costs? I await your replies!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4.5 Sips out of 5):
This shot was a pleasant surprise. I’m usually not enthralled by Coffee Liqueurs, but there was something about this recipe that made me forget all about my hate for java. Perhaps it was my inclusion of Smores Vodka that made this shooter so palatable. I even made myself a second round of the shot to enjoy it again!

August 8 – Killer Kool-Aid

Beverage of State

Did you know that a number of American states have an official beverage? That’s right, on top of having state flowers and birds, more than half of the country’s states have gone to the trouble of selecting an official drink as well. While an overwhelming number of those states have taken the easy and politically correct route of naming milk as their bevvy of choice, here are the states that chose to shake things up and ruffle some feathers (of birds… hopefully roughly… stupid birds).

Nebraska – Kool-Aid

Nebraska lamed out a little by also choosing milk as their official beverage, but they did select Kool-Aid as their state soft drink. When I was a little sipper, I knew I was destined for a life of mixology thanks to the experiments I conducted with Kool-Aid. I mixed it with a number of ingredients, searching for the next great recipe. Pepsi and Kool-Aid, or as I called it, Kontaminated Kool-Aid, provided my most favourable results.

Kool-Aid

Alabama – Conecuh Ridge Whiskey

How awesome would it be to live in a place that’s official drink was freakin’ Whiskey?! I must admit, though, I’m a little surprised that Alabama didn’t go with Moonshine as their most famous liquid offering, but I guess they had to play a little nice with the process. Good on ya, Alabama!

Massachusetts – Cranberry Juice

I guess the fine folks of Massachusetts have some serious urinary issues if they’ve chosen Cranberry Juice as their official drink. Hey, whatever keeps them healthy and happy. Cranberry Juice does factor into a lot of cocktails, so perhaps they were onto something when choosing this mixer.

Florida – Orange Juice

This is a bit of a no-brainer as Florida is renowned for their Orange Juice. I wonder if O.J. Simpson was on hand for the ceremony making the juice the official beverage of the state. This would, of course, be years before his legal troubles, but being born in California he might be partial to that states orange juice history.

orange-juice

Rhode Island – Coffee Milk

Rhode Island wanted to follow suit with much of the country, but also tried to remain unique by picking Coffee Milk. I’m supposing this means much of the state runs around with a caffeine buzz leading to insomnia and a rash of Starbucks popping up to capitalize on the movement. My take on coffee and its subsidiaries can be found here.

Maine – Moxie

Moxie is Maine’s official soft drink and is made with the bitter tasting gentian root extract. While it is Maine’s state soft drink because creator Dr. Augustin Thompson was born in the state, the drink was actually produced in Massachusetts… I smell a blood feud!

Indiana – Water

How boring of a selection is this!? It’s like it didn’t even try! Don’t get me wrong, I love my H2O and whenever I’m not consuming alcohol, I’m downing the clear stuff to balance myself out, but come on… couldn’t they settle on something with even the slightest intrigue? Shame, Indiana… kind of sounds like a cool place to live.

diet water

New Hampshire – Apple Cider

An interesting selection, indeed… apparently this decision grew from a student campaign (their teacher wanted to get kids interested in government and show them they have a voice even at their useless age!) and even Facebook page to get the government to make it all official.

South Carolina – State-Grown Tea

I’m assuming this could be used in either hot or iced tea, but perhaps I’d cause an international incident for drinking one and not the other. South Carolina is another state that picked milk as its official beverage, but State-Grown Tea is their State Hospitality Beverage… yes, such a thing exists.

Ohio – Tomato Juice

This kind of reminds me of the Simpsons episode where the town of Shelbyville is forced to worship a turnip tree (once Springfield gets its precious lemon tree back) and the citizens can’t stand eating the vile vegetable. I’m curious as to how many people actually drink the official beverage of their state regularly. P.S.: Tomato Juice is gross!

Drink #220: Killer Kool-Aid

Aug 8

  • Rim glass with Kool-Aid Powder
  • 1 oz Vodka (I used Grey Goose Cherry Noir)
  • 0.5 oz Melon Liqueur
  • 0.5 oz Amaretto
  • Top with Cranberry Juice
  • Splash of Lemon-Lime Soda
  • Garnish with Lime Wedge

I’m surprised more states haven’t named an official beverage. California could choose wine, given its wonderful wine regions. Washington State could go with Apple Juice thanks to the production industry there. Finally, Michigan could choose motor oil as a nod to being the home of motor vehicle manufacturing.

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4 Sips out of 5):
I have to say that this drink tastes an awful lot like Kool-Aid… plus a little bit of the hard stuff! I used Grey Goose Cherry Noir Vodka, which added a nice flavour with the top shelf spirit and all was well… oh yeah!