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.

November 22 – Churchill

Tennessee Whiskey vs. Kentucky Bourbon

A battle of the ages has long been brewing (literally!) between the states of Tennessee and Kentucky. In one corner, you have the maker of the finest American whiskeys, while in the other, you have the home of bourbon creations. Let’s take a look at each state’s role in the world around us and see which place should get the nod in this never-ending conflict.

Famous Citizens

Tennessee: Davy Crockett, Morgan Freeman, Aretha Franklin, Tina Turner, Dolly Parton, Al Gore, Miley Cyrus – can you imagine Davy Crockett, Morgan Freeman and Al Gore twerking!?

twerking

Kentucky: Abraham Lincoln, Daniel Boone, Muhammad Ali, George Clooney, Johnny Depp, The Judds, Colonel Sanders – that’s a murderer’s row of famous folks who call Kentucky home!

Sports

Tennessee: Tennessee Titans (NFL), Memphis Grizzlies (NBA), Nashville Predators – Memphis stole Vancouver’s basketball franchise… you better believe that’s a paddlin’.

Kentucky: Kentucky Derby – I love watching the horsies race and apparently Kentuckians do too, as they don’t have any professional sports franchises within the state.

Food

Tennessee: I love southern barbecue foods (your pulled pork, brisket, chicken) and all the sides those meats come with (I gotta stop writing on an empty stomach!). In particular, we have a chain in western Canada called Memphis Blues that provides all these delicacies and there’s one wonderfully located a block up the street from Mrs. Sip and my chateau!

Kentucky: KFC, yo! Gotta give some points to the Colonel here, even if the company has rebranded itself to drop the Kentucky moniker! The state is also known for a dish called Hot Brown, which involves (layered in order) toasted bread, turkey, bacon, tomatoes, and mornay sauce.

KFC S&M

Arts (TV, Movies, Music, etc.)

Tennessee: Music City, USA; Memphis Wrestling – I’m a fan of one and not so much of the other… which is which!?

Kentucky: Recognizable Stars – Ah, hello, look no further than they provided the world with George Clooney and Johnny Depp, as well as vampire hunter Abraham Lincoln!

Landmarks

Tennessee: Graceland, Dollywood, Country Music Hall of Fame, Opryland USA – Did you know that Dollywood even has a water park!? For some reason, among all these great landmarks, that’s what sticks out to me the most!

Kentucky: Churchill Downs, Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory, KFC Yum! Center, Abraham Lincoln Birthplace, Creation Museum, Fort Knox – The Creation Museum could, in fact, be the nation’s finest comedy club!

Slogans

Tennessee: “America at its Best” – I like the confidence of that statement!

Tennessee Slogan

This seems like a pretty good slogan, too!

Kentucky: “It’s That Friendly”, “Unbridled Spirit” – Sorry, but I’m not a fan of either of these attempts.

Nickname

Tennessee: Volunteer State – I hate volunteering for things, so Tennessee is going to lose some points in this category.

Kentucky: Bluegrass State – Mmm, mmm, I love me some bluegrass music… not the actual type of grass, of course.

State Symbols (last chance to get in the good graces of the Sip Advisor)

Tennessee: Their state wild animal (seriously, why do they have these things) is the raccoon… total props for that pick!

Kentucky: Their state dance is clogging… I’m not entirely sure what this is (no need for research here), but my mind tells me it’s like crunking, but more dangerous!

Drink #326: Churchill

Churchill Drink Recipe

  • 1 oz Scotch Whiskey
  • 0.5 oz Sweet Vermouth
  • 0.5 oz Cointreau
  • Splash of Lime Juice
  • Garnish with a Lime Wheel

So, in the end, who was the big winner between the two states? Tennessee takes Landmarks, Slogan, and State Symbols, while Famous Citizens, Arts, and Nickname go to Kentucky. Sports and Food are a toss-up, so I’m afraid we’re right where we started at the beginning of this whole debacle!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4 Sips out of 5):
I’m not sure whether this cocktail is named for Winston Churchill or Churchill Downs, but I figured it was a fitting recipe either way. And it tastes pretty darn good to boot! It’s not too strong, which is always a risk when the recipe is so booze heavy and mixers are largely absent, but this one works, likely helped along by the Cointreau and Lime Juice, in particular.

November 17 – Southern Hospitali-tea

Whiskey, Bourbon, Scotch, Rye

Today marks the beginning of Whiskey Week at the Sip Advisor and while we will look quite closely at the Tennessee favourite, we will also examine all of the liquor’s familial members: Bourbon, Scotch, and Rye.

Drink #321: Southern Hospitali-tea

Southern Hospitali-tea Drink Recipe

So, how was school today? Not settle yourself on the couch for cookies and milk and afternoon cartoons… ah, those were the days!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3.5 Sips out of 5):
With a pretty simple recipe, you know full well what you’re getting into and in this case, that’s a good drink. The JD Honey Whiskey was a nice touch and worked well with the Iced Tea. I made sure to toss a fair bit of Lemon Wedges in the cocktail for added flavour. A nice addition would have been some Lemonade.

March 20 – Blue Memphis

River City Rampage

While Mrs. Sip and I have travelled extensively, Memphis (in the great state of Tennessee) is a place neither of us has visited. While today’s drink can only do so much to take us there, here’s some attractions I’d like to see when I finally make my way to the Mid-South:

Graceland

Whether you’re a fan of Elvis or not (but come on, who doesn’t at least have some appreciation for The King?), any visit to Memphis would require at least a pit stop at his former home, Graceland. There, we can see Elvis’ collection of cars, his private planes, and a museum dedicated to the legend. A definite highlight would be viewing the toilet he apparently died on and the TV he shot at in a drug-induced rage. Ah, the memories. Perhaps we could even stay at the nearby Heartbreak Hotel to complete the experience!

elvis-loved-naughty-girls

National Civil Rights Museum

Oddly located inside the hotel where Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated, visitors can learn all about the American Civil Rights Movement and how it changed the world we live in today. I guess using the hotel isn’t the worst idea. After all, who would ever stay there again after it was the site of King’s murder? Although, perhaps, the owner’s missed the boat on an opportunity to rent rooms to ghost hunters and other creeps.

Beale Street

Home to the annual Beale Street Music Festival, this is likely where your honourable Sip Advisor would go for his daily dose of life’s elixir (known to the common folk as alcohol). There are few things that beat the mix of good music and good drinks… perhaps good sex and good drinks, but I’m still conducting thorough research on the subject.

The Pyramid

If you believe that you’ll never be able to travel to Egypt (especially if you don’t like to be molested by 12 year old peddlers, angry mobs, or camels) and the glitz and glamour of Las Vegas frightens you, than Memphis is your next best chance to see one of the world’s largest pyramids. This famous sports and entertainment venue is the sixth largest pyramid in the world behind four in Egypt and the Luxor Hotel in Las Vegas. Now it’s been turned into a massive Bass Pro Shop fishing store, but that just means you can get in for free!

BBQ

I’m a huge fan of southern barbecue, so you can bet your sweet bippy that I’ll be chowing down on pulled pork, brisket, chicken and all the sides a man could ever want (cornbread, cob, slaw, tater salad) every chance I get. By the time I get back home, I hope to have a permanent barbecue sauce stain around my mouth. I’ll wear that like a badge of honour. No need for souvenirs, I already got mine!

Cat BBQ

Basketball

Whether it’s checking out some college hoops (University of Memphis Tigers) or the professional ranks (Memphis Grizzlies), a fan of the hard court can definitely get their fill here. I never attended a Vancouver Grizzlies game when the team played here (in fact I’ve never been to a NBA game ever… some sports journalist am I, right?), so I guess seeing them in Memphis would be kind of sacrilegious. Oh well, doing the wrong thing is what I do best.

Wrestling Scene

Home to one of the hottest territories during professional wrestling’s 1980’s heyday, Memphis is where grappler Jerry ‘The King’ Lawler (too bad he and Elvis never battled over the moniker), and legendary manager ‘Mouth of the South’ Jimmy Hart got their start. The group consistently sold out the Mid-South Coliseum with bloody clashes and suspenseful storytelling… old school style!

Mississippi River

Finally, why not end your vacation by floating down the mighty Mississippi (M-I-SS-I-SS-I-PP-I) aboard a riverboat. You can pretend you’re Tom Sawyer or Huck Finn, sneaking onto the ship and causing havoc. Hopefully this riverboat also offers gambling, where I can bet my plane ticket home and leave me and Mrs. Sip stranded.

Drink #79: Blue Memphis

Blue Memphis

  • 1 oz Malibu Rum
  • 0.5 oz Blue Curacao
  • Top with half Pineapple Juice and half Milk
  • Garnish with Maraschino Cherry on a Pineapple Toothpick

As you can see, the recipe didn’t turn out as blue as advertised… so I guess it’s more of an Aqua-Marine Memphis. It still tasted pretty good, regardless of hue. Nashville, you’re up next!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3 Sips out of 5):
I don’t think Milk and Pineapple Juice should be combined… really any juice I can’t see working well with the calcium goodness of Milk. This drink was largely saved by the Malibu Rum and Blue Curacao. Much thanks to liquor!