Wednesday, February 8, 2017

A Way-Too-Early 2017 Baseball Season Prediction

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With last weekend’s game, the football season has officially come to a close. For some, this means a long hibernation through the spring and summer until football rolls back around. For others, it’s the chance to bask in the uninterrupted television coverage of their favorite sports. In just a few short days, pitchers and catchers will be reporting to Spring Training for their respective baseball clubs, signaling the beginning of the preseason before things kick into gear in April. All that being said, who doesn’t love a prediction of how the grueling, 5+ month season is going to play out? Here’s how we think it’ll happen.

American Division Winners: Red Sox, Indians, Astros 
The Red Sox upgraded their team in a bunch of important spots, most notably with the acquisition of Chris Sale from the Chicago White Sox. Their starting rotation is a scary one, and we can see their starters pitching deeper into games and winning the close ones.

Cleveland will repeat in their division mostly because there won’t be a team that challenges them for the top spot. With Andrew Miller under team control and a young, speedy group of players, expect them to run away with the division title after a brief tussle with the Tigers.

The Astros could’ve easily won their division last year if they had figured out how to beat the Rangers throughout the season. A few veteran additions to their defense and offense will provide some guidance for their young core, and if their pitching stays healthy then we can see them outlasting Seattle for the division title.

AL Wild Card: Blue Jays, Mariners
The Blue Jays have found some sustained success over the last few years, mostly due to speed and consistent pitching. They’ll linger around in the division championship picture before ultimately facing the upstart Mariners in the play-in game. After some great offseason trades to net young, hard-hitting position players, expect Seattle to win this matchup.

National Division Winners: Dodgers, Cubs, Nationals
Always battling it out with the Giants, the Dodgers seem due to finally put all the pieces together and run away with the division in August. A healthy Clayton Kershaw paired with an innings-eating Rich Hill, the addition of Sergio Romo in the bullpen, and more offense from this young, talented lineup should push the Dodgers forward.

As much as losing Dexter Fowler to the rival Cardinals hurts the Cubs on both offense and defense, the team didn’t really lose important pieces anywhere else. They might not replicate their 103 wins from last season and the bullpen is still questionable, but they’re bound to claim the title for most wins in the entire league. Kris Bryant will only get better, and this young group of infielders and outfielders plays loose and relaxed in the face of pressure.

Adam Eaton and Trea Turner give the Nationals some great offensive options ahead of Bryce Harper in a young, talented lineup. When paired up with their talented starting pitchers, the Nats looks poised to swat away any attempt from the Mets to steal way the division.

NL Wild Card: Rockies, Giants
The Rockies had one of the best offenses in baseball last year. Yes, Coors Field is one of the most hitter-friendly ballparks in the league, but scoring runs always matters. When you pair that up with young starting pitching that’s ready to break through, we could very easily see the Rockies surge into the playoffs with a strong August and upset the always-pesky Giants.

League Champions: Astros, Nationals
This feels like the year the Astros have been building towards. Their young players have experience and grit, and they’ll be accompanied by a nice group of veteran players that includes Brian McCann to handle the pitching staff and Carlos Beltran to encourage patient, selective at-bats.

It won’t be an easy or pretty road to the National League championship for Washington, but they have the offense needed to bend without breaking, and we see them outlasting the Dodgers in a classic championship series matchup.

World Series Champions: Astros
The Nationals will give Houston everything they can handle, but breakout playoff hitting from the likes of Carlos Correa, Jose Altuve, and George Springer will lift the Astros through any potential pitching problems and on to a championship trophy.

In recent years, baseball has become a game of parity and mystery. It was impossible to guess that the Kansas City Royals would come out of nowhere to make a World Series run a few years ago and then sustain the momentum to win it all the following year. The Cubs rebuild came ahead of schedule by close to two years and resulted in a miracle championship. Which team will come out of nowhere to surprise everyone and win it all? Let us know what you think in the comments!

Friday, February 3, 2017

6 Must-Have Football Watch Party Snacks

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The big game for pro football is just around the corner, and plenty of fans will be busy hosting watch parties to see who will take home the biggest prize in the sport. Aside from the jerseys and game bibs and refreshments, there are bound to be some tasty snacks at the party! Here are a few of our favorites, with some links to easy recipes so you can have them at your watch party, too.

1. Buffalo Wings – These little scraps of chicken just seem to go so perfectly with football watching. They’re small, (relatively) easy to eat, and you don’t need to bother with utensils to have one or seven of them. We like ‘em crispy instead of weighed down with flour and batter, so try this oven-baked wings recipe from RecipeTin Eats!

2. Sausage Balls – These might not make you think of football-watching snacks, but they are absolutely addictive. Throw some cheese in there, and a full plate of these things will be gone before the opening kickoff. Check out this BigOven recipe that uses cream cheese to keep the balls from drying out in the oven.

3. Nachos – A mainstay for all sports snacks, nachos are so simple, you could just douse chips with cheese and call it a day. But why not dress them up a bit? This curried nachos recipe from Mel’s Kitchen gives the base ingredients some Indian flare and then tops it off with a mango salsa. Unbelievably good.
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4. Pigs in a Blanket – Super simple and poppable, these little hot dog treats take barely any time to make and are always a hit at parties. We love them with a bit of cheese wrapped into the dough, but this recipe from recommends sprinkling with garlic salt and parmesan cheese.

5. Beer Margaritas – They may not be a snack, but a tasty, tart beerita can mix things up a bit and keep things loose at the party when one fan base inevitably starts getting stressed. All the tastiness of a margarita with the nice mellow taste of a beer tossed in? We’re into it! This version from looks like a quick and simple one.

6. Spinach & Artichoke Dip – You may not love these two main ingredients on their own, but when you mix them with a healthy dose of cheese, you’ll be a believer. Pick up some thick, hearty chips to take the weight of this dense, delectable dip and grab this recipe from for the big game.

With a full arsenal of snacks at your disposal on Sunday, there might not be much reason to eat before or after the big game! What are some of your favorite game day snacks we didn’t mention? Share them with us in the comments below and enjoy the game!

Monday, January 30, 2017

A Game Bibs Pro Football Championship Prediction

A topsy-turvy, nail-biting series of playoff football games has finally narrowed the field to our last two teams. In one corner, a juggernaut of a franchise looking for its fifth league championship in the last 15 seasons and its ninth overall appearance in the big game. In the other corner, a flashy, high-flying team that steamrolled the competition through the playoffs, making its way to its second-ever league championship game and searching for its first title. We’ll leave the analysis of the game to the professionals, but we can certainly give our input based on uniforms and color schemes!

Red & Black

This color scheme is underused in North American pro sports, so we’re glad to see it make an appearance on the biggest football stage. Our love stops at the colors themselves, though. The early-2000s rebrand of this Atlanta-based franchise is still quite evident in their current uniform set, with random and unnecessary accent color blocks scattered around the uniform and a robotic-looking bird adorning their helmets. The team’s uniforms of yesteryear have become a nostalgic keepsake for the fan base, but if this team wins it all in their current digs, then we can’t imagine anyone clamoring for them to revert to the retro look. One could argue that their style of play almost resembles the uniforms they wear: flashy and in your face. Maybe that’ll work to their advantage on the field.

Navy Blue & Red

Love them or hate them, the boys from New England are the epitome of consistency in football. They aren’t the epitome of uniform aesthetics, however. Their current uniform, while consistent and unchanged for years, is a blend of the tried-and-true (and tired) navy blue and red with design elements that seem almost like an afterthought. Random color panels on each side of the torso? Check. Blue stripes on blue pants? Check. A shooting star-esque helmet logo? Sure. All that being said, these guys just continue to win. It’s made us soften to their uniforms and most football fans would agree. Their throwback uniforms are still a thing of beauty, though!

Prediction: We can’t really make a prediction on the field as it’ll come down to controlling turnovers and long, clock-draining drives, but if we had to put our money on a color scheme, red and black has our vote.

A long and surprising football season is about to come to an end with an unlikely champion contender facing the veterans who’ve been here before (and before that, and before that). Who do you think will win? Which uniform combination do you prefer? Share in the comments below!

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

A Game Bibs Pro Football Playoff Prediction

We’ve made it through the first weekend of the playoffs for the NFL, which is usually when the cream rises to the top and weaker teams are weeded out of the tournament. Next week’s divisional rounds are usually some of the most exciting of the season, and this year is no different. We’ll see some of the top defenses taking on well-oiled offenses as well as young, upstart rookies testing their mettle against veterans. Who will win is anyone’s guess, but we think we know who will win the color scheme matchups!

Black & Yellow vs. Red & Yellow
This matchup puts two classic color combinations up against each other. The recently-successful black & yellow versus the iconic red with yellow trim. We’re big fans of celebrating yellow in all its bright, eye-catching glory, so the use of it on the visiting team’s pants has us leaning towards giving them the W. On the other hand, a classic use of red & yellow seems hard to come by these days, with so many teams using weird shades of each color, it’s nice to see someone stick to the classics.

Prediction: The away team, in all of their black, white and yellow glory, will be seeing red next weekend. Red & yellow squeaks by with the win, moving on to the conference championship.

Navy Blue & Red vs. Navy Blue & Red
Well, this won’t provide much variety for viewers at home. That being said, it comes down to uniform execution on this tried and true (and mostly overused) color combination. More often than not in football, you can’t go wrong by matching your helmet to your pants. Both teams have that covered next weekend, with the visiting team wearing navy helmets and pants and the home team wearing silver. That means our judgment has to come down to the jerseys. You can argue both are pretty early 2000s in style and haven’t aged very well, but we like the small touches of red on the uniform of the visitors.

Prediction: Football-wise, they probably aren’t likely to win, but the visiting navy blue & red-clad crew has our vote to win purely based on use of their colors.

Blue & Silver vs. Green & Yellow
Two classic color combinations will grace the field in Dallas next weekend, with the home team practicing the unconventional tradition of wearing white at home. Doing so gives them an oddly intentional mismatch of shades of blue and silver when you compare their helmet logo to their jerseys and pants, but no one seems to care. On the other side of the ball is one of the cleanest-looking color combinations in sports. This one’s a toughie.

Prediction: The green & yellow crew will be too much to handle from a color and performance point of view. They’ll win on the field, and their color scheme has our vote in this matchup.

Navy Blue & Electric Green vs. Black & Red
Easily the flashiest matchup of the weekend, this game’s colors are sure to pop off the television screen. On one side is a navy blue & electric green combination, a frequently updated version from the franchise’s original royal blue and kelly green. On the other side is a bright red that contrasts heavily with a black helmet. On the road, this game’s visitors tend to look pretty good, with more of a focus on navy blue than the bright green. That gives them a slight edge in our book.

Prediction: While it’s grating on the eyes, we’ve warmed up to electric green. The visitors come away with a win in this one, setting up a showdown between new age and classic the following week.

So there you have it, our infallible analysis of who will move past the divisional rounds based purely on their color scheme. Who do you have moving on to the conference championships? Let us know in the comments!

Friday, December 30, 2016

A Game Bibs College Football Tournament Prediction

This weekend marks another edition of the 4-team college football tournament. Some familiar faces grace the bracket this year as well as a newcomer. Analysts have dissected these teams up and down to figure out all the possible ways they can win or lose the game, but has anyone paid attention to each school’s color scheme as a factor? We’ve put our fan apparel analyst caps on to give you an expert breakdown of which color combination will win each game.

Crimson & White vs. Purple & Tan
There’s something to be said about the classic combination of crimson and white. A lot of words come to mind – tradition, grit, fundamentals. It’s a popular combo, we’ve seen it win time and time again, and it’s OK in our book. There’s also nothing more frightening than a sea of crimson-clad fans waiting just beyond the endzone. Purple and tan (or gold) has a regal air to it, is finally getting back into the conversation after too long, and we like that it isn’t seen very often in the sports color scheme landscape. It’s sleek, fast, and can punch you in the mouth before you know what hit you.

Prediction: The unique blend of purple & tan will be too much for the crimson-clad crew to handle, so they’ll call an audible and bust out the black & white houndstooth for a last-second win.

Scarlet & Grey vs. Orange & Purple
Neither of these teams are strangers to the new playoff format, and their colors aren’t unfamiliar to sports fans either. Scarlet and grey is a combination that will never go out of style. It’s bright and in-your-face enough to grab your attention with dazzling plays, but muted and reserved enough to put its head down and grind out the tough yards. The scheme of orange and purple, on the other hand, stands out loudly and proudly. It’s entirely focused on grabbing your attention with flash and style, and the play on the field reflects that.

Prediction: Recent success and the public warming up to a color combo not found anywhere else has us thinking that orange & purple has the leg up in this matchup. It’ll be back and forth for both teams, but orange & purple will pull away towards the end.

The Big Game
So the crimson crew pulls out a squeaker to get into the championship game in a repeat of last year’s final with the bright, colorful orange & purple boys from South Carolina. Who will win? We’d bet our finest bibs on the team from the city of Tuscaloosa. Who do you have winning it all? Let us know in the comments!

Monday, December 5, 2016

Holiday Gift Guide for the Ultimate Sports Fan

How is it already December? If you’re like us, you probably haven’t done a lick of holiday shopping for friends and family this holiday season. Not to worry! If you need ideas for gifts for sports fans, we’ve got you covered. Check out our gift guide for sports enthusiasts if you’re not sure what to get them this year.

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1. Tailgater Magazine subscription - To borrow words from Cousin Eddie, this is the gift that keeps on giving the whole year. Our buddies over at Tailgater Magazine put together some great content on all things tailgating. A monthly subscription for your friend or family member will cover awesome tailgating products you can check out for future games, delicious food and drink recipes to take your tailgate setup to another level, and other great ways to get pumped about tailgating.

2. Igloo Party Bar Liddup® - Did we mention this puppy is part of our season-long fan photo contest? Mobile, sturdy, and featuring plenty of space for all of your favorite chilled beverages, this cooler is the peak of serious tailgating gear. It even has a built-in bottle opener that’ll catch all those bottle tops! If you’re in a pinch for time, grab one of these from the Igloo website. We’d love to see a pic of one at your next tailgate!

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3. Verus Sports 3-in-1 Tailgate Set - Purists might turn up their noses at the idea of an apparatus that combines three distinct tailgating games into one package, but we think this thing is pretty freakin’ handy, especially for a tailgater on a budget! Move between games of bean bag toss, washer toss, and ladder ball with just a few easy adjustments. Grab a setup for your friend today and they’ll thank you for seasons to come.

4. Kijaro Dual Lock® folding chairs - A solid, dependable tailgating chair is a must for any serious sports fan. It needs to be lightweight, easy to collapse, and strong enough to carry a sports fan with a full belly of wings and snacks. The Kijaro Dual Lock® chair fits the bill. The locking mechanisms on the legs keep the chair firmly in place, it features two cup holders and a mesh back to encourage air flow, and the legs feature reinforced crossbars to keep you comfortably upright. We’re giving away a pair of these in our fan photo contest as well!

5. Game Bibs striped overalls - We couldn’t complete a tailgater’s gift guide without game bibs, right? Our game day bibs are colorfully striped, keep in the heat on cold days and keep out the heat on cool days, they go great with all sorts of sports attire, and we offer them in nearly every color combination imaginable. Your sports fan friends and family members will thank you when you help them stand out from the crowd on game day.

If you’re drawing blanks this holiday season on what to get your sports fan friends (or maybe yourself) then go with a few tailgating essentials like the ones above. What would you add to the Game Bibs gift guide? Leave us a comment below mentioning some of your favorite tailgating gear!
Friday, November 11, 2016

5 Tailgate Foods for Frigid Fall Football

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It’s no secret that football fans are willing to sacrifice and suffer to support their favorite teams. They fight the sweltering heat during the first half of the season and endure the icy blast of winter as the season comes to a close. As games get more important, tailgating and bleacher-sitting gets more unbearable—oftentimes because you’ve inadvertently become a human icicle.

Luckily, we’ve compiled a short list of tailgate recipes for cold weather that will boost your spirits while you wallow in your truck bed waiting for kickoff. Here’s a countdown of our five must-have foods for tackling tailgating in the frozen tundra:

5. Tuna Salad Sandwiches

Firing up a charcoal grill can be incredibly difficult in cold conditions, so it’s important to come prepared with a backup, premade meal that don’t require heat. For a fast and filling meal, bring tuna salad to your tailgate. Grab a few tuna cans, mayo, apples, onions and celery. Dice up the ingredients, mix them all together and enjoy! The best aspect of this tailgate option is its convenience—a batch of tuna salad sandwiches can be whipped up in mere minutes!

4. Chili Queso Dip

No tailgate, regardless of weather, is complete without chips and dip. We suggest adding some Southwestern spice to your tailgate with this fantastic chili queso cheese dip. A chip’s perfect companion, this queso dip will melt in your mouth and provide you with a little extra meat for fuel.

3. Breakfast Tacos

This is a great option for tailgaters who are brave enough to bring out their grills and are looking for energy before a chilly morning game. To get started, whip up some scrambled eggs in a skillet and toast a package of tortillas. Bring a variety of pre-cut toppings in baggies and let the whole tailgate customize their tacos! A huge plus to this option is the taco’s portability. You can move amongst tailgates at will with the contents of your taco wrapped securely in a tortilla!

When you set up, keep in mind the position of your grill relative to the wind—you don’t want your smoke to bother neighboring tailgates.

2. Frito Pie

Heat up your crockpot and take your tailgate to a whole new level with some delicious Frito pie. This family favorite is easy to make—simply cook ground beef alongside beans and tomatoes on the stove or in a crockpot. For the finishing touch, add cheese and some delicious Frito corn chips! Check out our favorite Frito chili pie recipe here.

1. Chicken Soup

Chicken soup is the go-to winter weather food for moms everywhere—you can’t go wrong. Grab a large, family-size thermos and store your piping hot, pre-prepared soup safely inside. Our favorite chicken soup recipe is easily better than the Campbell’s variety and includes onions and celery.

Don’t worry about having to eat tepid soup at your tailgate—most thermoses trap in warmth for five to seven hours.

These foods will help make chilly pre-game parties more enjoyable! Comment below with your favorite cold weather tailgating foods!