Detroit Red Wings: Pre-game meal options vs. Blue Jackets

(Photo by Jason Mowry/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jason Mowry/Getty Images) /
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Has any sports club, professional or otherwise, taken such a surprising, even innovative name? But a friend pointed out that we already have the ‘White Sox’ and the ‘Red Sox,’ so why not the ‘Blue Jackets’? Why not, indeed? A blue jacket, with blue pants and blue suede shoes, must make a dandy outfit there on the main street of Columbus, Ohio! Who knows, maybe we’ll grow some hometown, Detroit Red Wings, to pair.

Okay, with all that out of the way, let’s turn our attention to the matter at hand: The Detroit Red Wings are hosting the Columbus Blue Jackets and finding some pre-game meal ideas. I guess I’ll do a Google search, “best pre-game meal in Ohio?” The hourglass is up! It’s spinning now…is that normal? Holy Toledo, the hourglass is gone, replaced by a ‘fire’ icon, and now it’s spinning! I’ve set the server farm ablaze!

I rebooted the laptop and, as innocently as possible, typed “famous culinary dishes of Ohio.”

Flabbergasted. There is no other word. The very first thing that came up was the aforementioned ‘Buckeye’: A “peanut and chocolate candy.” TOSU “Peanut and Chocolate Candies?” And here I thought ‘Bluejackets’ was innovative!

Ready to throw in the towel, I notice at the bottom of the page a few other possibilities. There’s a chili recipe blessed with a whirlwind of flavors, “such as cinnamon and allspice, contrasted with clove, nutmeg, and cayenne. The recipe also calls for a blend of beef and pork cooked in a tomato-based sauce that includes cocoa powder, red wine vinegar, and Worcestershire sauce.” I’m starting to sense a pattern here. Our southern neighbors adhere to a kind of Bohemian lifestyle.

Pre-game meal options for Detroit Red Wings vs. Columbus Blue Jackets.

Decked out in their sartorial blue splendor, they eat chili so resplendent with flavor that they must snap up after the last spoonful and hit dance halls! I like the energy, but I’m not sure this is the right dish before a grueling hockey game. A gang of snorting men battling along the boards, so close “you can throw a small blanket over the whole lot of them,” as our own Bruce Martyn used to call it, back in the day, presents a dangerous challenge if they all ate this chili before the game.

Ahh, but here we are, a better alternative. Like our own Hamtramck denizens, the good people of Ohio also enjoy Pierogi, that Polish go-to cure-all of dough wrapped around a filling of meat, or cheese, or potatoes. Fried with onions and served with a pork cutlet, mashed potatoes, gravy, and green beans, it sounds like a meal Howe, Lindsay, and Abel might have enjoyed pre-game. I’m all in!

With the Detroit Red Wings’ recent up-and-down play, a hard-fought victory over the excellent Boston Bruins, followed by a game that gave us the cold night shivers, followed up again by a mediocre effort from the Red Wings against the Montreal Canadiens in a 3 – 2 overtime loss at home, this meal is a perfect example of the stable, down to earth, even-keeled cuisine our boys require.

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So there you have it, fellas – enjoy the stick to your ribs, stick to your game plan, a Pierogi combo platter! Wipe your plate clean and stick it right back in the cupboard, and while you are at it, stick a few Bohemian Blue Jackets and stick a W in our schedule!