Harvey Wallbanger Cocktail & Cake

This is a twofer recipe from the NFL Gameday Cookbook.  The only trick is that it tastes best with Duncan Hines orange cake mix which is almost impossible to find.  Some turned up at our local dented can store and I bought the whole stock.  The alternative is to use yellow cake mix with some orange extract.

Preheat the oven to 350F.  Grease and flour a 10-inch Bundt pan.

In each of two separate large glasses, pour 1/4 cup of the Galliano, 1 ounce of the vodka, and 3/4 cup of the orange juice.  Put ice in 1 of the glasses, stir, and drink it.  Set the other glass aside.

In a large bowl, combine the cake mix, pudding mix, sour cream, oil and eggs.  Add the reserved cocktail to the mixing bowl.  Beat with an electric mixer until smooth.  Gently fold the oranges into the batter.  Pour the batter evenly into the Bundt pan.  Bake for 50 to 55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.  Let the cake cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then remove it to a rack to cool completely.  Garnish with whipped cream to serve, or (in our version) make a glaze for the cake.

  • 1/2 cup Galliano liquer, divided
  • 2 ounces mandarin orange vodka, divided
  • 1 1/2 cups freshly squeezed orange juice, divided
  • 1 box orange cake mix (18 1/2 ounces)
  • One 3.4-ounce box of instant vanilla pudding mix.
  • 1 pint sour cream – we used non-fat sour cream – works fine
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil – I increase the non-fat sour cream and sometimes drop the vegetable oil completely.
  • 3 large eggs, lightly beaten (or egg substitute)
  • One 8.4-ounce can mandarin orange slices, drained and chopped
  • Whipped cream, for garnish
  • Optional sugar glaze

Game Day Preview: TOSU & Pac-1x

What can be said about TOSU that hasn’t been said a million times before?  We go in there as 16 point underdogs, haven’t won there since the French and Indian War, and we’re somewhat depleted on defense.  Oh, and we’re going up against the #6 rusher in the country, who happens to be a QB.  No, not again.  At least they don’t run the Pistol – but it’s Urban Meyer so they run God only knows what sort of spread/option offense he’ll have in store – and if you recall past games against Utah with that other Alex Smith (you know the one that suited up against Green Bay last week), we’re in for a long morning.

Add to that these comments from the Urban one himself:

“I expect much more. I expect a stadium to be an inferno, I expect players to be diving over each other to hit quarterbacks, I expect the offense to score a multitude of points and celebrating in the end zone,” he said this week. “No, it’s nothing close.”

With California (1-1) coming to Ohio Stadium for the first time since 1971, Meyer wants the expected crowd of 105,000 to be more involved. At the same time, he recognizes his team needs to be more intense in order to light a fire under the fans.

Well, if ever a Cal team need something to put up in the locker room to motivate them, that is it.  If TOSU has a “down game” and somehow manages to lose, expect TOSU to announce a new stadium building program, because those 105,000 fans will surely tear this one down.

Cal still has a chance.  On offense we can use our speed and try to do the old West Coast offense, short passes turning into long gains.  Maynard will only have a few seconds in the pocket – I expect the TOSU players will be “diving over each other to hit quarterbacks” so he’ll have to hit his first option on almost every play.  But those options include 3 of the best wide receivers and 1 of the best tight ends in college football.  Can TOSU play pass defense, or can they just rush the passer?   And could an over-eager pass rush open up the running game with the simple draw play if the O-line can influence the D-line.

A quick rundown of the Pac-1x this week.

Wazoo has already taken down them Rebels (what is it about Las Vegas that makes them the Rebels???) in front of what I always consider to be the happiest football crowd in College Football in Las Vegas – that stadium is small, close to the field, and the drinks are great.  One day we’re going to tailgate down there – must be awesome.

Marquee game is [email protected] or it is $C.furd.com or something like that.  Anyway, Greeks vs Geeks is shaping up to the revenge battle of the century as $C tries to figure out what the heck they have to do to beat the furdians.   Seriously, ‘furd has beaten $C three times in a row.  OK, they were all with the second coming of Plunk-it, but still we’re talking the NFL team in Los Angeles.  Anyway, unless ‘furd comes up with special Google magic, take $C by 21.

Quacks are playing some team with the initials TNT.  Makes no difference to them.  They are composed of C4 or some other exotic compound.  Another game not suitable for children.

‘zona state and ‘zou face off in the battle of the ‘z’s.  I plan to catch some zzzz’s during this game.

In the battle of the Gods, the Book of Mormon takes on the Sun Dance of the Ooooooots.   While the true believers are favored, don’t count out a late game rally by the indigenous folks when the crowd breaks out the Bear Dance.  Always an entertaining game.

Bison vs Bulldogs in the race to the bottom of college football. Both teams reaching new lows.  Maybe they should both call it a season.

And finally a surprisingly weak Houston team makes their way to the Rose Bowl, takes a tour, and goes home.  Oh, you mean they have to play a game there.  Test for Mora – can he actually get his team to realize that they have to play a game there, too.  Upset call of the week.

Wines for Television Game Days

Oct. 13, 2012

Happy Game Day Bears! As we get ready to beat the Cougars tonight, it’s time to think about what wines will go best with a game that we watch on television. Here are a few suggestions that I think will make for an especially fun evening:

  • Sparkling wine with potato chips — Crisp sparkling wine is the perfect match for the oil and salt in the chips.
  • Sparkling wine with sushi — Can you say YUM?!?
  • Sauvignon Blanc — We are playing the big kitty cats from WASU tonight. So why not drink a wine that people say smells like something that comes out of tom cats? 🙂 More importantly, Sauvignon Blanc is one of the food friendliest white wines around. It pairs well with seafood, grilled white meat, pasta dishes and semi-soft cheeses such as brie and havarti.
  • Chardonnay and Pinot Noir — I did a little googling to see what cougar tastes like. Several bloggers said it’s a somewhat boring chicken-like, non-gamey meat. If you’e serving cougar tonight, these wines will be a good match.
  • Zinfandel — For your pizza course, you can choose many different red wines, from Syrah to Merlot to Cabernet and beyond. For tonight’s game, I’m lobbying for a Zin because I love the black pepper notes associated with this variety, and I think those spicy notes are a great way to light a fire under the Bears as they put the heat on the Cougars.
  • Hot mulled wine – To celebrate our 3rd win of the season, end your festivities tonight by carefully simmering 1 bottle of Syrah, 2 cups of cranberry juice, 1 cup of orange juice, 3 cinnamon sticks, 5-6 whole cloves and 2/3 cup sugar.
Cheers and GO BEARS!

Game Day Preview: TBirds & Pac-1x

OK, I had no idea that those little clay-mation figurines played football. Really? It’s a team from where? Cedar City? Iowa? Utah. Another Utah?
Given that this Cal team couldn’t bother to get out of bed (or attend tutoring sessions) to attend last week’s game, this does not bode well for this warm-up game for the trip to Central O-Hi-O for the dance with the Flower people.

What do we know about Southern Utah? Other than my high school football coach playing there (at least I think he did – I may have gotten it confused with another directional school – Eastern Utah? or maybe it was Utah State?), I know as much as you do. Like they will probably be better prepared than we are despite being blown half-way into Montana by Utah State last week 34-3 with the Aggies leaving another couple of touchdowns on the table. Certainly last week’s game provided any opponent with a laundry list of ways to exploit Cal’s paper towel defense. And facing another talented QB in BYU-transfer Sorensen, the Bears could be in for a long afternoon if they can’t apply pressure early and often (sounds like instructions from a First Aid handbook). Oh, and barring any more surprises, like Tedford starting me at wide-out because of some other disciplinary action.

Like you, I’m still cheesed off about last week so it is hard to concentrate on the upcoming game with the specter of the Flowerians on the horizon. I called it Cal by 14 in the preseason report and I’ll stick by that until the 4th quarter.

In the rest of the Pac-1x, what a weekend.

$C face the Orangemen in a preview for what it may be like for any football team to be burned alive or crash into the mountains.  Or both.  Take $C and 21 points…

Quacks and Bulldogs – can the other Red Tide swing an upset in the den of the Duck.  Not likely – its a rebuilding year and the Quacks are as scary as it gets. Quacks are building a 6-story football facility and will begin playing a 3-D version of football.

Badgers vs Large Brown Rodents which brings up the question of what exactly is a Badger?  Is it in the dawg family, or in the cat family, or perhaps related to the raccoon?  Sorry, your time is up!  It is… a Weasel.   So why weren’t they called the Wisconsin Weasels for the alliterative effect.  As you all know, I wouldn’t have my funeral in the stadium that potato salad built in Corvallis so I have zero sympathy for the Weasels.  Upset pick of the day.

The Dawgs face the Tigers in that cemetery which passes for a 90,000 seat stadium in Baton Rouge (Red Stick?  really? French explorer Sieur d’Iberville leading an exploration party up the Mississippi River saw a reddish cypress pole festooned with bloody animals that marked the boundary between the Houma and Bayou Goula tribal hunting grounds. )  OK, so by now you’ve figured out what the Tigers plan to do with the Dawgs.  Something involving a cypress pole, no doubt.  Viewing not recommended for children.

Huskers vs fUCLA in a preview of the Rose Bowl (in 2026).  Actually, the Huskers may very well end up in Pasadena if someone doesn’t stand up in a rather decimated Big Ten.  OK, so someone help me here – they’ve divided the Big Ten into two divisions: Legends and Leaders, each with 6 teams.  Which adds up to 12.   Meanwhile the Big 12 lost two teams so they now have 10.  So why didn’t they just swap names?  Jeez.  Its a road game in an impressive structure, but Huskers will lose the jitters and take over in the second half.

Ill take on the Solar Satans in the place where the Cards used to play.  Devs face a defense this week and have to figure out what to do.  If ill Ill quarterback Nathan S… can play, then the game takes on a different complexion and hopefully someone has brought the suntan lotion – oh, its a night game so that won’t be a problem.  Toss-up.

Cowpokes take on the ‘cats in another game we can’t see on DirecTV.  OK, these are the Cowpokes who put 84 points on Savannah State (and you get extra points if you can name which State that particular Savannah is in).   Another Superstar Pac-1x coach gets tested as well.  And he fails the test.

Other games involve abbreviations that I think are either airport codes or secret pentagon projects – SUU, CSUS and EWU.  I think the CSUS is the top secret Center for Surveillance under Surveillance in Quantico.  EWU is the airport code they almost picked for Newark when it became obvious that EWR made much more sense.  And SUU – no idea.

But to heck with the Football stuff, I actually saw this Jabari Bird kid play against our very own Half Moon Bay High in the NorCal championship tourney.  To begin with the entire Salesian team looked like they could compete in the Pac-12 and Bird was something to watch.  Actually their pre-game warm-ups were something to watch – a cross between ballet, modern dance, and Harlem Globetrotters exhibition.  Precision, speed, and ball movement.  Clearly meant to scare the hell out of their competition.  And he wants some of his high school buds to come with him to Cal!

Game Day Review: Nevada

Got an email from Dan today, “I’m doing terrible.  Downloaded video of the Cal game last night, and watched it this morning.” which pretty much describes everyone’s reaction to the game.

Where do we begin?  I started my research by looking at the comments to the article on the game at SFGate.com.  The most popular comments were, shall we say, incendiary.   And frankly I don’t blame them.  This game was the illegitimate child of the horrific last-play loss to the Dawgs at the end of the 2010 season, which capped one of the worst slides of a Cal team since the one begun by the “Why didn’t he throw the ball away” Riley game against the Large Brown Rodents in 2007.

Preparation: the Other Dawgs appeared to be playing their 5th or 6th game of the season; Cal seemed to have just come off Spring Scrimmage.  Timing was terrible, blocking????   The Pistol offense which is half-cocked even when it is running well, looked like some masterpiece crafted by da Vinci against Cal’s defense which appeared to have practiced against some other offensive scheme.  Which now makes three defensive collapses against Pistol offenses.

Offense: Cal’s offense appeared confused – and apparently was confused.  And I have a hard time taking the no-huddle spread seriously when, 90% of the time, instead of going up to the line and running the play, the team stares at the sideline for 5-10-15 seconds getting some sort of guidance.   The Quacks run their spread at two speeds: supersonic and hypersonic.  We ran our spread at bicycle speeds.  Every time they looked at the sideline you could hear the crowd groan, “Just run the %@#$# play!”  When the offense did accidentally find some sort of rhythm, it looked pretty good and the quick strike capability of the talent is there.  This is a team that could average 2-3 minutes per scoring drive.  But it’s like that Dodge Charger muscle car you found in your grandpa’s barn in Sonora – it could go really fast, but it’s gonna take a lot of work to get there.

Coaching: see Preparation.  Also, I’m going to give the Ted a break on the double-secret Maynard probation thing.  The fact is that one week of practice was not going to turn Alan Bridgford into Peyton Manning so the extra reps might have helped a little, but probably not a lot.  The real question is whether there was some other punishment that made sense during the 3 months between the infraction and the game.  Among the suggestions in our section of the stadium were working with one of the construction crews that lifts heavy things for a few days, performing community service, or being made to stand in front of the team and apologize for, say, 3 weeks.  Yes, it is only a game, but to do this for the opening game after a $321M renovation???

Venue: Enough about the game, how was the stadium?  I’ve read various positive and negative comments, but overall the stadium renovation is a qualified success.  The aisles could be a bit wider, and the flow in and out of the stadium area is still somewhat constricted, but definitely a more comfortable environment.  Yes, the East side is still in the dark ages and it will be a while (if ever) before that is addressed, but the structure is (we are told) safe and is going to reach its 100th birthday.

Game Day Preview: Nevada

OK, so its 2:38 am, I just finished baking the Blackberry Crumble for the tailgate crew (that will be next week’s recipe) and I’m drawing a blank as to what the potential outcome for the game will be.  So I google “Cal Nevada Analysis” and I strike gold.

Minivan-sized Asteroid Exploded Over California

Well that explains a lot about the last time these two teams met.  Something surely had gone haywire because the Other Dawgs were running the same play over and over and over again to great effect.  Some blamed the loss on a particular player who was MIA, but the bottom line is that defense against the option requires either discipline or great speed and preferably both.  Size doesn’t hurt as well – in high school we had a guy on the D-line who was so big that he once took out both options simultaneously.  But I digress.

We have had similar problems against UCLA’s pistol offense where we turned a non-running quarterback into Pac-1x player of the week.  So I’m playing the Missouri card for this game – if the Bears can show some discipline and maintain their composure against a flurry of deception and trick plays, then maybe they do cover the spread.  For my money (if I were a betting man) I’m still thinking Cal by 3 because it is just too early in the season to have the chemistry to slow down that pistol offense.  But I’m also thinking that at least one of the stellar Cal offensive players will have a monster game.  Could be at tight end, running back or wide receiver?  All depends on the offensive game plan.  And if Reno does pay too much attention to Allen and Treggs, then that would open things up for one of the other players.


OK, didn’t we say, “After all, who cares about what happens on the field, we want to have a good time BEFORE the game so we really won’t feel terribly bad if things don’t quite work out as planned for our beloved Golden Bears – and if you’ve been a fan for more than a year or two, you know what I mean.”

So forget about those other apps that shower you with statistics and scores – you want to be happy, right? This is the place.

Now you’re going to ask, what is the secret to successful tailgating?

There are three “ingredients” as shown in these photos of our first Tailgate Party of the season: food, drink, and teamwork.

I have said it before and I’ll say it again, we are blessed with having one of the best amateur tailgating teams in the business. Yes, we’re not going to compete in the whatever-its-called-this-week Raiders-As-Warriors sports complex tailgate championships, but we do pretty well considering that some in our crew take public transportation to the game.

With respect to food, this is what was on the menu for a 9.30 tailgate (so breakfast/brunch was the theme):

  • two kinds of quiche, broccoli & cheese and cheese & onion, still warm from the oven
  • Padron pepper and cheese frittata
  • artisan bagels and three varieties of cream cheese
  • rugelach
  • sweet rolls & donuts
  • foccacia
  • scones
  • fruit salad, strawberries, and pineapple
  • blackberry crumble

In the drinks category, as Betty had noted in her Wines section, everyone was going for champagne and we were no exception. Next week I’ll record the vineyards and vintage but let’s just say we had three very fine bottles of champagne, and we even made the Champagne Velvet described in the Drinks section.

And it did actually taste pretty good. Champagne coming in at the front and the Guinness bring on the aftertaste.

Also on the drinks front, a kind gentleman from the next tailgate down came over with a pitcher (actually it was something like a plastic half-gallon bottle cut into a pitcher) of what he considered the ultimate Ramos Fizz using a recipe his family had perfected years ago and poured us a few. We will visit the Ramos Fizz in a drinks column later in the season. What was interesting about this gentleman was that his father Ed McKnight had been honored as one of the Cal Fans of the Game during the last season in Memorial Stadium, for not having missed a Cal home game since 1934. He passed away last year and we all drank to his memory! Go Bears!

Cal Game Day Preseason Report

You are probably wondering what this is, why is it here, and who am I?  It’s the “irreverent” part of Cal Game Day, we’re required by some sort of mobile app regulations to have unique & original content, and I am The Roman.  At least that’s what my friends called me in grade school so it made sense for a pen name.  I’ve been writing these for our tailgate gang for the last couple of years so we figured it is time to go mobile.  So in the best tradition of the more light-hearted sportswriters, let’s plunge in.

Warning: the following is intended strictly for entertainment only – any resemblance to the truth is purely coincidental and is not the responsibility of The Roman, Cal Game Day, or Phondini Partners.

At the beginning of every Pac-1x season (we’re not taking any chances anymore), we like to take a look at what could happen if the ball bounces strangely.  Otherwise, take $C and give 21 points for a sure-thing bet all season.

Sure, the Quacks could compete with $C, and the world could end in 2012 as well.  We put the same odds on each.  Now, if the Quacks had Mo Farah, totally different story, and they do have him, but at the adjacent Running Shoe Institute of Advanced Leg Performance, Salazar Division (and if you missed the Six-Ringed Games of Many Sports, google it).

‘furd goes in ranked #21 and we’ll see how far a team can go just on the strength of an O-line.  Sure, no defenders will ever get past the line of scrimmage, but will any ‘furdians ever get past line of scrimmage on offense.  Could see a lot of 3-2 and 7-6 games.  Or maybe I’m off by an order of magnitude.

The Dawgs are potential contenders in the Pac-1x Norris division except for the fact that the players seem to be spending all their time on Facebook and Twitter.   We play them at home.  On a Friday night,  With no on-campus parking available.  Which means that we apparently get to tailgate at Golden Gate Fields and take a shuttle bus.  Seriously.  I’m not making this up.

Five teams are in search of QBs (six if you count us – tip of the hat to Bob & John who don’t believe we have a QB, and back to five if you believe the Quacks can take just any old world-class sprinter and turn him into a QB – which they have).  Tough to contend in either Norris or Adams divisions without a QB.  Actually, tough to play at all.  So I think we can write-off the Devs, Buffs, Big Cats, and LA-State.

Which leaves the Oots, Large Brown Rodents and Small Cats.  Ok, so an Indian, a Beaver and a Cat walk into bar…

Cal, as always, has potential.   Looking at the season game-by-game.

Reno State – oh revenge would be sweet and the other Dawgs are probably as vulnerable as they’ve ever been.  Early in the season, a new stadium, lots of noise, and anything probably will happen.  Cal teams seem the least prepared in early season games so this is really more a test of preparation than talent.  The talent is there.   I’m an optimist. Cal by 3.

Utah – no, not the Oooots, but the other state college – really?  Better than you think, this will be their first season in the Large Heavens conference (which I thought you either needed a religious affiliation or astronomy program to join), and I’m sure we’ll see dozens of trick plays. My high school fb coach was from SU, yet even I didn’t know that their mascot was that cheesy clay-mation Sci Fi show from the 60s.  It’s a close game for 3 quarters until a geography professor gives a pep talk on exactly where Cedar City is. Cal by 14.

The Flower State University – frankly I’ve lost track of the scandal count, dismissals, suspensions, inquisitions, and the Nuremberg trials held in front of 130,000 flowerites.  Some new guy is coaching these young guys in Columbus and we’re invited to the party along with 190,000 friends of the flower.  Who knows what will happen.  Game day prediction: Cal takes  the field in front of 240,000 screaming flower fans and thinks that they’ve arrived at a Stones concert instead of the game.   Scandals notwithstanding, stadium capacity is being increased weekly and is expected to reach 312,000 by game time. Coin flip.

$C – take $C and 21 for a sure bet.  In the Coliseum (never could quite figure out how you end up with 8 different spellings of that) and early in the season $C is supposed to be vulnerable.  Yeah, vulnerable like a mountain lion holding a rattlesnake with a black widow spider balanced on its head.  Game changes if $C team gets food poisoning the night before.  Or maybe not.   Maybe we bust the spread.  Maybe team decides to go to Disneyland instead. $C by 21.

A-State, LA-State, Wa-State – Two great home games and my birthday followed by the worst road trip in the country, fortunately early enough to avoid the ice storm tornado blizzards or whatever they have in the Palouse.   Should be 3 great games – probably all closely contested.  Winnable if Cal keeps their composure against their ex-high-school teammates from LA-state. Sweep.

The Big Game – in October?  WTF?   Enuff said.  Another great game – if Cal makes steady improvements, they could be peaking, freshmen could be delivering, and its a home game.  BTW, Rally Comm needs our help since they have to do TWO bonfire rallies – and The Big Game rally can’t be held at the Greek. Cal by 3 (but do we have a kicker???)

Oooooots – I hate road games around Halloween – weird stuff always happens.  This is the trap game of the season (along with the Palouse).  Could be difference between getting a bowl bid and decorating the Xmas tree.  Another close one – can we score in 4th Quarter? Cal by 1

Dawgs, Quacks – again two great home games in a row.  If the Bears are healthy and coming off a couple of good wins, then these games will be competitive.  We get the Quacks after they’ve traveled to that other old Olympic Stadium for their grudge match with $C and before they take on ‘furd in another grudge match – so its a game that the Quacks could overlook. And we get to hold the Big Game Rally & Bonfire before the Quacks game. Split.

Large Brown Rodents – the only thing I hate more than road games on Halloween, are road games in Corvallis.   Another trap game.  Giant Water Rats could be 1-10 going into the game and it won’t matter.  Going by past record – just ain’t going to happen. Damned Rodents by 3.  Say it isn’t so.

So call me crazy but if the ball bounces our way, could be as strong as a 9-3 season, more likely 8-4 if we lose in Columbus in front of 432,000 frenzied flowerians.  The fact is that the Pac-1x is divided even more into haves and have-nots, with Cal positioned in the middle seemingly unable to break the glass ceiling that is $C/Quacks.  But who knows.