Steelers Game Notes

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Back in the day I worked in the West Virginia University Sports Communications department (that’s where I met my future hubby). Every Sunday during football season, we would need to submit game notes. These are little factoids that would go into a packet of information for the media.

Typically, game notes are read by the sports broadcasters during the games. So intern slaves like me basically make the sports anchors look smart!

Impress the folks at your Super Bowl party with some impressive fun facts.

• The Steelers have a large celebrity fan base that includes PRESIDENT OBAMA, Snoop Dog, SNL’s Seth Meyers, Burt Reynolds, Adam Sandler, Bret Michaels (Poison), Michael Keaton, Christina Aguilera (sang national anthem at a game when she was young!),

• Owned by the same family since they became a franchise in 1933, Art Rooney bought the team for $2,500 – an amount he won at Saratoga racetrack.

• Yeah, I know. A lot of teams have rally towels. But seriously, that tradition was created in Pittsburgh. The Terrible Towel was invited by longtime local sports anchor Myron Cope (he died last year on my birthday…sniff). All the proceeds from sales of the towel to go Allegheny Valley School – a home for people with developmental disabilities. It just so happens that my old friend Colin’s dad is the CEO of this school.

• According to (via, there are 1,500 “Steelers bars” across the nation and around the globe – two in Thailand, two in Costa Rica and one in Peru.

• Pittsburgh is known for being a “steel town,” so naturally that is where the team bears it name. However, you may not know where the logo comes from. The three stars are based on the Steelmark logo that was created by the American Iron and Steel Institute (now knows as USX). The logo contains three “hypocycloids” or diamond shapes. A marketing campaign said that the logo had the following meaning “Steel lightens your work, brightens your leisure and widens your world.” That’s a little too deep for me. One more fact – the Steelers are the only NFL team to have their logo on only one side of the helmet.

• The Steelers are the 5th oldest franchise in the NFL. They are one of the only teams in the leauge that doesn't retire past player's numbers and does not have cheerleaders.

• The Cardinals offensive coordinator, Todd Haley, was a ball boy for the Steelers in the 1970’s. Todd was born in Pittsburgh.

(Sources:,,,, PHOTOS:,
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I’m From Pittsburgh

When reader Brian and I are together, he often introduces me to new people. One of the first questions from the new acquaintance is “Where are you from?” I proudly reply, “I’m from Pittsburgh!”
Now, it’s hard to translate my speaking tone through writing, but I’ll make an attempt. When I say “I’m from Pittsburgh,” it comes out like “I’M, from PITTSburgh.” While I don’t do any hand gestures, it almost seems that I am pointing both thumbs at myself or swinging one arm back and forth. I get very excited to say those three words, “I’m from Pittsburgh.” As a Pittsburghian, I am obliviously excited for the Super Bowl.

When it comes to the Super Bowl, I often encourage people to incorporate food and beverages from either the teams playing in the big game OR items from the host city into their party plan. Today, that’s what I’m going to suggest for you!

* If you are serving traditional game food like burgers and hot dogs, you must always include Heinz Ketchup on your list on condiments. Heinz is such a global brand, but some may forget that it all started in Pittsburgh.

* Pittsburghers like simple, all-American food. Give a black and gold fan a good sandwich and an Iron City and you are his/her friend for life. One of the most famous signature Pittsburgh dishes is a Primanti-style sandwich - think two thick slices of Italian bread and a meat topped with coleslaw and French fries. Yes, the fries and slaw is located between the bread. My mouth is watering.

* The Steel City was a hot spot for immigrants way back. According to Wikipedia, Salvic immigrants brought over their recipe for pierogies. If you are like reader Brian and not familiar with this dish, it’s basically a “boiled dumpling of dough stuffed with varying ingredients (wikipedia).” The most popular filling is mashed cheesy, potatoes. Pittsburghers love pierogies so much that the Pirates have Pierogie races during baseball games (I love Sauerkraut Sal). Mrs. T’s makes a frozen variety that is most likely sold at your local grocery store.

* Eat & Park is a signature diner in the Western PA area. It’s a little short notice, but for future reference E&P ships its famous Smiley Cookies across the U.S. You can most likely duplicate the look of these cookies at home and tell your friends stories about dumb things you did at an Eat & Park when you were drunk.

It’s SO easy to incorporate Phoenix food into your party because Southwestern cooking is so popular.

* Don’t feel like cooking? Have your party catered by Chipotle or your favorite local Mexican diner.

* Get your drink on with Super Bowl Rita – a signature margarita. For those who like beer, buy some Corona. If you are feelin’ ballsy, ask that your invite be a +1 and bring your friend Pat. That’s Pat Rone (aka Patron). Knock back some Pat each time your favorite team scores a touchdown.

* Everyone loves a nacho or a taco bar. If you are having a party with a later kick off time, I say keep it simple and stick to the nacho bar as a snack. Most likely your guests will have already eaten dinner.

(Sources: wikipedia, Picture: & me : )
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ImPEACHment Party

Monday, January 26, 2009

Reader Megan wrote in today asking when Shot of Brandi* was going to issue a statement on this whole governor of Illinois scandal. Well Megan…it’s your lucky day!

Like I do with everything in my life, I say we turn this scandal in to an excuse to have a theme party! Here are some tips to host your very own “ImPEACH Blogovich” shin-dig.

* Some Chicago news channels are broadcasting the impeachment hearing live. DVR (or if you are aracaic like Brandi/Brady…VHS record) the hearings for your party. Because Blogo decided not to attend his own ImPEACHment party, record his interviews on the talk show circuit.

* Create an e-vite for your friends using jokes from the late night shows and embed a video from SNL for laughs. If you are feeling creative, take an extra step by wording your invite using Blog-speak. For example…
- ”I’m hosting this thing and it’s going to be (expletive) golden.”
- “Parachute yourself here” by 8
- If you want to bring a dish… “It’s got to be good stuff for the people of Illinois and good for me.”

* While Blogo is on his NYC media tour, the awesome quotes keep coming. Decorate your home with Hot Rod pictures and posters containing his quotes. Incase you have a friend that isn’t up on current events, print out some news stories about the whole Chicago political mess and have some recent magazines like Time or Newsweek on hand.

* Ask friends to dress like Blogo. Give the person with the best hair impression a prize. For my attire, I would totally mock Hot Rod’s jogging sweat suit look. If you are reader Brian, you will come dressed as Judy Barr Topinka (JBT) – the woman Blogo defeated in 2006 and publicly tortured with some really catchy election commercials.

* The whole saga started over a senate seat, so encourage friends to bring an item (maybe a sucky Christmas gift) to the party. Award the best item the faux sensate seat. And remember, in the words of Rod, the top prize “is a [expletive] valuable thing, you just don’t give it away for nothing.” Donate the losing items to charity.

* Fight over the Senate Seat with a good, old fashioned game of musical chairs. Use patriotic songs like “Yankee Doodle,” for game tunes.

* Bring the imPEACHment theme alive with peach cocktails and foods. Bars in Chicago have created signature drink names that you can recycle for your party like the ImPEACH-tini (Nacional27) and the Effen Impeach Blogo (Harry Carey’s). Don't forget some delicious peach cobbler and those tasty peach gummies.

Here’s the recipe for the EFFEN Impeach Blogo (from Effen Vodka)
- 2 parts Effen Vodka
- 2 parts Peach Liqueur
- Fill glass with lemonade
Build drink in a highball glass over ice

I hope your party is (expletive) golden.

(Sources:,,, AP Photos,
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Iron City - The Beer of the Steel City

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Readers – we’ve got a big weekend coming up. I’m not talking about stinkin’ Obama again. Or the primier of “Big Love.” I’m talking about dem Steelers vs those jag offs from Baltimore. The winner’s goin’ to the Super Bowl an nat.

Okay, I’ll stop talking like a yinzer now for my Jersey readers.

I’m thinking about getting really drunk for the game this weekend. I’ll be really happy if we win and too drunk to remember it if we lose.

In preparation for the game, on this Thirsty Thursday there is only one beverage I can talk about and that is Iron City.

Located in Pittsburgh, PA, Iron City Brewery was started in 1861 by Edward Frauenheim and became one of the first American breweries to produce a lager.

The brewery thrived during the late 1800’s – producing around 50,000 barrels a year. As my faithful readers know, in 1920 the alcohol world was faced with the nasty P word – Prohibition. While a plethora of breweries and distilleries closed during the dreadful time, Pittsburgh Brewing Company (owner of Iron City) was able to stay open by producing pop, ice cream and ‘near beer’ or what we would call O’Doules. Once prohibition was repealed, Pittsburgh Brewing Company was one of only 725 breweries left standing. The beer was back in business.

Making it through tough times, in 1977 Pittsburgh Brewing Company was one of only 40 breweries left in America. Moving with the trends, in the 70’s, the company launched Iron City Light – or better known as IC Light.

Over the past 15 years, Pittsburgh Brewing Company has gone through multiple owners and faced bankruptcy a few times, but in the end it’s still producing beer.

Surprisingly the brewer is a little-known leader in innovation – producing the first aluminum bottle in 2004. If you ask me, that’s a natural creation from the “Steel City.” Other firsts in the beer world include the first brewery to print local sports scenes on cans and bottles, the first draught beer in a can and the first snap-top can in 1962.

If you meet a Pittsburgher, tell um you like Iron City. You will have a friend for life (or at least that night).

(Sources: Wikipedia,; Picture:, and video from
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Party Like a Barack-Star

Monday, January 12, 2009

I promise, this blog isn’t going to turn into a worship ground for Barack Obama. Sure – he is going to do some things to piss me off over the next eight years. But next week I encourage you to host a fun gathering for the inauguration and where you can party like a Barack-star.

Yeah, everyone can do the whole red, white and blue thing, but show your friends you are up on your 44th president history by incorporating these elements into your shin-dig.

Bring out the Scrabble: Soon-to-be First Lady Michelle Obama told “Good Morning America” that Barack is a huge fan of the game scrabble. According to this site, here are some high scoring words – Jukebox (77), Quiz (22 points), Jazzy (23), Quack (20), Crazy (19) and Cozy (18).

We Poppin’ Champagne:
According to Chicago Social magazine, Obama toasted his victory on election night with four bottles of Graham Beck Brut NV – the same vintage that Nelson Mandela drank at his inauguration in 1994.

Hawaii 5-0: Mr. Pres was born in Hawaii. Cure the summer blues with some tropical drinks. Make it simple by picking up some pineapple liqueur, rum and mixers like orange juice.

Tea Time: Mr. O and I have something in common…yes, amazing dance skills, but we also love tea. While I get my daily dose of unsweetened black iced tea from Starbucks, Obama drinks Black Forest Berry Honest Tea. Keep some bottles from Whole Foods on hand for those guests who don’t drink alcohol (I know what you are thinking – they sound like losers, why invite them. Everyone needs a DD).

“If you don’t know about now I’m talkin’ bout Chi-Town:” Obama spent most of his career livin' in Chi-town. Chicago-ize your party with some deep dish pizza (delivered across the country), 312 Beer, Garretts Popcorn and Eli's Cheesecake.

Presidential Playlist: While Barack credits Stevie Wonder, Bob Dylan and Miles Davis as his favorite artists, he told Blender magazine earlier this year that his favorite songs include “Ready or Not (Fugees),” “Gimmie Shelter (Rolling Stones),” “What’s Goin’ On (Marvin Gaye),” and “Touch the Sky (Kayne West).” Be sure to download some “Hail to the Chief” and “Born in the USA.”

NBA (No Bush Allowed): B man loves himself some B ball. While it is too cold in most of the country to go outside and shoot some hoops, you could always set up a door hoop and coordinate a free throw contest.

52 Flavas: As a teen, Barack worked at a Baskin-Robbins. Pick up an ice cream cakes and/or some tubs for a make your own sundae bar.

(sources: Chicago Social Magazine, Daily Contriutor,Pics:,,,
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Shot of Brandi’s Favorite Looks of the Golden Globes

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Top Looks
* Eva Mendes: Gorgeous. Great dress, great jewels, great hair – I obsess.
* Christina Applegate: Love the color, love the necklace.
* Maria Menounos: If a dress has ruffles, rosettes or bows, I am almost guaranteed to love it. That is the case with Maria’s

Honorable Mentions
* The color of Freida Pinto’s (Slum Dog Millionare) dress is amazing with her skin/hair tone.
* Miley Cyrus’s look was very age-appropriate.
* Way to rock the patterns Maggie Gyllenhaal and Jenna Fischer.


Debra Messing: While the dress isn’t that hideous, I think I am not a fan of the hair/makeup styling.
Marisa Tomei: Why Marissa, why?
Renee Zellweger: Hated it.

Open Letters
Angie – you’re a bore.
J Lo – we’ve seen that before.
Rumer – sorry your mom is so much hotter than you.

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Obsessions of 2008

Friday, January 02, 2009

Babs Walters has one. Time Magazine has several. Yes readers, I am jumping on the bandwagon with a top 10 list of my favorite things, people and places of 2008. Then again, I am not sure if this is a bandwagon, but today I am following the norm, but let me just say this is one list where you won’t see the name of that douche bag swimmer with eight pieces of neck bling.

So how do you make my list? You become something that I can’t stop thinking of, a favorite memory or something that was introduced to me this year that I can’t live without.

Shot of Brandi*’s Top 10 Obsessions of 2008

10. Blogging: I guess you wouldn’t be reading this list if my dream of putting my thoughts in a blog didn’t come true in 2008. While most of you already consider me a kook, I thank you for visiting Shot of Brandi* and not making too much fun of me.

My goals for 2009 are to have someone apply what they learned from Shot of Brandi* into their real life entertaining and to find someone that can help me jazz up the space a little bit.

Who knows what 2009 will bring. Maybe sending my blog link to more readers!? Well many of you might be surprised to know that in 2008, I secured 91 unique readers – that is almost 100 people! I have readers from 10 states and even three visits international visits from Canada (thanks Brian).

9. Santogold: I know that reader Jason has been waiting for me to discuss my obsession for Santogold for months. I was introduced to this gem through Brady’s friends, Low vs.Diamond. They opened up for this “golden girl” in the fall. When I heard the Philly native’s beats, I was hooked. But it wasn’t until I saw her perform live did I become obsessed. She rap/sings on stage in the middle of two “fly girls” that dance like cheerleaders on E. Watch for Santogold to become more mainstream in 2009. Her song, L.E.S. Atristits was #2 on Rolling Stones’ “Songs of the Year,” and I heard one of her tunes in J.Crew last week.

8. The Comeback Kids: Brittney, Saturday Night Live, Stevie Wonder: When I started this post, I was sitting in bed watching VH1’s Top 20 Countdown. They just mentioned that Brittney Spears was the most searched thing on the internet for the fourth consecutive year – that’s more searches for Britt Britt than our president elect. I am so glad that Brittney is producing more songs – the kind you bob around on the dance floor to when you are drunk. I actually think this whole produced comeback is more interesting than her Madonna-like outfits. The power of marketing/public relations is really sometimes amazing.

With Tina Fey’s impressions of the evil Sarah “polar bear killer” Palin, people tuned into SNL and realized it isn’t as bad as they thought. While I’ve been a fan for years, I am glad the ratings are up again. Even without Tina, Kristen Wig is hilarious and you’ve gotta love Seth Meyers because he is a Steelers fan!

Last, but not least, on my comeback list is Stevie Wonder. This summer, I saw Steive (but he didn’t see me) perform at the Taste of Chicago. That day, Brady and I pumped ourselves up by purchasing some SW songs on iTunes. Let me just say, this man had more hits than I could remember. I know it isn’t a comeback just because I saw him in a free concert, but the man preformed at the Democratic National Convention and his “Signed, Sealed, Delivered” became Obama’s campaign theme song. While Stevie’s return might not be as awesome as Neil Diamonds, I encourage you to listen to some of his tunes. They are just fantastic jams.

7. Midway Airport: Sometimes Babs Walters puts people on her fascinating list that may not really be liked, but they are still interesting. This year I had a love/hate relationship with Midway Airport. I couldn’t produce this list without mentioning travel overall. Whether it was personal or business, I took almost 20 trips out of this airport in 2008.

6. Rockstars: From Rock Band to Guitar Hero to Brady’s friends in a band that keep coming to town, this year I’m surrounded by Rockstars. I am even joining in on the fun with my very own band – wii Guitar Hero band that is. I think the JagOffs are going to rock out tonight with me on my new Les Paul.

5. Games, Games, Games: I said it before and I will say it again. Because of the state of our economy, more than ever people are partying at home more. Sometimes these gatherings can be a little boring, so what can spice up a party more than a board game. From Outburst, to Scatagories to Pictionary, everyone loves a good game. In 2008, I was introduced to Celebrity by reader Brian – such a great game (although I need some practice). I hope games are just as big in 2009.

4. Chicago: “The Second City” came alive in 2008 for many good, and a few bad, reasons. The good included a hometown senator became president, the city is still in the running for the 2016 Olympics, Lollapoloza brought in a number of great acts, the Cubs made a playoff run and “The Dark Knight” showed off the city’s beauty. On the flip side, there have been a record number of homicides, we have some crooked politicians and the craziest weather. But still, after 4 years and one day living in the Windy City, I am still obsessed.

3. Google Reader: If you don’t have a Google Reader account, I suggest that you resolve to create one in 2009. In a nutshell, you set up a Google account and paste in links to blogs that you wish you read. You can even categorize them. Then each day or so, you can go to this one site and read through all of the postings from the blogs you subscribe to. My list ranges from baking/cooking blogs, to gossip sites (Best Week Ever!) to home decorating.

2. Cupcakes: It’s funny that I wrote this post before December 17th. Cupcakes made it so high up on my list for a few reasons. First of all, I love them. Second, I rang in 2008 with some cupcakes, a batch was delivered to my Las Vegas hotel for my birthday and a new cupcakery opened in my neighborhood. For my 27th birthday, the family purchased me a Kitchen Aid mixer so that I could bake up my own cakes (which they are fab!). But, my obsession with cupcakes hit a new high in December when Brady snuck an engagement ring into a six pack (of cupcakes sillies, but I would have been just as happy with some Bud Light).

1. Obama: The high I experienced on election night from watching a man accepting the 44th presidency of America lasted for several days, but I have my fingers crossed that hope has been restored for the next few years. With all of the problems that we face in 2009, I personally have some faith that B. Obama can turn things around. He’s already surrounded himself with people who seem to know what they are doing. Cheers to 2009!

(photo sources:,,,,, swirlz,
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