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Soup of This Day #355: Has Gone The Way Of A Pre-Shelled Pistachio

January 18, 2014

White-bellied Sea Eagle
A White-bellied Sea Eagle (Haliaeetus leucogaster), 1 of my favourite birds to watch. This ghost-like raptor can be found haunting the coast of Australia – Photo: Department of Environment & Primary Industries (Victoria), 2010. DEPI is not affiliated with Longworth72. Image cropped by Longworth72.

I’ve been getting a bit deep and philosophical in recent posts.

Maybe too much so and I guess it’s gotten even to me – I figure I need some simplicity and so for this post, I’m going to limit myself to just 3 things: The NFL playoffs, pistachios and beer, and to be honest the beer is just there because I was eating salted pistachios and felt like a beer would wash them down nicely.

I like pistachios. I like eating them out of the shell – It’s a sort of ritualistic thing – I like the act of levering open the halves of the shell, downing the roasted and salted nut, and then piling the discarded shells in a bowl. I can look at that pile of shells and feel like I’ve achieved something, worked for my sustenance. Even if I don’t have a bowl handy I like to tuck the shells into 1 hand (My left), before throwing them into bin when I get to a volume I can’t easily maintain in that paw.

I noticed the other day that my local supermarket now offers pistachios pre-shelled. That doesn’t seem right to me – It reminds me of a former colleague who refused to drink gin and tonic under fluorescent light – She maintained that it just wasn’t right and you could taste it in the drink. Having somebody else shell your pistachios is like that for me – I could taste it and I’d feel like I wasn’t worthy of those pistachios, and they of me.

Obviously I make an exception for pistachio icecream – The shells would be awkward in that. But otherwise, I eschew the easy route and shell my own – Hell, right now I’m shelling pistachios, drinking beer and contemplating the NFL playoffs – I’m like Tom Brady throwing at quarterback and holding the ball for the kicker.

Because the New England Patriots star man does both – He multitasks. Which is necessary in this Patriots outfit – They’ve lost so many key position players this season and subsequently had to MacGuyver replacement options out of whoever happens to be standing in head coach Bill Bill Belichick’s range at the time, that if Tom Brady also happens to be his own wide receiver then I’d not be surprised.

Yet the Pats have not just endured – They’ve prospered. And now, shorn of the likes of Rob Gronkowski and Vince Wilfork, they are in an AFC Championship game, just a win away from yet another Super Bowl appearance.

Sure there are probably some limits to how many players can be lost – When Tom Brady went down with the flu earlier this week, all of New England must have held its breath, because not even MacGuyver could fashion out an escape from that kind of scenario. Tom Brady is still the man for the Pats – In 11 years as the starting quarterback, he’s seen 5 Super Bowl games from on the field and he’s won 2 rings out of those experiences. If the Pats are down by 6 and they need a length-of-the-field drive with a scant minute on the clock, then there are few who can so consistently step up like Tom Brady. These days it feels like he’s 1 of the last of the gunslingers, the superstar quarterbacks whom franchises are built around and who raise dynasties up.

Yep, there’s just Tom Brady and then there’s… Peyton Manning. Which is a problem for Tom and the Pats because Peyton is suiting up for the Denver Broncos in that AFC Championship game against the New Englanders.

Peyton Manning has the record to match Tom Brady – He has 13 Pro Bowl appearances against 9 for Brady, 4 NFL MVP awards to Brady’s 2 and he too has a Super Bowl triumph to his name.

Just the 1. From 2 attempts.

Yep, if you can have a doubt about Peyton Manning it’s that he isn’t a guaranteed superstar in the big games – He doesn’t seem to pick his team up and haul them across the line when that is needed. Tom Brady can do that.

This is a big game and some hauling will be required. The Patriots got through their last outing off the back of an unprecedented (For the Patriots) 4 touch-downs to running back LeGarrette Blount – I’m not sure that will happen again and I’m figuring on an old-fashioned shoot-out between the 2 premier quarterbacks in the NFL today.

In spite of that I’m going with Denver in this 1. The Broncs are at home – A mile high in altitude and attitude, I reckon they have what it takes to just edge the Pats, allowing the New Englanders to take a well-earned rest.

Denver by 7.

The battle for the NFC title is a little mouth-watering too. Which is a problem because I’m out of pistachios now and the beer is gone as well. Nonetheless, I’m forging on because in the San Francisco 49ers we have 1 of the best passing teams going around.

Their quarterback Colin Kaepernick has the potential to join the Bradys and the Mannings in that rarefied air. He has a gun arm and crucially, has a catching corp that can really make use of his throwing ability – Boldin and Crabtree sound like they should be purveyors of fine chutneys but instead they are 2 of the best wide receivers going around.

The only thing that will stop them is a strong defence and fortunately for neutrals, their opponents in the title clash have the best defence in the NFL this season.

Yep, the Seattle Seahawks can shut that 49ers passing game down. And then they can run the 49ers ragged on offence, using a combo of solid quarterback Russell Wilson and the likes of running back Marshawn Lynch. Defence wins titles and with the Seahawks at home, I’m giving Seattle the nod in this 1.

Seattle by 3.

So there you have it – I’m tipping that Super Bowl XLVIII will feature the Broncos and the Seahawks. This almost certainly means that it will instead feature the Patriots and the 49ers – Although my heart is in the right place, I’ve not got a good track record over recent seasons in the NFL.

I’ve watched the action, read the stats and done the analysis but if I’m honest I was a little swayed in Seattle’s favour by my love of fishing raptors. By contrast, I’ve not had great experiences with mining outfits. I’m a little anti-Brady as well because of his fronting advertising for Ugg Australia.

Ugg Australia has very little to do with Australia. It’s like Outback Steakhouse only with boots. Not Australian.

Also Peyton has had to watch his little brother Eli win more Super Bowl rings with a lesser arm. That has to be tough. I’m a younger brother and I’d really like to think that Brother of Longworth72 could win more Super Bowls than me – It’s just how I’d like the world to be – That and my pistachios should be in shells.

Has Gone The Way Of A Pre-Shelled Pistachio

  1. My wife is a pistachio fanatic and would probablyl live with having to navigate through shells in ice cream if necessary. I am not sure whether or not the visiting teams will be able to navigate through the Conference Chsmpionships this weekend. I am fairly certain they will be great games. Don’t see blowouts here. Outback Steakhouse isn’t truly Australian? But they have such huge knives…and shrimp on the Barbie…actually it’s on a plate by the time I get it.

    • Your wife has excellent taste.

      For all my flippancy, I just couldn’t tip against the home outfits – Seattle have been too good at home the past 2 years – Something like 16 & 1? Whatever the results I’m excited as a neutral – Could be something special.

      You’ve given yourself away with the shrimp line – We call them prawns – Hoges just called them shrimp to get you guys to visit us. Most Aussies don’t even know Outback Steakhouse exists – We surely don’t eat bloom’n onions. Interestingly enough I’ve grown fond of a place down here that has a Philly cheese steak sandwich on the menu – It tastes alright but is probably about as authentic as the onions.

  2. I finally was motivated to get blogging again. Of course, I promptly wrote about the last thing I wrote about a year removed. Stop on by when you get a chance. No blooming onions, just blooming ideas.

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