Originally posted on Football Nation | Last updated 3/27/12
When it comes to the kitchen, I am a developing Italian quarterback. Mel Kiper Jr's scouting report indicates that a strength in my game is sandwiches. Throughout my college career, I combined the salty goodness of potato chips and the sweet sensation of PB&J with pinpoint accuracy and fluidity. I have united a locker room full of chicken nuggets and mac-and-cheese upon a buttered Kaiser roll. My inner Favrian gunslinger has produced touchdowns (celery, cucumber, and cheese) and interceptions (hard boiled eggs, onions, and mustard). My Sunday success will live and die by the sandwich.
No matter where my fandom or approval lies, I always relish a new recipe for entertainment being served to Broadway.
The same day Tim Tebow was righteously welcomed to the New York Jets' franchise by hungry media, Manhattan's Carnegie Deli - an eatery best known for its historically larger sandwiches - unveiled its latest masterpiece: the Jetbow. Its hefty price of $22.22 adds the jersey numbers of patron Tebow (15) and Maitre d' Mark Sanchez (6), plus another dollar for extra zest, so you can fathom how the weight is distributed on this dish. Do not, however, allow the off-the-field politics to distract you from the potentially savory meal itself.
Traditional cuts of corned beef and pastrami are complimented by roast beef, lettuce and tomato in this 3.5-lb bite. What allows the Jetbow to stand out from past creations is the substitution of mustard, Swiss, and rye - the prototypical build of a celebrity sandwich normally drafted in the first round - with mayonnaise, American cheese, and white bread. Now it can be deemed a "wholesome" snack meant to embody the boy-next-door persona of the city's No. 1 virgin prospect. The only thing that would've made Monday's press conference a perfectly healthy part of this well-balanced breakfast (or lunch if you weren't stuck on the west coast) is if Tebow was actually munching on the sandwich in between exasperated chuckles and licking his lips.
Whether Tebow will satisfy Tony Sparano's Wildcat attack and Shonn Greene's effectiveness, Rex Ryan's appetite for PR and playmaking feet, or the fan base's chanting for Sanchez's benching by Week 5, the former Broncos' starting quarterback will find a way to fit. Once you discover the proper angle, so will this legendary sandwich in our mouths and digestive tracts...or else "The City That Never Sleeps" will have an unfortuantely different meaning.
The one other football-related hysteria I can remember that called for a player to be doled out on a menu was in 2004, when Peppi's Roethlis-Burger honored Big Ben's 13-0 rookie campaign and the Pittsburgh Steelers' AFC Championship berth (in which they lost to the New England Patriots). The specialty sub featured loose ground beef, scrambled eggs, sausage, grilled onions, and American cheese on a portuguese roll, and it became one of the few reasons why I would ever pose as a Terrible Towel at a Heinz Field tailgate party. All it needs is a light spread of grape jelly, because you cannot spell "grape" without...
Not only do sports bring communities together with a common excuse to abandon their diets once a week, but the food is now providing us with an additional outlet for celebrating America's pastime and our inherited heroes, prematurely or not. The trend is certainly feeding the guilty pleasures and culinary aspirations of the Italian Trojan. Time to slip on the apron and whip up some more samples of NFL icons drizzled in tomato sauce:
-Soup-or-Mario: Boneless buffalo wings, hot sauce, bleu cheese AND ranch dressing (easing the transition from Houston to Buffalo), celery, and sweet potato fries - all sacked in toasted Italian bread. Soup isn't really an option.
-Cruz Club: Salsa, blackened chicken, salsa, bacon, and 99-yard-touchdown-inducing salsa, on casabe bread, with salsa.
-Peyton Mannwich: Layers upon layers of pumpernickel bagels (the number of Super Bowls he will win in Denver) and marinated T-bone steaks, until it resembles a Mile-High invertebrated red-creme Oreo.
-The Wonder Bread: Glistening rump roast, Spygate cod and clam meat on an onion roll, swimming in a stick of melted butter (sponsored by the Patriots' receiving corps).
-The Big Breesy: Seared ahi Tuna, Bountiful hits of gumbo spices and Bourbon, tagged with franchise-tendering powdered sugar, Monte Cristo style. Wait, that has nothing to do with Drew Brees...oh well.
-Discount Double Pounder: 2-lbs worth of bratwurst and summer sausage, sauerkraut, and Wisconsin's finest array of cheeses, on a Kaiser. I will discount it to half price, and then I'll double it! I'm a genius.
-Philly Dog Dog: What do you think it's made out of...oh my - no, that's sick! It's a pretzel-breaded hoagie with bologna, liverwurst, steak, provolone, mustard, and all the regular Kibbles n Bits. Wow, you guys...
-Bananas Arian Foster: Fried plantains and vanilla ice cream cookwiched in between two oversized bespectacled chocolate chip cookies. Oh, and toss in a thick slice of smoked brisket.
My siblings have learned to not trust my cooking, and someday you all will, too. In the meantime, if someone is bold enough to taste the Jetbow before I'm back on the east coast, please tell us about it. Tebow Mania has simmered into Tebow Mamma Mia!
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