Super Bowl weekend is generally fun for most Americans, even if your favorite team (Dallas for most of you, New England for myself) isn't playing in it. Super Bowl XLV is a bit more painful for me, knowing that New England should have gone to Dallas, but alas, I'll still be tuning in, eating and drinking on Sunday.
Yesterday, I had the fantastic opportunity to speak with Super Bowl XII MVP and Hall of Fame inductee, Randy White, to talk about his favorite Super Bowl memories as well as his thoughts and predictions for Super Bowl XLV and his sandwich created just for Super Bowl XLV - so if you're looking for interesting match ups on Sunday as another reason to watch, or if you just want an excellent recipe for a sandwich created just for Sunday, you'll find both after the jump.
White, also known as the Manster (half man, half monster), shared some of his favorite memories from his NFL career. White played in three Super Bowls: X, XII and XIII. Not surprisingly, Super Bowl XII was at the top of White's list. Not only did the Cowboys win the Super Bowl, defeating the Broncos 27-10, but White was named Co-MVP of that game, sharing the honors with defensive end Harvey Martin. Even further, Super Bowl XII took place on White's birthday - quite the way to celebrate with a Super Bowl victory and co-MVP award.
Interestingly, another of White's favorite memories from the Super Bowl came after Super Bowl X - despite the fact that the Cowboys lost to the Steelers 21-17. After the game, all of the team buses were full and White was forced to ride in a police escort away from the Orange Bowl. White spotted a man with longer hair in the back seat, decided he didn't want to sit next to him, and went to sit in the front seat of the car. As it turns out, the man in the backseat was Willie Nelson, who told White he was a big fan of his - just as White is a fan Nelson. White would find himself singing on stage with Willie Nelson and Jimmy Buffet later that night - it was as if "we had actually won the Super Bowl instead of lost it," according to White.
White was extremely humble when asked about how to become a champion. White was drafted second overall to the Cowboys, and unlike a lot of high draft picks that flame out, White lived up to his draft billing to become a Hall of Fame caliber player. White attributed that success in part to his position coaches as well as teammates who put him in a place to succeed. White also said that it takes a certain drive for success to become a champion - something that White certainly had - as evidenced further by his 111 career sacks.
I asked White about Super Bowl XLV and what he thought the keys to the game are. White believes that the Steelers are going to come out on top - he loves the Steelers defensive line and linebacker unit. He does, however, think that Pittsburgh may run into problems on the offensive line. With Maurkice Pouncey likely being out, Packers defensive tackle B.J. Raji should be able to have an even bigger impact on defense. White also thinks that Clay Matthews will cause problems for Flozell Adams.
If Green Bay is going to come out on top, White says that they'll have to move the ball quickly on offense. Aaron Rodgers will have to hit the short, quick slants and keep the ball moving at a quick and steady pace. White doesn't think that Rodgers will have time to pass the ball downfield effectively.
When asked if any players in the NFL today remind White of himself, White replied James Harrison and Clay Matthews specifically. If you're looking for another reason to watch Super Bowl XLV, that's a pretty good one as both linebackers will be on display on Sunday.
White, if you didn't already know, is now a restaurateur, owning the aptly named Randy White's Hall of Fame Barbeque. White has teamed up with Tide to create the "Tailgate Tested Messiest AND Tastiest Sandwich" just for this weekend and Super Bowl XLV. You can try the sandwich out between 11-4 on Thursday, February 3rd at Randy White's Hall of Fame Barbeque, located in Frisco, TX. White himself will be making an appearance there from 12-2 PM on Thursday as well - so if you're in town it's probably well worth your time to test out this sandwich. It'll be messy, of course, but that's why Tide is there too - their Acti-Lift will help remove any stains with ease.
If you can't make it on Thursday and you're interested in the recipe for his sandwich, here it is:
120 cut 10-12 lb brisket
For some good ole Texas BBQ , Dallas style, run down to the grocery store and get you a choice brisket: 120 cut, average 11 to 12 pounds. Cover the brisket in 2 ounces of salt and 2 ounces of pepper mixed together. Set in a 2 inch foil pan, fat side up, do not cover.
Set your oven on 220 degrees for 8 to 10 hours. If you have a smoker, set it at 180 degrees for 14 to 16 hours. When tender, pull out and slice the brisket across the grain, trimming off the layer of fat. Take some Texas toast, toast it, then pour on your favorite BBQ sauce (use Randy Whites' signature sauce if you're in Dallas) and you have yourself one major BBQ sandwich!
To kick the messy-factor up a notch-braise the brisket in a red wine reduction sauce:
Pour red wine into the pan with all the good bits from the meat-add a bit of grapeseed oil or butter if needed. Reduce the wine until it develops a thick/saucey composition, then strain. Drizzle over the cut brisket before adding BBQ sauce.