NEW ORLEANS, LA - MARCH 21: Owners and Coachs attend the NFL Annual Meetings at the Roosevelt Hotel on March 21, 2011 in New Orleans, Louisiana. Despite a NFL owners imposed lockout in effect since March 12 the league is conducting its annual owners meeting in New Orleans. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
As part of my path to enlightenment, and to attain my goal of becoming a true renaissance man, I learned to cook (Also, I've never been married, so it was essential). Cooking can be many things to many people. Some do it for the artistry, some do it for the creativity, some for their health and some for the love of a good dish well prepared. I'm not talking about them.
I'm talking about a specific dish. Pay attention, because I'm going to give you a recipe for disaster.
Disaster comes in many forms. It can be small like your sisters wedding or quite large like the Pacific Ocean taking a quick trot across Indonesia and India. It can be simple, with only a couple ingredients like water and tectonic plates, or it can be complicated like rednecks, money, miniature horses, guns, alcohol, free time, the movie "Jackass", Girls in Daisy Dukes and country music (Don't try this at home).
The recipe I'm going to give you is quite complicated.
For a good disaster you will need a solid base. Again, this can be almost anything, from the Yellowstone National Park to a family reunion. Today, I will be using the NFL as my base. The NFL is a sports league base. There are many leagues you could use, but this one is by far the most prevalent and popular. It's expensive, but well worth it - most of the time.
Now that we have a rich and fertile base to build on, we need some key ingredients:
Money: This ingredient in the hands of the trained and untrained alike is wonderful for promoting a disaster all by itself, but add it to other potent ingredients, and your disaster can be truly epic.
Owners: One owner by himself does not a disaster make, necessarily (See: the Bengals). But a group of owners with a healthy sprinkling of egos, greed, stupidity, and plastic surgeons can be a most powerful ingredient. Don't skimp on this ingredient, you want to get a batch with very strong overtones of Brown, Jones, Richardson and Kraft, if you want to produce an historical disaster.
Players: This is truly one of the great ingredients in any recipe for disaster. As a group, players can be as consequential to your recipe as owners, but separately, you usually need many players to be able to contribute to a disaster as fully as one owner, usually (See: Vick, Michael: dog fighting: lying). Really, the beauty of this ingredient is its diversity. Your local grocer will usually have several varieties of domestic and wild, it is really up to you and how big you want your disaster.
NFL employees: You have to do your homework on this ingredient otherwise you could just end up with an incident, as apposed to a disaster your guests and family will remember for years to come. For example, everyone knows the GPARD, Roger Goodell has disaster written all over him, but with a little research, you can uncover a truly devastating ingredient like Jeff Pash, a major ingredient in the NHL disaster. Do your homework.
The NFLPA: This is not actually a single ingredient, but a blend of ingredients that includes, De-Morris Smith (Yes, I do that on purpose, and, I find, I don't much care how it's spelled), players, lawyers, and a bunch of retired old guys with nothing better to do than contribute to a disaster. This is a funny ingredient, as many will try to tell you it is not available anymore, stay with it, keep looking and you can have the NFLPA help you to achieve a full bodied disaster.
Once you have collected the key ingredients, it is time to start thinking about what spices your are going to add to your brew. These spices are catalists, if you will, that help drive the recipe to new flavor and add nuance to your disaster.
Congress: This is a hit and miss spice. Usually very affective at fostering large magnitude disasters, it is usually ineffective when it comes to driving a sports disaster. But, you never know, congress can surprise you and quickly help push a disaster over the edge, so throw some in just in case you happened to get a potent batch at the farmers market.
Adam "Packman" Jones: Sometimes adding a small disaster to a larger one in the making, will help it ferment faster. Make sure you get the Packman variety, as Adam Jones will sometimes just produce a bad situation, and you don't want to dissapoint your guests with one of those. Note: Sometimes you can substitute Matt Jones for this ingredient if you can still find it. If you are desperate, ask your friends who are Jaguar fans, they might still have a stock in the back of their cupboard.
Alcohol: This is a no-brainer when it comes to disaster. This one spice, all by itself, has kept many disasters from fizzling and always adds volume to a flat disaster. Don't bother using this ingredient in moderation, go wild. You can even partake of some as you do the cooking, what the hell.
The Media: The Media is more of an accent. While it doesn't actually contribute to making a disaster, it can intensify certain disasters, making them seem worse than they really are. So, be genreous with this spice if you want to really enhance the disaster experience for your guests. Note: If you can't find this ingrediant, throw in a couple of talking parrots.
Strip Clubs and/or the Sex Trade Industry: This spice is heavily used and a definate staple for NFL disasters, both big and small. Additionally, it's just fun to have around the house. Be sure to store it in a warm, dry place and properly secure it. You don't want your kids getting into this. Now that would be a disaster, just ask your wife. She will be keeping tabs on what you use it for and how much. For God's sake, don't use this spice on your own life. The disaster that would follow would make the NFLs pale in compairison.
Greed: This is a classic. Researchers have found this ingredient in ancient recipes for disaster as far back as time itself. Greed comes in many forms and colors. Try to find the monitary-green. Green doesn't just work for envy, it is very potent in greed, as is monetary. Fortunately, this ingredient is not hard to find and is very easy to cultivate if you want to grow it in your back yard. Very little is needed to start, as it quickly multiplies under the right circumstances, which it will with all the other ingredients I have listed so far.
Idle Hands: Idle hands are good for the concept of the disaster. This spice will help give the disaster structure. It helps drive the disaster by adding elements of stupidy and paranoia which are developed when certain ingredients have too much free time on their hands.
Ego: The nice thing about this ingredient, is that if you already have owners, players, NFL employees, and the NFLPA, you will have plenty of ego. All you have to do is seperate some out to add back in at just the right time. Usually, you will add this spice back in when your disaster is fizzling, so keep it handy at all times.
Note: You want to be sure your ingredients are pure. A wild card ingredient could hamper your recipe quit a bit. For example, if some Tomlin got in by mistake, he could possibly neutralize another ingredient, like Ryan Clark, by talking some sense into him and getting him to shut-the-f**k-up. You don't want that. As a matter of fact, stay away from all clear-headed, rational ingredients, you don't want them hampering your recipe for disaster.
So, now that you have all your ingredients, lets get started cooking up a disaster.
The first thing you want to do is seperate out your GPARD, Roger Goodell and De-Morris Smith from the NFL employees and the NFLPA, respectively. For this, you will need two bowls of water. Add the NFL employees to one and the NFLPA to the other. Sit back and wait a couple of minutes. Using the "S**t floats" principal, both the GPARD, Roger Goodell and De-Morris Smith should quickly float to the top. Scoop them out with a slotted spoon. Additionally, Jeff Pash will float to the top as well, you can go ahead and seperate him out too, putting him in a seperate bowl.
You will be left with a bowl of water with the NFLPA and one with NFL employees. Add owners to the NFL employees bowl and and players to the NFLPA bowl. The process you are going to do now is very similar to panning. You want to do it over a collander in the sink. Swirl the contents of the bowl as you let small amounts escape over the edge to be strained of all liquid in the collander. At the end of this process you will be left with a sandy black substance at the bottom of the bowl, this is Ego. Repeat the process with the other bowl. Fold the ego from both bowls gently together in a yet another bowl, cover with Saran wrap and keep it handy for later.
Now, you want to fill a stock pot two-thirds full with two parts water and one part vinigar. To that, add the Money, owners, players, NFL employees, and NFLPA. Place on a burner and heat on medium. This is success. It will be the foundation for a wild and thorough disaster. The only spices you want to add at this point are The Media and Congress (Chances are, Congress wont do anything, but you never know, they could magnify this disaster beyond your wildest dreams). It is important you have The Media from the start. The vinigar begins the process of turning sucess to disaster, but it will need a lot of help to turn that kind of success around.
Heat a saute pan to medium high and throw in the GPARD, Roger Goodell and De-Morris Smith. Using a whisk, combine the ingredients and bring them to a strong boil. By combining the GPARD, Roger Goodell and De-Morris Smith over heat, you will start to produce methane gas, a great contribution to your disaster as well as the chief aroma. You will know you have done this step right if someone stepping in your front door exclaims, "Holy-s**t! what is that stench?" The more the two combine, or "Negotiate" if you will, the higher the content of methane, and thusly, the stronger the fecal smell.
Once sufficiantly heated and combined, remove the combination of the GPARD, Roger Goodell and De-Morris Smith from the heat. This is called "Futility" (Some chefs call this "The Lie"), a smelly and essential part of our recipe for disaster.
Add the futility to your stock pot and just a pinch of ego, this will start to accelerate the disaster that was started by the vinegar. Keep a close eye at this point, you don't want The Media to fool you into thinking your disaster is further along than it really is. If Peter King floats to the top, ignore him and stir him back in.
When this concoction comes to a slow boil, the money you put in earlier will be multiplying and will start to cause your future disaster to foam up. Quick, throw in the greed before your pot boils over. Stir vigorously for five to seven minutes, reduce heat, throw in Jeff Pash and an additional tablespoon of Ego.
Your concoction will appear to thicken and coagulate. This is called the "Lockout", and it means you are really heading for disaster, the kind your friends and guests will rave about. Literally, rave.
Turn the whole thing down to low heat. You don't so much want it to cook as ferment. Once the lower temperature stabilizes, add in the Idle Hands, Strip Clubs/Sex Trade Industry, Adam "Packman" Jones and copious amounts of Alcohol.
Now your disaster will be headed in the right direction and almost inevitable. Keep it cooking/fermenting for about six months or so. Some chefs only add Ego as needed, when the disaster takes a step back or seems about to be headed off by an ingredient like, say, a Rooney (That's why you need good Brown, Jones, Richardson, and Kraft). Other chefs like to just continually add Ego to keep the process moving in the right direction. It's really up to you.
And there you have a recipe for disaster. Enjoy.