You couldn't blame Will Smith if he had decided not to watch this year's Super Bowl.

The New Orleans Saints defensive end hasn't exactly been on the best terms with the NFL this year. Plus, after winning the Super Bowl in 2010, Smith has avoided the big game for the past two years. He says he couldn't bring himself to watch it after his Saints suffered a pair of heartbreaking playoff losses.

"The last two years, our team had a chance to be in the game, and it hurt to watch other teams," Smith told ThePostGame. "I was out of the country, I wasn't even in the United States. But the game was still, no matter where I was. I just chose not to watch it."

But Smith knows how much this year's matchup means to his adopted city. After all, he's been a stalwart in the Big Easy since he was drafted by the Saints in 2004. He's seen the highs and lows, and he, like the city, has emerged a better person.

So you bet Smith will be watching the big game this year. He just doesn't know where.

Smith says he's got lots of family and friends coming in for the game, and they'll probably be at his house. Smith's wife, Racquel, will probably cook gumbo and Smith may even throw a few steaks on the grill. That's in addition to the customary chips and dip, of course.

While Smith says he won't nail down his exact plans until later in the week, he already has his priorities in order.

"Whether we do it at the house or we do it somewhere else," Smith says. "We’re definitely going to be together as a family."

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It's hard to think of a way to use Manti Te'o's sad and twisted fake girlfriend saga to promote a brand, but the creative minds behind a recent advertisement at PETA may have pulled it off.

The animal rights organization released an ad Monday with Te'o's photo and the line, "Sometimes faking it is better." The campaign is encouraging people to ditch actual chicken for their Super Bowl parties in favor of a faux alternative.

"Manti Te'o may have been buffaloed by a fake girlfriend, but sometimes 'fake' is actually better," PETA wrote on its blog. "That's why PETA created this billboard urging football fans to avoid unnecessary roughness to chickens on Super Bowl Sunday by intentionally grounding real chicken wings and opting for play-action fake fowl instead."

Many chickens are slaughtered in inhumane ways, says the organization, and PETA is urging fans to look for alternatives to the traditional chicken wings.

"Those animals in PETA's 'Glass Walls' video? Unlike Manti's make-believe girlfriend, their deaths are real," the organization wrote. "Birds slaughtered for their wings and other body parts are often dropped into tanks of scalding-hot water while they are still conscious and aren't covered by even the meager protections of the Humane Slaughter Act."

PETA media officer Wendy Wegner told Matt Hinton of CBS Sports that the organization has submitted the designs to companies in New Orleans in hopes of securing at least one billboard by the time fans flock to Louisiana for Sunday's Super Bowl.

This controversy over chicken wing consumption may not even be an issue for fans, as certain prognosticators are forecasting a serious shortage of wings this weekend.

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Thursday night was almost certainly the first time, and most likely the last, that a professional sports team banned fans from bringing Honey Nut Cheerios to the game.

Ordinarily, this wouldn't even be an issue. But based on what had happened a few weeks earlier at Madison Square Garden, the Celtics decided to make a pre-emptive strike against Boston fans who wanted to enhance their heckling with a visual aid.

The controversy started in New York when Kevin Garnett of the Celtics trash-talked Carmelo Anthony by making a crude reference involving Honey Nut Cheerios and the estranged wife of the Knicks forward. Garnett and Anthony had to be separated on the court after that comment. Then after the game, Anthony tried to confront Garnett by the Boston team bus, an action that resulted in a one-game league suspension.

With the scene shifting to Boston on Thursday for the first meeting between the teams since the Cheerios flap, the Celtics prohibited fans from bringing in boxes of Honey Nut Cheerios or signs with the cereal.

For the most part, security confiscated any rogue cereal boxes. But there were some sneaky fans who managed to get past security.

Alas, the issues of taunting or retaliation on Anthony's part took a backseat to an important game for both teams. New York won, ending an 11-game losing streak in Boston, and Anthony led all scorers with 28 points.

After the game, Anthony said the feud was finished.

"No grudges between me and KG. Whatever happened, happened," Anthony said. "We spoke about it and it's over."

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Football fans who wait too long to snag this snacking staple for their Super Bowl parties may find themselves winging it come Feb. 3.

That's because demand for chicken wings is at an all-time high, according to a statement released by the National Chicken Council (NCC). The NCC projects that 1.23 billion wing portions will be consumed during this year's Super Bowl weekend. But some experts are saying that a relative dearth of chickens will make these wings harder to find.

Bill Roenigk, chief economist and market analyst at the NCC, said chicken companies produced "one percent fewer birds" in 2012 due to extremely high corn and feed prices.

"Corn makes up more than two-thirds of chicken feed and corn prices hit an all-time high in 2012, due to two reasons," Roenigk said. "Last summer's drought and pressure from a federal government requirement that mandates 40 percent of our corn crop be turned into fuel in the form of ethanol. Simply put, less corn equals higher feed costs, which means fewer birds produced."

Once considered a bar food, chicken wings have become more and more popular in peoples' kitchens.

"Now people relish them more than other piece of the chicken," Elizabeth Karmel, executive chef of Hill Country Barbecue Market in New York City, told ABC News. "I think that is because wings have a great skin to meat ratio, whereas on a bigger piece or different cut, there's not the sane delectable ratio."

The tasty snack, which many say was invented in Buffalo, New York, will be especially pricey in the Northeast. The NCC reported that the cost of wholesale wings has shot up to $2.11 a pound in the Northeast. That's up 26 cents from last year, making it the highest price on record at the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

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By Tyler Sullivan
TheDailyMeal.com

Centerplate, the company responsible for feeding the 70,000-plus fans at Super Bowl XLVII at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, released this year's official menu. Upward of 100 chefs and 1,000-plus in serving staff will be working around the clock to prepare this Super Bowl-sized feast.

Luckily for fans, the menu isn't exclusive to only box and premium seating. "Our philosophy on the Super Bowl menu is that the 'special' menu items shouldn’t be limited to just one group of fans, so we’ve made sure that our Cajun classics are available to everyone," said John Hickman, communications director for Centerplate.

Click here for NFL Food At Home
In Pictures: How to Make Some of the Best NFL Food at Home

The culinary talent behind the cuisine is James Beard Award-winning chef and NOLA legend Donald Link. The Louisiana native chef began cooking at the age of 15, and has since opened five restaurants in New Orleans' Warehouse District, including Herbsaint, Cochon, Cochon Butcher, Calcasieu, and Cochon Lafayette.

"No one throws a party quite like New Orleans," Link explains, "and I think we perfectly captured the city's flavor and flair in our menu."

Menu items include alligator chili, with alligator sausage from Crescent City Meats, a local NOLA purveyor; a Roast Beef Debris Po'Boy, with rolls from 100-plus-year-old Leidenheimer bakery in New Orleans; BBQ shrimp and grits, with fresh Louisiana Gulf Coast-caught white shrimp; chicken and sausage gumbo, with dark roux, chicken, and sausage in a flavorful broth served with white rice; Natchitoches crawfish pies, Louisiana fried pies with zesty dressing crawfish stuffing; chef Donald Links' chicken sauce piquant (Links' take on the traditional Cajun recipe); and Bayou Bootleg, a drink with the taste of the South and a splash of raspberry, the special "Craft Cocktail" for this year’s Super Bowl.

The Gulf Shrimp Cocktail will ring in as most expensive item for the day, set at a whopping $30 an order. On the other end of the spectrum, a small order of nachos will ring up as the least expensive, at just $8.

Some local food partners for the day's offerings include Leidenheimer Bakery, a New Orleans staple since 1896, famous in the area for their French bread and time-honored process; Haydel's Bakery, a three-generation New Orleans, family-owned and run bakery that prides themselves on their cookies, cakes, and pastries; Crescent City Meats, another three-generation NOLA presence, with all products naturally slow smoked with hickory; and The Louisiana Seafood Promotion and Marketing Board, the number one provider of shrimp, oyster, crab, crawfish, and alligator in the country.

Coaches and chefs alike take weeks to prepare for this big night. The culinary game plan includes churning out 10,000 pounds of Gulf shrimp, 700 gallons of traditional Cajun gumbo, 3,000 pounds of alligator sausage, 450 gallons of New Orleans red beans (to be served with 6,000 pounds of rice), 150 gallons of spinach and artichoke dip, 18,000 pounds of pork (smoked on-site, mind you), and 1,200 gallons of Link's signature chicken piquant.

"From chef-inspired cuisine to creative cocktails, our goal is to make every sporting event an incredible experience for fans, but for the Super Bowl, we know how to take football food to the next level," says Centerplate CEO Des Hague.

Whether your team wins or loses, we bet that everybody will walk away satisfied with Centerplate's culinary experience on Feb. 3.

More Stories At The Daily Meal:
-- America's Best Sports Bars
-- Unhealthiest Fast-Food Items
-- America's 12 Best Donut Shops
-- Best Burritos In America

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A minor league team recently announced it will combine two of America's greatest pastimes this April in one tasty and nostalgic evening. Said pastimes are, of course, playing baseball and eating Twinkies.

The Class-A Inland Empire 66ers will host "Farewell to Twinkies Night" on April 5 at San Manuel Stadium in San Bernardino, Calif. As part of the promotion, the organization will give away free Twinkies to the first 999 fans in attendance.

There will be a silent auction during the seventh inning for the final Twinkie, and all proceeds will go to charity.

The club has even invited Woody Harrelson, whose character in the movie Zombieland was obsessed with Twinkies, to throw out the first pitch. The 66ers also extended an invitation to Hostess's mascot Twinkie the Kid to participate in the team's Mascot Dash.

(H/T to Off the Bench)

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No other professional sport places the same emphasis on sponsors as does NASCAR. And no driver understands the importance of these endorsements quite like Dale Earnhardt Jr.

The vast majority of Earnhardt's yearly earnings come from endorsements, and he has put his name on everything from TaxSlayer.com to Drakkar cologne.

Now the 38-year-old has signed on with another product, and it's not what you'd expect.

The Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal is reporting that Earnhardt is teaming up with KLN Family Brands to launch four original flavors of potato chips: Crispy Original, Zesty Jalapeño, Carolina Barbecue and Creole & Green Onion.

As Jeff Gluck of USA Today points out, these potato chips may be the most delicious sponsorship that Earnhardt has signed, but not the most bizarre. Earnhardt also has his own bowling ball, pet safety harness and vending machine cheeseburger.

(H/T to Game On!)

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While franchise sponsorships haven't made their way into mainstream American sports yet, they are extremely popular in Europe.

If they didn't know this before, many NHLers became very familiar with these sponsorships as they took their talents across the pond during the recent NHL lockout.

Take Boston Bruins defenseman Johnny Boychuk, for example. The 28-year-old Boychuk signed with EC Red Bull Salzburg of the Austrian League, along with several other NHLers (including Derick Brassard and Alex Auld).

And the club took its sponsorship seriously. Upon returning to Boston, Boychuk told reporters that there was no Gatorade or water in Salzburg's locker room. Only Red Bull.


The copious energy drinks probably save the team a lot of money, but they cannot be healthy for the players.

(H/T to Deadspin)

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