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Friday Happy Hour: Comparing Bucs and Beers

As you finish your work week and prepare to enjoy another fall weekend, let me help you reminisce over a few libations. In fact, I have the specific libations and memories in mind. Join me after the jump for a comparison of my ten favorite beers to their corresponding Buccaneer players. As always, enjoy responsibly and be sure to have a designated driver.

1. Corona: Corona, to me, is the gold standard of beers. Do you want to turn an ordinary taco night into a fiesta? Add Corona. Does a tough work week have you down? Pop a Corona and suddenly experience a tropical vacation. Some of my best memories involve a cold Corona, the requisite lime, a barbecue grill, friends, and football. Of course, the gold standard, to me, for all Buccaneer players: Warren Sapp. Sapp turned the Cover 2 into the Tampa 2. Predicated upon effective pressure from your front four, the Cover 2 with Warren Sapp became the league’s top defense. Love him or hate him, the former NFL Defensive Player of the Year turned a moribund franchise into a dynamic defensive unit with swagger. I will always be glad he smoked weed in college and fell in the draft. Warren, I toast you on this Friday afternoon, still waiting for the heir to your throne.

2. Red Stripe: The Jamaican third cousin of Corona, Red Stripe illicits memories of one my best hometown friends, Greg. We both went our separate ways after high school, but whenever we got together, we always drank some Red Stripe to reminisce, and to create some new memories. To this day, on special occasions and at parties where I see old friends, I always show up with Red Stripe. When you think of special, and class, and great memories, you think of Derrick Brooks. Perhaps they are 1A and 1B instead of 1 and 2, but Derrick Brooks and Warren arrived in the same draft, forever changing this franchise. To me, Derrick Brooks offers more than great football, he is a class act across the board. His dedication to improving the lives of those less fortunate, to giving purpose and direction to young people adrift in society earns Derrick my ultimate respect, not as a great athlete, but as a true difference maker in this world. I look up to him in so many ways. Plus, I loved how he knocked the crap out of Torrie Holt in the 1999 NFC Championship Game.

3. Blue Moon: A new beer I tried within the past few years. I really like this beer, but I don’t have any ingrained memories of great times associated with it. I like the orange and it tastes great with a steak. Since I like the potential, but lack the memorable experiences, I’m going Barrett Ruud. Ruud flashed excellence last year, especially his end zone interception against the Bears and a falling Matt Forte. However, I don’t have the great playoff memories of some other players.

4. Killian’s Red: We all remember our first love. Killian’s was my first beer love, the first beer I ever drank. Many a great party began in college with some Killian’s Red, and to this day, I love the classic flavor of my first love. Comparable Buccaneer, I’m going Hardy Nickerson. For those of us not around prior to 1980, most early Buccaneer memories consist of flailing and gnashing of teeth, nothing of substance. But, the day they signed Hardy Nickerson, a new era came to Tampa. The rangy, dynamic, hard hitting linebacker was gone before the true post season successes of the Dungy era Bucs, but his impact lives today. He made other players view Tampa as a legitimate free agent destination. First beer, first great player.

5. Hefeweisen: A German beer I drank one time at a German restaurant after I graduated college. Only one drink, but the memory lives on as the best single beer I’ve had. I don’t want to ruin the memory by drinking it again: who knows if it will live up to the hype. So, the one time beer for the one play Buccaneer: Joe Jurevicious. My absolute favorite game in Bucs history has to be closing down the Vet and ripping the hearts out of the Philly faithful in the NFC Championship game. That game had disaster written all over it, until Joe turned the momentum completely in favor of our team with a simple crossing route that went the length of the field. One play, one beer. Of course, I’m always sad when I think of Joe. After all, he played that game with a heavy heart, and I’m sure he never got to enjoy that play and that win as much as he deserved with all the personal tragedy he faced that year.

6. Miller Lite: This is my default, don’t-have-enough-money-for-the-good-stuff beer. Old reliable. Of course, I don’t like to drink it from the can, I prefer to pour the beer into a glass. You don’t fully appreciate Miller Lite, you take it for granted because it just does what it needs to do. That of course, is Brad Johnson. Never dynamic, but veteran and serviceable, and a Super Bowl winning quarterback. In fact, he has the same number of Super Bowl wins as Brett Favre and Steve Young.

7. Microbrews: I’m a big fan of trying different beers and microbreweries. I’ll try the strawberry yeast beers or the pale ales or the crazy ales. You just never know what exactly you are going to get from the beer. Yes, that’s right, everyone loves Aqib Talib.

8. Keystone Light: This is the best discount beer. Don’t you just love the bitter beer face commercials? Well, when I think of a bitter face, I have nightmares of Shaun King or Trent Dilfer at quarterback. You have this championship caliber defense, and an offense that can’t put up more than 6 points against the Rams? Actually, not one of my favorite beers…..which leads us to…

9. Zima: Not actually a beer, but a malted beverage. Nonetheless, all of you have one word passing through your brain right now. Yes, Grammatica!! Not actually a football player, but a kicker.  I don’t actually like Zima, as far as any of you know.

10. Harps Lager: I love Harps, a staple of the Savannah period of my life. And while you may not know this, Guinness Nigeria, a subsidiary of Diageo Plc, the makers of Guinness, actually brews Harps, as far back as 1974. When I say Nigeria, and I say Buccaneers, and then I say drug trafficking ring, you will be reminded of Donald Igwebuike, famed kicker of your Tampa Bay Buccaneers, capable of scoring points, or hard narcotics.

Honorable mention (courtesy of my brother): "Budweiser- no one I know actually drinks it or likes it, but you always find one at the back of your fridge. Speaking of someone no one actually likes, Keyshawn Johnson."

Do you have a beer and player in mind? Let’s hear about it below.