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Friday, January 25, 2013

MYCITIZENSNEWS.COM

13

Throw a sensational Super Bowl party The culmination of the American football season is on the horizon. Millions of people will tune in to watch two teams battle for the title of champion. While the teams may be busy prepping their last-minute offensive and defensive strategies, sports fans across the country are doing their own strategizing by planning the perfect game-day party. The first AFL-NFL World Championship Game in professional American football, later known as Super Bowl I, was played on January 15, 1967 at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles, California. The Green Bay Packers defeated the Kansas City Chiefs. Since that day, ardent fans and novices alike have been celebrating football by hosting their own viewing parties at home. These parties present yet another way for friends to get together. As the opening kickoff draws closer, here are some keys to Super Bowl party success. • Know your playing fied. Your home is only so big, and that means you will have to limit the number of people you can invite. Crowding too many people into the house can be uncomfortable and dangerous, never mind trying to talk and hear above the cacophony of too many people. Take inventory of how many you can seat comfortably. You may need to move out larger furniture and move in folding chairs if you plan to accommodate more guests. If you live in a warmer climate, you may be able to hook up

the television outside and host an outdoor event in the yard. This will enable even more people to attend. • Size up your competition. Super Bowl Sunday is a once-ayear event. There will be thousands of like-minded individuals planning their own parties and utilizing the same services in your local area. Those who need to rent tables and chairs and rely on a caterer (or the services of the nearest pizza joint) should plan early. If you would like to have a football gathering, start laying the groundwork a few months in advance. This way you can leave deposits for any vendors and be secure in knowing you will have what you need come gameday. • Establish your play book. Will this be a chips-and-dips type of party or will you be offering more substantial fare? Is it adultsonly or are guests able to bring their kids along? Make a list of questions that need to be answered and set up the party parameters. This way you will know what to stock up on in advance. Consider allocating a separate room in the house for kids’ play or for adults who are there for the social aspect of the party and will not necessarily be glued to the television. • Check your equipment. What is the Super Bowl without a means to watch the game? Retailers often offer the best deals on new televisions this time of year because they know sports

fans want to upgrade their televisions for the big game. If yours is a TV that has seen better days or doesn’t offer the high-definition picture guests have come to expect, this may be the time to cash in holiday gift cards for a new flat-screen. If buying new isn’t a possibility at this time, there are centers that will rent electronics. • Watch the clock. Hardcore fans will not want to miss any of the action. Therefore, refreshments and other components of the party will have to coordinate to the timing of the game. Do the bulk of food preparation before kickoff and allow guests to mingle and fuel up before the game starts. Save finger foods and other snacks that are easily accessible for when the game starts. Guests can take a break at halftime and grab food and beverages that are set up buffet-style in another room. Hosts and hostesses also may want to consider serving as food “butlers” and constantly

come out with new finger foods on trays and go around the room to ensure everyone doesn’t miss a moment of the game. • Don’t run interference. There’s not much entertainment that needs to be scheduled on game day apart from the game itself. Ensure that the television is situated so nobody’s view is obstructed and that people moving in and out of the room need not cross in front of the TV to get food or use the restroom. While it may be customary to decorate your home with a few decorations, ensure any decorations do not obstruct views of the game. To make things comfortable for the largest number of people, consider having two TVs tuned into the game running in separate rooms. This way, guests can mingle and not be tied to one area. Super Bowl parties are fun ways to enjoy the last football game of the season and have a houseful of guests celebrate and socialize.


CITIZEN’S NEWS

14

The

Friday, January 25, 2013

BIG GAME GUIDE

I have an ongoing dialogue with a college friend about words I really hate. Most of the times when you hate a word, there’s really no reason for you to hate it other than the fact that you hate it. Hater is the ultimate word that I hate. Those who say it are the worst type of person, probably the type who also says swag. A few of my friends really hate moist. I’m talking REALLY hate it to the point where they’re upset about it. Irony is in that boat, too, just because NOBODY knows how to properly use the word. How ironic it is that it snowed on our first day back at school! NO. Not ironic at all. Potpourri is also a horrible word. It’s too fancy for my flannel taste. Do you think Al Borland liked potpourri? It’s possible, but Al Borland is not writing this. I am, and I refuse to call this year’s Super Bowl potpourri as such. Instead, I will call it Kyle Brennan’s Super Bowl Minutia and Other Useless Anecdotes. Minutia and anecdote are awesome words. Use them more often.

By the time you peel the last nacho off the plate next Sunday night, you’ll have heard everything there is to hear about Jim and John, the Harbaugh coaching family — they were SO mischievous, we just KNEW they’d be here one day! I mean, they are coaching against each other in the freaking Super Bowl. That’s kind of a big deal. But really, wouldn’t we all have some great stories if we were matched up with a sibling on a worldwide stage? I’ve got three younger brothers, and together we raised some serious hell in the mean streets, driveways, backyards and woods of Beacon Falls. I can imagine the tales my parents would tell in their interview. You know, the one that takes place in the weirdly lit room to make the subjects appear as if they’re the only people left on earth. Kyle vs. Cal: Kyle used to drop rocks of varying size on Cal’s head while sitting on the sandbox. Cal fought back years later by puking in the top bunk, leading it to run down the wall into Kyle’s bed. Kyle and Cal vs. Kevin: Under the supervision of an aunt and uncle, the two older brothers zipped up a winter coat backwards on Kevin and proceeded to roll him down the stairs. Kevin claims to this day that he enjoyed the so-called Dangerous Games. Cody vs. Kevin: After Kevin allegedly took Cody’s turn in a game of hallway bowling, Cody bit a chunk of flesh out of Kevin’s rear end. Someone also threw a tractortrailer Matchbox at the other’s forehead. I can’t remember who ate truck on that one. You know we won’t hear any anecdotes nearly this real or entertaining leading up to the Super Bowl. We’ll get the canned Johnand-Jim-were-SO-COMPETITIVE-when-

B E A C O N FA L L S

Kyle Brennan’s

Super Bowl Minutia and Other Useless Anecdotes

they-were-kids tidbits. I’ll bet that one of them bit the other, puked on the other or threw the other down the stairs while strapped into a makeshift straitjacket at some point in their lives. Let’s hear about it. Will this be the year that we finally get some memorable commercials? I cannot recall even one from last year’s Super Bowl. This is a large departure from the days in which the ads were usually better than the games. Businesses shell out millions of dollars buy spots and produce their commercials

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(except General Motors, which decided $3.8 million per 30 seconds on CBS was too much this year; hopefully the savings can be applied to my future Chevy purchase). Is it too much to ask that they make them good? For a lot of the younger businesses, this is their one shot to impress me. Make me laugh, I’ll see what you’ve got to offer. Direct me to a website that promises UNRATED CONTENT and delivers a tease, don’t consider me part of your clientele. If any local businesses are considering buying ad space for next year’s Super Bowl, there are a few items that are absolute

must-haves to create a good commercial: • Groin shot: There’s nothing funnier in an ad that a good, but not gruesome, strike in the nether region. It must be a fleeting blow (like a stray soda can that slips out of a monkey’s hands) and not a deliberate smash (like a squared-up bazooka shot). • Celebrity who is past his peak: Years ago, Burt Reynolds was in a FedEx commercial that listed the 10 necessary facets to a good Super Bowl ad. He killed it because he looked as cheesy as it really was. Bob Barker would be a good choice sometime. • Celebrity who is past his peak suffering a groin shot: Because one plus one equals two. As usual, I’ve got some parting shots for your week-long consideration: • The first sack of Ray Lewis’ career was on Jim Harbaugh. WHAT?! • Studies show Super Bowl Sunday is the second-largest food consumption day in the U.S. (behind Thanksgiving). It must be the unhealthiest day of the year. CHEESE ON EVERYTHING. • Alicia Keys will perform the national anthem. I think she’s good, but I will shun her forever if she clings to her pledge to sing it like it’s “a brand new song.” How freaking dare you. Respect the StarSpangled Banner and sing it right. It needs no R or B. • If you had to put $100 on a prop bet, which would you choose: Beyonce showing cleavage during her first halftime song (-500) or the Super Bowl MVP first thanking God (+100)? I’m taking God. Kyle Brennan is a contributing writer to the Citizen’s News.


MYCITIZENSNEWS.COM

Friday, January 25, 2013

The

15

BIG GAME GUIDE

How to choose a new television to watch the big game Whether it’s plasma, LED, LCD, HD, or 3D, all of the “Ds” of television technology and terminology can have the average consumer scratching his or her head and wondering what’s what? Gone are the days when you turn the knob of the television set, adjust the rabbit ears antenna and hope the picture is clear. Television technology has advanced light years from what it was when most people were children. High-definition picture quality creates sharp images that make viewers feel like they’re right in the show. Improved speakers and sound enhance the viewers’ the overall experience. And today’s televisions come in so many shapes and sizes, they’ll fit in just about any home or business setting. Other technology continues to shrink a television’s size and weight so that they are lighter and thinner. Gone are the days of those ultra heavy behemoth sets. As all of these changes take place, it can be difficult to stay abreast of the changes. Shoppers looking for a new TV can inform themselves of the different types of TVs and the strengths and weaknesses to each. Direct View Direct view televisions, also

referred to as CRT, which describes its cathode ray tube technology, have been around for decades. These are the TVs that were most common before the high definition boom. CRT TVs use a specialized vacuum tube inside of the TV to create the picture. The black level on CRTs are among the best, and these TVs are much lower priced than some of the newer technology. While the direct view televisions have a long life expectancy, their bulk and weight deters many of today’s shoppers who prefer sleeker alternatives than CRTs. LCD LCD, or liquid crystal display, is used on flat panel or rear projection televisions. LCDs are not overly reflective, so they’re a good idea in bright rooms. They do not produce the “burn-in” effect, where an image is permanently imprinted on the screen, that other televisions might. The disadvantages to LCD flatpanel TVs is that they can be expensive. There is also a limited viewing area. Those sitting to the sides of the television may have a darker, distorted view. Plasma Plasma televisions have emerged as a direct competitor to LCD flat pan-

els. Plasma televisions produce an image that is more realistic than other types of TVs, and can be viewed from any angle without distortion. Although the picture quality is excellent, without careful handling, plasma TVs can produce burn-in. There are also some concerns about the black level on these sets. Lastly, their expensive price tags deter some shoppers from buying plasma TVs. LED LED, or light-emitting-diode, TVs are produced much in the same way as LCD televisions. However, LCDs have a higher electrical output because they are lit by fluorescent lighting. In LED televisions, the fluorescent lamps have been replaced by LED lights that are brighter and consume less energy. These televisions also can be viewed well from many angles and have a high-definition picture. For many consumers, price is one significant disadvantage to LEDs, as they can be several hundred dollars more than comparable plasma or LCD models. 3D 3D televisions employ a faster picture refresh rate than standard televisions to handle the greater amount of data necessary to produce a 3D pic-

ture. There are competing technologies that require specialized 3D glasses and those that do not. While many movies are being produced in 3D, there is not much regular TV programming being created in 3D. Until that changes, a 3D TV purchase might not be worth the considerable investment. 1080i, 1080p, or 780i, 780p? These numbers refer to the resolution of the screen. The higher the number, the higher the resolution and crispness of the picture. For example, with a 780p television sharpness it will take 780 horizontal lines to create the TV picture. With 1080, it involves 1,080 lines. The (i) and the (p) refer to the method of picture scanning that takes place. Interlaced scanning (i) means the picture is formed by scanning in two consecutive passes where odd numbered lines are displayed in one pass and even numbered in the next. So in reality there are only half the number of lines being shown in each pass. Progressive scanning (p) is also known as full HD picture. That means that all 1,080 lines are used to produce the picture at once. Progressive products will produce a better picture quality and are best for watching sports, playing video games and fastmoving action.

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CITIZEN’S NEWS

16

The

Friday, January 25, 2013

BIG GAME GUIDE

Citizen’s News Big Game picks If you think for the Baltimore Ravens playoff run will come to end with a loss on Super Bowl Sunday, think again. After a sluggish end to the regular season, the Ravens have found their groove. Following a gutty performance in Denver, they dominated the second half in the win over the Patriots. It’s going to come down the quarterbacks, folks. And Baltimore QB Joe Flacco has been Ernie Bertothy amazing in the Ravens’ three playoff victories — eight touchdowns and no interceptions. He’s playing his best football of the year at the right time and expect him to find Torrey Smith on multiple occasions in the end zone. Flacco will put to rest all the questions about his status. He’s the real deal. Colin Kaepernick isn’t ready for primetime. Yes, he helped the Niners get this far. But this Big Game will not be his day. On Feb. 3, Flacco will be earning a Super Bowl ring and a big contract in the offseason. The Ravens defense will handle its business, and Flacco will take care of the rest. Congrats to Ray Lewis as he will be ending his career in style — with a championship.

Honestly, I do not know a lot about football, but I do know a lot about television; therefore I will base my prediction on what I know rather than some silly stats or odds. The easiest way to tell who will win the Super Bowl is to compare these two teams by looking at the two shows that encapsulate their respective cities: Monk and The Wire. In the show Monk Luke Marshall we learn that San Francisco is a sunny place where detectives can have virtually endless neurosis and bad guys are often polite, bumbling, and humorous. Then there’s The Wire, which is a gritty, dark dramatization about street life. The Wire teaches us that journalists are just as tough as cops, bad guys are mean, and good guys are worse. The first half will see the Ravens’ defense decimate the 49ers’ offense. As the 49ers continue to take a pounding in the second half of the game, the Ravens will realize that they can not win this game simply by beating up the other team and will actually try and score points. The Ravens will score exactly 11 points, just to mock the jersey number of Alex Smith, the 49ers former starting quarterback. In proper Baltimore fashion, the Ravens will shake down their fans for beer money on the way back to the bus.

Baltimore 11 San Francisco 0

Baltimore 31 San Francisco 21

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I watched the league championship games with some friends at Quinnipiac last weekend, and as the final few seconds joyously ticked away on the Patriots, we came to a great realization: We can actually enjoy this Super Bowl. You’ll remember the excruciating miserableness of last year’s Big Game. A Patriots-Giants Super Bowl is kind of like a North Korea-Iran war. You really don’t want Kyle Brennan either side to win, but you want them to administer devastating damage to one another. These teams and their fans are fine by me. I don’t care for Colin Kaepernick because although he’s good, something about him rubs me the wrong way. I do like how San Francisco still plays some defense. And I’ve never been much of a Ravens sympathizer, but I’m becoming a big Joe Flacco fan. Plus, who wouldn’t like to see Ray Lewis go out on top? A lot of people, that’s who. You either really like Ray Lewis or you really don’t like Ray Lewis. He’s either one of the greatest defenders in the history of football or a guy who reinvented himself with a fake inspirational image after double homicide charges. Since I have no evidence that Lewis killed anyone, I’m more in the first camp, and I don’t think his teammates will allow him to end things with a loss. The amount of fake tears he will shed and orations to the heavens he shouts will be absolutely intolerable. Still, it’s more real than Moonshiners, Big Brother and whatever a Honey Boo Boo is.

Baltimore 27 San Francisco 21

I still think Carvel is missing out on the biggest public relations scheme of all time. The 47th Super Bowl in the Big Easy will be one of numerous pregame stories to fill volumes of newspaper print. Or as you may prefer XLVII, I really don’t get that Roman numeral thing. The 13-4-1 49ers set an NFC record with the biggest comeback in championship game Ken Morse history when they fought back from a 17-0 deficit to defeat the 14-4 Falcons 28-24. San Francisco did it with the most unlikeliest candidate at quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who didn’t start until Nov. 11. Kaepernick put his name in the record books rushing for an NFL record 181 yards for a quarterback in the surprising 45-31 win over Green Bay in the divisional playoff game. The 13-6 Baltimore Ravens defeated the Patriots 28-13 ending a streak of 67-0 at home for New England when they led at the half with Tom Brady under center. One of the bigger stories is the impending retirement of 17-year veteran Ray Lewis who has logged 44 tackles in three post season games. But the biggest story will be the two head coaches, marking the first time ever that two brothers faced off against each other in the Super Bowl. Jim Harbaugh the younger brother with the 49ers and John Harbaugh the older brother with Baltimore.

Baltimore 33 San Francisco 20

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Big Game Guide 2013