A1 Steak Sauce’s 1994 NFL Trading Cards

Click to greatly enlarge

Longtime Uni Watch reader/supporter Robert Brashear recently got in touch to let me know he’d found something interesting buried in a drawer: a set of 28 A1 Steak Sauce “Masters of the Grill” recipe cards from 1994, each with a different NFL player on the front. Much like the late-1980s Diet Coke/NFL ads that we recently explored, these A1 cards offer an interesting overlap between advertising and the uni-verse.

I’d never been aware of these cards before, so I looked on eBay and found a full set for myself ($10, including shipping). They’re shown above, arranged in alphabetical order of the teams’ cities. After studying them at length, here are some observations:

• The overwhelming majority of the players are offensive or defensive linemen, presumably because the ad agency thought big, rough-tough guys were a good fit for grilling meat.

• One of the few non-linemen is Jerome Bettis, who was then with the Rams. He’s so strongly associated with the Steelers (at least in my mind) that it’s almost startling to see him in a Rams jersey.

• Another one of the non-linemen, Browns fullback Tommy Vardell, is wearing a jersey that looks more black than brown.

• Since this promotional campaign ran in 1994, the NFL’s diamond anniversary patch is evident on most of the jerseys. It’s missing from a few of them, however.

• The Giants’ representative — center Bart Oates — didn’t actually play for the Giants in 1994. He was acquired by the 49ers prior to the start of that season. So his A1 photo shoot was probably the only time he wore a Giants jersey with the anniversary patch.

• Patriots offensive lineman Eugene Chung appears to be wearing the team’s 1993 jersey — the one with the red chest numbers and white TV numbers. And yet he does have the 1994 anniversary patch. Strange!

• 1994 was also when the NFL rolled out its first throwback program, but there are no throwback jerseys featured on any of the cards.

• The various jerseys include maker’s marks for four different uniform manufacturers — Champion, Russell Athletic, Wilson, and Apex — plus there are several without any visible logo creep. (According to the Gridiron Uniform Database, several teams were outfitted by Starter that season.)

• One player — Vikings offensive lineman Chris Hinton — appears to be wearing a blank, unofficial jersey. In addition to having no visible uni numbers and no anniversary patch, it also does not have the NFL logo at the collar.

• Seventeen of the players are wearing A1 chef’s toques, while the other 11 have A1 ballcaps. One of those 11 — Dolphins tight end Keith Jackson — somehow got away with wearing his ballcap backwards, hiding the A1 logo. Another cap-clad player — Packers offensive lineman Ken Ruettgers — achieved a similar brand-quashing effect by wearing his cap tilted back on his head.

• All 28 of the the players are wearing aprons. Four of them — Oilers defensive lineman Ray Childress, Chargers offensive lineman Courtney Hall, 49ers offensive lineman Harris Barton, and the aforementioned Ruettgers — wore their aprons at the waist, exposing more of their jerseys. The other 24 players have their aprons over their torsos. Those aprons have the A1 logo on the chest, but most of the players have their arms folded and/or are holding props in a way that obscures much or all of the logo.

• Fifteen of the players are either holding or standing alongside two bottles of A1. There are also six players with one bottle, six more with no bottles (surprising!), and one player — Cardinals defensive lineman Eric Swann — who held four bottles.

• Although this campaign was all about grilling, a grill is visible in only four of the photos. Three of those shots just show a lonely-looking kettle grill in the background, but one player — Raiders defensive lineman Howie Long — got to pose in front of a big grill of assorted meats.

There are more things I could compare (which grilling tools each player is holding, the photo backdrops, etc.), but I think that’s enough for now.

Meanwhile, the back of each card has a recipe featuring A1 as a key ingredient. Most of them are about what you’d expect, and there doesn’t appear to have been any attempt to match regionally themed recipes to the players’ team locations (i.e., the card for the Saints player does not feature a Creole or Cajun recipe). Here’s a representative sampling:

I should probably mention here that I’ve never much cared for A1. To me it’s just runny ketchup with a bit of added spices and a lot of added sugar. But it’s interesting to see that their basic package design has barely changed since 1994. Here’s a comparison — 1994 trading card version on the left, current version on the right (note that “Steak” is no longer part of the official product name):

Also, trading cards feature a brand extension called A1 Bold, which had a black label. That product was apparently introduced in 1994 — the same year the trading cards were issued — but is no longer in production, at least not under that name. There is, however, a current a product called A1 Bold & Spicy. It’s not clear to me if that’s essentially the same product (anyone..?), but here’s another design comparison:

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And there you have it. If you want your own set of these cards, there are lots of them available on eBay.

(Big thanks to Robert Brashear, who deserves all the credit for this entry, and to Joel Keller for the Bart Oates note.)

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Uni-auguration: With Oakland native Kamala Harris ascending to the office of U.S. Vice President yesterday, the Warriors sent her one of their Oakland alternate jerseys (additional info here). Note that while Joe Biden is America’s 46th president — a number we’ll presumably be seeing a lot of in the months and years to come — Harris is the 49th veep, which explains the number on her jersey.

In other developments related to yesterday’s inauguration:

• Speaking of the 46th prexy, when President Biden left the inauguration and went to Arlington National Cemetery, he traveled in a car with a “46” license plate:

• In a related item, here’s a list of the best players in various sports to wear No. 46.

• Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas was on hand at the inauguration and wore a Chiefs hat:

• Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar wore U. of Minnesota colors:

• Lots of women at the inauguration wore purple. Some may have done so as a gesture of bipartisanship (blue + red = purple), while others did it in honor of Shirley Chisholm, who in 1972 was the first Black female presidential candidate:

• In addition, lots of women around America wore black Chucks and pearls as a shout-out to Vice President Harris.

• Finally, I was struck by how this photo of the Bidens and Harrises was like the 1990s uniform scene all over again — purple, teal, and black:

(My thanks to Brinke Guthrie, Craig Kind, Rob Krosley, and Ron Ruelle for their contributions to this section.)

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ITEM! Clearance sale: Uni Watch Cufflinks, which were originally priced at $26.99 and then reduced to $16.99, are now available at a bargain basement price of $9.99. Granted, you probably don’t have many formal events on your socially distanced calendar, but we’ll all be vaccinated soon enough, and there are only 27 pairs of cufflinks remaining, so move fast!

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• • • • •

“Life Sure Is Weird” Department: I woke up yesterday to learn that someone I’ve known for over 30 years had received a presidential pardon. (Spoiler alert: Not Lil Wayne.)

We met in 1987, when I was a big fan of a band he played in, and quickly became friends. We also had a lot of friends in common in the worlds of indie-rock, zines, and so on. Later, in the early 2000s, he ascended to much more high-powered strata of media and influence — like, very high-powered — but we stayed in touch.

Over time, though, our values diverged, he became less and less recognizable to me, and I found that it required an increasingly complex level of emotional gymnastics to justify my friendship with him. In 2018, by which time he had been credibly accused of sexual harassment by someone who worked for him, I decided I could no longer perform those gymnastics and that our fundamental values had become irreconcilably incompatible. So we met up one last time, talked about our friendship, and then I “broke up” with him. It was hard, and sad, but I knew it was the right thing to do.

I thought that would be a clean break, but he turned out to be further under my skin than I realized. Each time a certain kind of news was reported — news that I knew would matter to him or affect him in one way or another — I’d think of him and wonder if this latest news might make him rethink his positions. On some level, it embarrassed me, and still does, that I continued thinking about him in this way. But people and relationships are complicated, and it’s hard to just toggle them on and off like a light switch.

Last fall, federal charges were brought against him, alleging some really loathsome behavior that, unfortunately, seemed consistent with certain things I knew about him (and also consistent with the earlier sexual harassment accusation). His attorney issued a statement that didn’t even deny the allegations — he just said the allegations didn’t merit a criminal prosecution. At first it seemed like an odd thing for an attorney to say — the usual statement would be “My client categorically denies all the charges, and we look forward to rebutting them in court” or something like that, right? — but then I thought of my ex-friend’s high-powered connections and realized what was going to happen: He was going to get a pardon.

And sure enough, that’s what happened. But even though I expected it, it’s still sick-making. And by accepting the pardon, he’s admitted his guilt.

I should say here that when we were friends, he was a good friend. There were generous favors, valuable advice, invitations to gatherings at his home, and a general spirit of generosity, right up to the end. I know the person I initially liked is still in there somewhere, and I imagine he’ll probably remain under my skin to a certain extent, maybe forever.

Crazy world.

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The Ticker
By Paul

’Skins Watch: It would be fair to say that Lewistown High School in Illinois has not gotten the memo regarding the use of Native imagery. “I knew their teams were called the Indians but never knew how much they really leaned into the Native American imagery instead of distancing themselves from it,” says Stile Smith.

Baseball News: Here are some great photos of the ushers and other staffers at Colt Stadium, where the Colt .45s played before becoming the Astros and moving to the Astrodome (thanks to all who shared). … What would MLB team logos look like as minor league logos? Maybe something like this (from @SacKings_Unis). … Looks like the Nats may have a new alternate logo (from R. Scott Rogers).

NFL News: The Cleveland City Council saluted the Browns for their season but used the team’s outdated uniforms when doing so (rare non-soccer contribution from Ed Zelaski). … Several Ravens players gave signed jerseys to RB Mark Ingram, who was released by the team on Tuesday.

College Football News: This is weird: It’s really hard to see, but back when Maryland had white helmet shells, they also used white rear-helmet numbers. Additonal examples here and here. Why would any team use white on white? (From Steve Hoyle.)

Hockey News: New pads for Golden Knights G Robin Lehner.
 
 
 

NBA News: The Warriors are embracing their “Oakland” alternate uniforms, which debuted last night (from Mike Chamernik). … Those uniforms also come with some pretty wild warm-up jackets. Here’s a closer look (from Antonio C.). … The NBA is adding on-court security to prevent handshakes, hugs, and other physical contact among players (from Mike Chamernik). … The Mavs have begun giving a championship-style belt to their defensive player of the game (from Timmy Donahue).

Soccer News: Chattanooga FC has extended its kit deal with Hummel (from Ed Zelaski). … French side RC Strasbourg plans to use airplane fuselages to renovate its stadium in a sustainable manner (from Kary Klismet). … Also from Kary: Dutch club Feyenoord has released its new stadium plans.

Grab Bag: Good article about a New York uniform shop that provides unis to Postal Service employees. … Here’s how the rock band Korn’s frontman, Jonanthan Davis, created the band’s logo. … Here’s an article on the current state of pro golf sponsorships and endorsements (NYT link).

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102 comments to A1 Steak Sauce’s 1994 NFL Trading Cards

  • Oakville Celery Root | January 21, 2021 at 8:04 am |

    Kamala’s purple coat may have been a shout out to the High School she graduated from – Westmount High School in Montreal (I’m not serious that being the reason) – But Westmount High’s colors are purple and white.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Westmount_High_School

    Interesting take on your former friend

    Saw the Vegas Golden Knights new uniforms last night on television, a very deep gold – looks good and original

    • Oakville Celery Root | January 21, 2021 at 8:31 am |

      And to make sure my note is clear, she did graduate from there.

  • Brian | January 21, 2021 at 8:17 am |

    I personally like the look of helmet numbers. But maybe the folks at Maryland did not, and the white-on-white was a way to identify the helmets without the look of helmet numbers. Only guessing. The Terapin answer to the Lions teeny tiny numbers.

    Also, Bengals running back Pete Johnson (1977-83) is my favorite No. 46.

    • Jim Vilk | January 21, 2021 at 10:44 am |

      46…in my head that’s a “slow number.” No wonder there weren’t many examples.
      45 seems like a slow one, too.

      47…now that gives me more of a sense of speed. Maybe it’s the angle of the 7.

    • John H. | January 21, 2021 at 11:41 am |

      Danny Abramowicz will always symbolize #46 for me.

      • JimmyDave | January 21, 2021 at 3:21 pm |

        I second that emotion!!

    • Tom | January 21, 2021 at 1:18 pm |

      My vote for greatest #46 is Doug Plank, whose number was for some reason used to name the Bears’ vaunted “46 Defense” scheme in the eighties.

  • Joel Keller | January 21, 2021 at 8:23 am |

    Another note about the A1 cards: Bart Oates went from the Giants to the Niners in ‘94, so he never wore a Giants jersey with the 75th anniversary patch, as depicted on his card.

    • Paul Lukas | January 21, 2021 at 8:26 am |

      Ah, *great* point, Joel — shame on me for not noting that (especially since the Giants and Niners are my two favorite teams!). I’ll add that to the entry.

  • Ian DP | January 21, 2021 at 8:25 am |

    Funny that they went with “Masters of the Grill” and not “Masters of the Gridiron”. I mean, it’s right there. The definition of “gridiron” is “a frame of parallel metal bars used for grilling meat or fish over an open fire”. It was only later that the word was appropriated to describe the painted lines of the football field.
    I wonder if “Masters of the Gridiron” was already copyrighted by the NFL or some other group.

    • Weston | January 21, 2021 at 1:16 pm |

      While you’re right, I would argue that gridiron has lost its original meaning and now is only known as a moniker for a football field and they wanted to make sure the grilling part wasn’t lost

  • Skott Schoonover | January 21, 2021 at 8:37 am |

    You can see Chung does have the 75 patch on his jersey, it’s just dark and hidden behind the strap of his apron.

    Also, I remember that the retail Patriots jerseys available with the diamond patch had the red numbers with the white outlines, not the white with red outlines that were actually worn that season. (I asked for a Drew Bledsoe jersey that Christmas, and vividly remember the folded page in the Sears Sports catalog, lol)

    • Paul Lukas | January 21, 2021 at 8:38 am |

      Good spot — will adjust text. And that’s very strange about the retail jerseys!

      • AlMaFi | January 21, 2021 at 9:14 am |

        The fourth bullet point also mentions Chung’s patch.

  • Tim | January 21, 2021 at 8:39 am |

    A few things…Howie Long retired after the 1993 season and he doesn’t have the 75th anniversary patch. Wonder why he was included.

    Chris Hinton went from the Falcons to the Vikings between the 1993-1994 seasons. Maybe they didn’t have a jersey for him, or it was photoshopped.

    The Patriots still had their mismatched numbers on the ROAD jerseys that season. Maybe they made the white number change on the blue unis at the last minute.

    Greg Lloyd is wearing a replica jersey. Starter was the manufacturer for the Steelers game uniforms until Nike took over in the late 90’s.

  • Daniel E | January 21, 2021 at 8:41 am |

    Really interesting story about your friend with the presidential pardon. From your description, it sounds like he was in fact guilty of what he was charged with doing, but I have to take issue with the idea that accepting a pardon is an admission of guilt. If I was wrongfully accused of something and then offered a pardon, I would certainly take the pardon rather than risk getting wrongfully convicted in court. That seems like a no-brainer to me, and I would hope that it wouldn’t be interpreted as an admission of guilt.

    • Memal | January 21, 2021 at 8:51 am |

      I disagree, because if I was absolutely innocent of something I was charged with I would want to prove it in court so there would be no question of my innocence…assuming, of course, that I could present a case that was certain to win.

      • J.D. | January 22, 2021 at 9:22 am |

        As a lawyer, I absolutely disagree with the idea that “if I were innocent, I would want to prove it in court.” That idea depends on the premise that courts, and juries, reliably arrive at the truth. In my experience, that isn’t the case. They often do, but there are certainly enough cases where a defendant is convicted based on sketchy evidence that if I were wrongfully accused of a serious, life-altering crime, and had a chance to avoid a trial and punishment, I would absolutely take it.

    • RS Rogers | January 21, 2021 at 9:01 am |

      The Supreme Court has sorta- mostly held that as a matter of law, acceptance of a pardon is an admission of guilt. Which makes intuitive sense in most cases. However, the two most relevant cases – Burdick and Wilson – are old and more narrow than they’re popularly understood. But the pardon power has always been understood as having both merciful and corrective aspects. A pardon may not only show mercy to the guilty, it may correct a miscarriage of justice against the innocent. The Supreme Court has held that conclusive proof of actual innocence is not on its own sufficient grounds to appeal or reverse a conviction. So in some cases, the only way to free an innocent person who was wrongly convicted will be by pardon.

      Though this is a rather abstract debate in light of the plain facts of the former president’s final pardons, all of which were acts of mercy extended to guilty people, not corrections of injustices done to innocent people.

    • Daniel E | January 21, 2021 at 9:20 am |

      Ideally, I would agree. But that’s a big risk you’re taking. What if you get convicted in court and then spend years in jail for something you didn’t do? I’d rather risk ruining my reputation and still be free. And ideally, I’d hope people wouldn’t interpret it as an admission of guilt, though realistically most probably would.

    • marchingkazoo | January 21, 2021 at 9:35 am |

      The “idea that accepting a pardon is an admission of guilt,” is technically not an idea but a matter of precedent. The Burdick v United States decision notes that “There are substantial differences between legislative immunity and a pardon; the latter carries an imputation of guilt and acceptance of a confession of it, while the former is noncommittal, and tantamount to silence of the witness.”

    • jey | January 21, 2021 at 10:12 am |

      Thing is, there’s a tacit admission of guilt that’s acknowledged when accepting a pardon, otherwise there’s nothing to be pardoned for.

      • Stephen | January 21, 2021 at 11:00 am |

        Regardless of the SCOTUS says, I staring disagree that it should be an admission of guilt. Juries are extremely unpredictable and nothing is ever guaranteed. I don’t care how innocent you are, never take it in front of a jury if you can have it essentially dismissed another way. “I would want to prove my innocence in court” is something someone would say who has never faced a lengthy sentence.

        • Weston | January 21, 2021 at 1:21 pm |

          Plenty of innocent people plead guilty to crimes and a lesser sentence to avoid a jury too, admiring guilt wrongly is often just assumed to be better than prison

  • Memal | January 21, 2021 at 8:49 am |

    What a great find with those A1 sauce cards! I agree your assessment of it’s flavor, to me it never enhanced the taste of anything I put it on.

    Thanks for sharing the story of your friend that got the pardon. A crazy world indeed.

  • RS Rogers | January 21, 2021 at 8:51 am |

    In the flurry of coverage I saw yesterday I forget exactly where I saw this – maybe Katty Kay of the BBC – but I encountered reporting that many of the women attending the Inauguration who wore purple did so in tribute to the Suffragists. Yesterday marked the ceremonial centennial of the first inauguration of a president elected with the votes of women in every state. (Inauguration Day was on March 4 in 1921.)

    • Paul Lukas | January 21, 2021 at 8:54 am |

      I believe *white* was worn for the suffragists, no?

      • RS Rogers | January 21, 2021 at 9:05 am |

        That was the case in previous events, and I could very well have mis-heard, misunderstood, or mis-remembered yesterday. But the American Suffrage movement used purple, gold, and white as its colors, so purple would have made sense. Also, white is an impractical color for a wintertime outdoor event, and also less visually impactful at an event where most VIPs will be sitting on a white platform in front of a white wall.

  • Rob S | January 21, 2021 at 8:51 am |

    One more thing to add on the cards:
    Eric Swann’s card says Phoenix Cardinals, but the team changed its name to the Arizona Cardinals in 1994.

  • Ben W | January 21, 2021 at 8:55 am |

    My speculation re: white helmet numbers on white helmets – easy enough to see up close to tell whose helmet is whose, but nearly invisible from far away do as to not muck up the overall helmet design?

    • mark | January 21, 2021 at 11:41 am |

      Agree – players can identify their helmet (important) and white doesn’t add to the clutter.
      it also detracts from the american flag decal. never saw it before. I like it.

  • Matthew Edwards | January 21, 2021 at 9:00 am |

    BIG fan of A1 Bold & Spicy here. It’s pretty much as described, A1 with a kick. It’s becoming more difficult to find but I’ve been using it regularly since the mid-90s.

  • Greg | January 21, 2021 at 9:11 am |

    I says a lot about the NBA’s uniform program that at first glance I really had no clue what jersey VP Harris was taking a photo with. Instead of being recognizable on sight I had to think where Harris is from and consider the extent of the Warriors’ wardrobe past and present.

  • Mark K | January 21, 2021 at 9:28 am |

    I still call it steak sauce.

    • Jim Vilk | January 21, 2021 at 10:34 am |

      Same here. I put it on lots of things, but it’s still steak sauce.

      Much like the late-1980s Diet Coke/NFL ads that we recently explored

      Except, unfortunately, there were no kickers this time. That was the first thing I looked for when I saw the cards.

    • Tim | January 21, 2021 at 7:02 pm |

      I don’t use steak sauce. I use BBQ sauce.

  • Bobby D | January 21, 2021 at 9:31 am |

    The Lewistown High School gym and logos are gorgeous. Thanks for sharing!

    • Y. Soitenly | January 21, 2021 at 9:57 am |

      Came to say this, especially the court. That is one spectacular floor for a high school team. That said, the Indian’s nose… woof.

    • Shawn | January 21, 2021 at 11:42 am |

      Woof, even ignoring what the imaging on the floor depicts, that key and arch is so bad haha

    • walter | January 21, 2021 at 5:35 pm |

      In High School, budgets have to be taken into account. It may be an issue of being able to afford a new floor.

  • Brian | January 21, 2021 at 9:33 am |

    From the DOJ:
    “A pardon is an expression of the President’s forgiveness and ordinarily is granted in recognition of the applicant’s acceptance of responsibility for the crime and established good conduct for a significant period of time after conviction or completion of sentence. It does not signify innocence.”

    If you accept a pardon to avoid the risk of conviction, then you are a LIAR for falsely accepting responsibility.

    Fascinating story. I don’t think I’ve ever read the insight of someone whose acquaintance was pardoned.

    • hershky | January 21, 2021 at 3:05 pm |

      I’ve always gone with the saying “innocent until proven guilty.”

      I would never assume guilt just because someone accepted a pardon. Just like I would never assume guilt if someone immediately asks for a lawyer when questioned by authorities. In both cases it’s the smart move because I don’t trust the system.

  • Ted | January 21, 2021 at 9:43 am |

    In regards to the license plate on Biden’s Limo yesterday, also of tangential Uni-relevance is that he used the “Taxation Without Representation” plate. Since those were introduced, I believe during the Clinton presidency it’s been split with Democrats choosing to use them and Republicans largely not (I didn’t 100% verify this, but living here I’m pretty confidence).

    It’s a bit of a quirky way our government works many across the country aren’t aware of. It refers to the fact that since DC is not a state their representatives in Congress have no voting power. So DC residents pay federal taxes like the rest of us, but have no true representation in Congress. Here’s hoping that’s corrected in the next few years.

    • Jim Vilk | January 21, 2021 at 10:47 am |

      If DC becomes a state, do we keep 50 and adopt a promotion/relegation system like soccer?

      (3/4 joking, 1/4 of me is thinking, hmmm…)

      • Ted | January 21, 2021 at 11:06 am |

        If we add Puerto Rico we could relegate two states every four years….

        • Paul Lee | January 21, 2021 at 10:54 pm |

          52 isn’t such a bad number. James Worthy wore it in college IIRC. BTW, LeBron + MJ = 46. (Not using James’ 6 and MJ’s 45 and 12.)

          Would 55 or 56 be better? (PR, DC, Guam, American Samoa, Northern Mariana Islands, US Virgin Islands.)

      • Corey Bruns | January 21, 2021 at 11:06 am |

        How about a merger with Washington State? They’d have to have a lot of meetings over zoom.

        • Skott Schoonover | January 21, 2021 at 1:34 pm |

          This made me laugh out loud!

    • Michael Emody | January 21, 2021 at 7:37 pm |

      More than likely, in a few weeks the Secret Service will replace the fleet’s “800 002” DC website plates with 800 002’s that say “Taxation Without Representation.” Maybe Obama’s old plates are still in the SS’s garage – thankfully, it’s only been four years!

      Yep. The regular number for Presidential limo’s is: 800 002. There’s multiple sets, both slogans have been used, and they’ve gone from embossed to the more recently made flat plates.

  • Kek | January 21, 2021 at 9:54 am |

    I have an old copy of Tuff Stuff somewhere with Bettis in Rams’ uniform and it’s probably the only thing I have of that short era. These cards are a great find!

    I had forgotten about A1 bold and now must try and find some!

  • Alex Ridoré | January 21, 2021 at 10:02 am |

    You were friends with Kodak Black?

    • Dootie Bubble | January 21, 2021 at 12:33 pm |

      Pretty sure he’s referring to Steve Bannon. I believe Paul and he used to be in a doo-wop band that did nothing but Rolling Stones covers. Or at least that’s what I heard through the grapevine.

  • jey | January 21, 2021 at 10:13 am |

    Jesus, that pardon bit hit me harder than I thought it would. Thanks for sharing.

  • Rogo99 | January 21, 2021 at 10:14 am |

    Do the Warriors warm up to music from Oakland’s own Tower of Power?

  • Dave | January 21, 2021 at 10:22 am |

    Isn’t purple a reflection of political unity? Red+Blue = Purple.

    • Paul Lukas | January 21, 2021 at 10:27 am |

      You might wanna re-read what I wrote in that section, Dave. ;)

      • Dave | January 21, 2021 at 10:48 am |

        Yikes! You are right. I just saw the NY Post Tweet and didn’t see the rest.

    • Tim | January 21, 2021 at 7:05 pm |

      Purple is also a representation of Royalty.

  • Graf Zeppelin | January 21, 2021 at 10:22 am |

    How did they leave Todd Christensen off the 46 list?

    I like A1. To me it tastes like Worcestershire sauce, only thicker. I like Luger’s too, which is a whole different thing…

  • David OLeary | January 21, 2021 at 10:24 am |

    I like A1 on steak tips, but it is NOT ketchup.

    • Marc | January 21, 2021 at 12:57 pm |

      A1 is a form of brown sauce, which is popular in Britain and Ireland. Ketchup, in parts of Britain and Ireland, is “red sauce,” or at least a vinegary version is.

  • Rob Ullman | January 21, 2021 at 10:24 am |

    Senator Tim Kaine lives in my neighborhood, and the car parked in his driveway has a regular Virginia plate with a simple number “3” Always been kinda curious about it but I never remember to ask about when I run into him.

    • Weston | January 21, 2021 at 1:29 pm |

      I remember reading years ago in the Richmond paper (it may have even been during Kaine governorship) about the competitive process to get low digit vanity plates. The single digits were especially competitive with 1 being the most sought after. I would assume that he just liked the number but I would be curious too.

    • Michael Emody | January 21, 2021 at 8:32 pm |

      Your post made me think that in Virginia, they may give the Governor #1, then the two U.S. Senators 2 and 3 and so on down the pecking order. If that were the case, Sen. Kaine’s plate would probably read “U.S. Senator” somewhere, likely on the bottom. But – after checking plate collector sites, it seems VA gives U.S. Senator’s 1 and 2. (Kaine as junior senator would be 2.) Looks like each political series (State Senators, Delegates, etc.) start at 1 also.
      He’s probably got the highest passenger number that 20+ years of political clout, including being VA Governor, could get him. Passenger numbers 1 and 2 have probably been held by old-money families since 1906 (I looked up VA’s first issue!). If that’s the case, then 3 is pretty dammed good.

      • Steve D | January 21, 2021 at 10:31 pm |

        I was once driving and saw CT license “1”. I caught up to them and it was Senator Joe Lieberman.

  • Greg Lamm | January 21, 2021 at 10:31 am |

    Wow, I found the formality of “breaking up” with a friend very interesting. I usually just unfriended them on Facebook, once they showed their true colors (which I have since discontinued as well).

    • Tim | January 21, 2021 at 10:56 am |

      I’ve seen a raft of splitting between “friends” going on over all forms of Social Media in the past couple of months. Basically, the “I don’t agree with your political view so I’m going to end our friendship with you.”

      However, the concept of “friends” on FB is a Zuckerberg construct. Basically that you want to be connected with everyone and call everyone a “friend”. Well, that’s just not natural. Those I’ve kept in contact over the past 40-50 years are true friends; we truly care about each other, even if we have different views.

      The biggest downfall of this country and personal interaction in the past 15 years is the scourge of “social” media.

  • BvK | January 21, 2021 at 10:58 am |

    I believe A.1. Bold was functionally the same product as A.1. Bold & Spicy but with a slightly different formulation. Both products are meant to be the spicy version of A.1. From personal experience, I recall the taste being very similar, but changing ever so slightly when they added Tabasco to the formula and changed the name. I swear that when they originally added the Tabasco logo to the bottle, the product was still using the black labels but I haven’t been able to find any photos on the internet to verify my recollection.

    This is purely on personal recollection, but I’ve been a consumer of A.1. – including the Bold or Bold & Spicy versions – with some frequency since the early to mi-’90s, so this definitely sparked a memory for me. Thanks for the fun bit of nostalgia, Paul!

    • Matt K | January 21, 2021 at 12:55 pm |

      That’s what I’m recalling too — I always have a Bold & Spicy bottle on hand and like it more than the original Bold. I think once it co-branded with Tabasco it took on a little more of that sharp vinegary kick.

      • Marc | January 21, 2021 at 1:08 pm |

        I did not know there was a spicy version of A1. I’ll need to try it. A friend of mine has a hot sauce line that includes a brown sauce–he’s from Ireland–and I find it perfect in cottage cheese. There’s something about heat and dairy/dairy-like flavors that just works: cheese and sour cream in spicy Mexican food, raita in spicy Indian food, white sauce and hot sauce on falafel, coconut milk in Thai curry. If at some point I can’t get his, I’ll try the Bold & Spicy. Last time I ran out, I tried a combination of A1 and hot sauce.

  • Luke | January 21, 2021 at 11:19 am |

    Interesting to see the Space Force flag in yesterday’s Color Guard. First time seeing it for me. To infinity and beyond!

  • TIm | January 21, 2021 at 11:28 am |

    Really great piece regarding your former friend. It’s funny how friends drift in and out of your life. Interesting how you ultimately “broke up” with your friend; obviously it was someone you were close to (if not, a specific “break up” might not have been necessary?). I’ve always been surprised by how strange and sometimes awkward feelings can become regarding folks you have not seen in a long time and/or have no direct connection to any longer. Such things do linger, and yes, life is indeed strange.

    Now then: driving me nuts re who it is! I recognize that’s not the point…

  • Max | January 21, 2021 at 11:35 am |

    I know that you have been at the forefront of getting teams to abandon racist logo and team names, but I wonder if using the racist Redskins logo for that section of the blog is a good idea. I don’t come here often, but I’d rather not have to look at that logo while I’m here

    • walter | January 21, 2021 at 5:33 pm |

      …Unless you can find an insignia for that section which makes the subject clearer.

  • Munch Suchland | January 21, 2021 at 11:37 am |

    It’s funny to me that you connected the A-1 cards to the Diet Coke cards. The only time I ever buy A-1 is to mix with Coke as a marinade. Usually for pork chops and venison loins. That’s the only purpose for A-1.

    • John F. | January 21, 2021 at 4:06 pm |

      My mother was from Ireland so there was always a bottle of HP or Chef’s steak sauce on the table. We put it on everything (proving every stereotype about Irish cuisine) and as disgusting as it might sound, I love steak sauce on a tuna sandwich.

  • Neeko | January 21, 2021 at 11:52 am |

    Bengals just announced on Twitter new uniforms for 2021

    • Jon | January 21, 2021 at 12:09 pm |

      Is that also a new font for them?

    • Tim | January 21, 2021 at 2:13 pm |
      • Oakville Celery Root | January 21, 2021 at 4:34 pm |

        2021 is definitely proving to be a better year than 2020, this news clinches it :)

  • Block "O Canada" | January 21, 2021 at 12:06 pm |

    A really good BBQ sauce mixed with some A1 is a great dipping sauce for french fries, especially steak fries.

    • Tyler M | January 22, 2021 at 10:12 am |

      I’ve never mixed BBQ sauce with it, but A1 is my go-to sauce for french fry dippage.

  • 716 Scott | January 21, 2021 at 12:40 pm |

    I am admittedly not a huge NBA viewer, are the championship banners lowered to the backboard in the empty arenas standard practice? That is a nice home-arena advantage vibe.

  • Tom V. | January 21, 2021 at 1:35 pm |

    I saw a great meme about A1 sauce…In the midst of our nation’s great civil war, someone somewhere said to themselves, you know what this country could really use? A great tasting steak sauce.

  • Ted Mark | January 21, 2021 at 2:25 pm |

    I enjoyed the minor league versions of MLB logos. Talented young lady.

  • Chance Michaels | January 21, 2021 at 2:33 pm |

    Regarding the “46” license plate, I heard on the coverage I was watching that the number was just for the inauguration, and that they deliberately don’t do that for the regular cars so it’s not immediately clear which car the President is/will be in.

  • Joseph Lanek | January 21, 2021 at 3:58 pm |

    Interesting that you would have such strong views about the colors green and lilac…

    • walter | January 21, 2021 at 5:46 pm |

      I see what you did there…:)

    • D Showalter | January 23, 2021 at 8:58 pm |

      i was wondering if someone would just come out and say it.

  • walter | January 21, 2021 at 5:43 pm |

    The ad showing the purported new Nationals’ logo shows a pair of leggings with the “W” in “Washington” at the ankle and the word being spelled upward. That makes no sense to me.

    I also have a long-sleeved souvenir t-shirt with the team name being spelled down the left arm. Don’t the makers realize this makes the word appear upside-down when you extend your arm? Two solutions: Spell the word vertically, or print the word on the right sleeve, where it will appear naturally right-side up.

  • Patrick in MI | January 21, 2021 at 6:01 pm |

    Heinz 57 > A1. I believe A1 is now owned by Nabisco but years ago it was by a company named Brand’s. Google image search should show older bottles with the Brand’s wordmark above the A1 logo.

    Was your ex-friend pardoned or was his sentence commuted? There is a difference. Big news in Detroit since the ex-mayor had his sentence commuted.

    • Paul Lukas | January 21, 2021 at 6:17 pm |

      As I wrote, federal charges were brought against him this past fall (i.e., a few months ago). Instead of going to trial, he has been pardoned.

  • Graeme | January 21, 2021 at 7:01 pm |

    just thought you’d like to know, in the UK its still known as A.1. Steak Sauce, maybe to play up to the american-ness of it. its much like a british brown sauce to me.

    https://www.tesco.com/groceries/en-GB/products/279215244

    • BurghFan | January 22, 2021 at 4:35 am |

      According to Wikipedia, A1 originally comes from England, where it was first sold in 1831. They started selling it in the U.S. around the turn of the 20th century. Kraft Heinz now owns the brand in North America.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A.1._Sauce

  • Andy | January 21, 2021 at 9:05 pm |

    Thanks for sharing the story about your former-friend’s pardon. It reminded me of another piece you wrote about an editor raised in waspy affluence. You have a particular knack for that kinda thing.

    • Paul Lukas | January 21, 2021 at 9:16 pm |

      Thanks, Andy — much appreciated.

  • David H | January 22, 2021 at 1:12 am |

    Nice to see the Lewistown Indians court on here. I grew up in a neighboring town and played on that court a few times.Probably the coolest high school gym I’ve ever been in. The teams nickname stems from the history of Lewistown and its surrounding area. Here’s a link to explain more about it.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dickson_Mounds