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Smoking ribs Brooklyn style

Fantasy ribs?
Fantasy ribs?
I just got through devouring a full rack of smoked Kansas City style ribs from my recently purchased smoker and I think it would be a crime if I didn’t share the secret to their success. It goes without saying that you have to start with a great cut of meat. I go to my local butcher at the Meat Market in Windsor Terrace, NY. 3 racks of pork spare ribs later and I’m off and smoking. Well, that is after I take off the thin membrane on the underside of the ribs and throw on my Kansas City style rub. Only this time I kicked it up a notch and added a little Nigerian cayenne pepper and a dash of creole seasoning. Spread a little yellow mustard on the ribs before you slap on your rub so that every bit of that flavor sticks to the ribs. Don’t be shy with the mustard- you won’t taste it in the end. I haven’t figured out why – I chalk it up to chemistry. I then threw some apple chips in the smoker with a little apple and orange juice mix in a water tray for extra moisture. Get that smoker cranking at 225 degrees, throw in your meat and 5-6 hours later you’ll be licking every bit of those ribs off of yourimg_4117 fingers. Oh, I almost forgot. I spread a generous amount of HOT Bone Suck’in Sauce on the ribs for the last 45 minutes of the smoke. Then I took them out, wrapped them in tin foil and covered them with a towel for about another 15 minutes. This helped to keep the juice and flavor trapped in the ribs. Crack an ice cold Brooklyn Lager and you’re good to go. If you like spicy food you’ll love these ribs. If you’re like my wife, you’ll be reaching for a glass of water every 10 seconds. Either way, they’ll be memorable.
Give it a try and tell me what you think. Damn, now I’m hungry again.

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Stop comparing these Celtics to the greats of the past

images-13 I grew up watching basketball when it was at it’s pinnacle, as far as I’m concerned, during the 1980’s. Magic was the most dynamic player in the league and was the orchestrator of “show time” in LA. Dr. J was winding down his career but still a highlight waiting to happen every night. And the Celtics where the most fundamentally sound team in the league with Parrish, McAle, D.J., Ainge and of course, Larry Bird. It was a great time to be a basketball fan and looking back I now realize I was fortunate to witness all of those great players. Players that for the most part are now in the Hall of Fame.
It brings me to my point. Let’s stop with instantly comparing the players of today to those great players of the past. Just try to enjoy these players for what they’re accomplishing and leave it at that. Why do we have such an urge to instantly compare players and eras? The Celtics are once again in the NBA Finals and I’ve already heard people talking about them in the same breath as the Celtics of the 80’s. Either it’s being done by people under the age of 30 or by others who are suffering from lapses in memory. Bird and the Celtics were a toss up year after year with the Lakers to win the championship. They were as close to the modern day dynasty as a team could get. Todays Celtics need a few more years and championships to deserve such a comparison. Anyway, can’t we at least wait until AFTER the NBA Finals?

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The Mini Throwback fantasy football trophy is almost finished

The Mini Throwback fantasy football trophy is coming
The Mini Throwback fantasy football trophy is coming

Update: The Mini Throwback fantasy football trophy is one step closer to completion. We just pulled the first cast from the throwaway mold and now will spend some time cleaning him up. After that we’ll make another mold of him and then he’ll be ready to join the rest of the greats. Be patient, this stuff takes time. -DM

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Unlike Lebron, Howard and the Magic continue to fight

Dwight Howard is setting the tone
Dwight Howard is setting the tone
You gotta give the Orlando Magic credit. Unlike Lebron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers, who showed no heart against Boston when the series was tied at two games apiece, the Magic continue to fight even after being down 0-3. Orlando is still a dangerous team that is now looking good to push the series to a game seven. Especially if Perkins is suspended for game 6 after receiving his 7th technical of the playoffs and with Baby Davis recovering from a concussion. Is it the “master of panic” Stan Van Gundy who is pushing all the right buttons or just the fact the Magic didn’t want to go out with their tails between their legs? Either way it’s an impressive showing and one Lebron hopefully is paying attention to. Lebron can fool himself into believing the Celtics were just a better team than they were, but the fact of the matter is that Lebron gave up on that series and showed no thumbheart or leadership when the team needed him most. Unlike Dwight Howard who is battling to the end, Lebron looked like a guy who had one half of his mind on free agency and the other on a sunny vacation destination. I just hope he’s able to receive TNT or ESPN wherever he is so that he can see for himself how a team and especially a leader is to play when fighting for it’s first championship. -DM

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2014 Super Bowl in NYC a bad idea

The NFL owners voted to have the 2014 Super Bowl in New York City and I gotta say, I’m not feel’in this one. The Super Bowl is the one sporting event that defines American sports culture. It’s a game that is watched by millions and even by those who couldn’t even tell you what a first down is and think Peyton Manning is the guy on Saturday Night Live.
The day itself has almost become bigger than the game and is regarded by many as a national holiday. It’s a reason to party. A chance to kick back, crack a beer with friends and family and watch the two best teams battle it out to see who is deserving of the Lombardi trophy.
Last years game was a perfect example of what the Super Bowl was meant to be. Two incredible teams slugging it out to the very end. A display of high powered offenses and rock solid defenses that left everything they had out on the field. A field, I might add, that was in perfect condition.
Can you imagine last years game being played in NYC in possibly a sloppy mess? Drew Brees and Peyton Manningimages-11 would finally have a chance to display their incredible talent in handing the ball off 30-40 times. I know many think that would make for a memorable game. Perhaps. However, it could also make for a 6-3 game that is boring as hell. Recently the Bears and Colts played in Super Bowl XLI and the weather became a factor. It was raining the majority of the game. Remember? Oh, it’s because the game was horribly boring. Nothing memorable about it. True, some snow or rain games are memorable and are part of football lore. However, more games played in bad weather are just bad. Why take the chance? -DM

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Life drawing, nudes and a fantasy football trophy

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"Heidi Klum they are NOT."

Believe it or not, FantasyTrophies.com has been around for nearly 15 years now and many guys have asked me how it came to be. It all started when I sculpted the original Armchair Quarterback while an art major at Kent State University in Kent , OH. At the time I was taking only classes that involved looking at naked people all day- Figure Drawing, Figure Painting, and Figure Sculpture. Unfortunately when you go to art school you realize early on that you won’t be looking at very attractive people on a daily basis. Heidi Klum they are NOT. Anyway, during this time I was in a very competitive fantasy football league with my buddies back in Cleveland and I thought I’d put this art degree I was earning to some use and sculpt a trophy. I knew I had to come up with something good and a trophy that would capture the true essence of the guys in the league. I had seen all of the lame excuses for trophies that were out there and continue to pollute the web and knew they didn’t come close to what I wanted. No, this fantasy football trophy had to be an original. It had to say it was dscn0163ONLY for fantasy and not be mistaken for the pee wee football trophy you were given in 5th grade. Thus, the Armchair Quarterback was born.

The unveiling took place on draft day in 1993 and the guys went nuts. Our league’s prize money instantly ended up taking a back seat to the trophy, which became know as The Fedele. (story for another blog post) Now the trophy is on it’s 20th year of honoring our past champions and the desire to win it has only grown. Guys that have won it twice have ultimate bragging rights while the ones who are not on it at all continue to experience the unending ridicule that only beer drinking “friends” can dish out. Trash talking is no doubt a form of mental abuse.
After seeing the reaction of my friends and what the trophy did to the competitive level of our league I knew that other leagues out there could benefit from my creation. Soon FantasyTrophies.com came to be. Since that unveiling I’ve moved to Brooklyn, NY, got married, started a family, and teamed up with two other artists who share my passion for creating the best, most original fantasy sports trophies ever. As you can see on our site, I’ve gone on to sculpt trophies for baseball, basketball, and nascar and willimages6 continue to try and put that Art degree to good use for the benefit of fantasy leagues everywhere. After all, having to look at the naked people I did for nearly 8 hrs a day should amount to something in life.-Shouldn’t it? -DM

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Note to Lebron: Kobe’s face says it all

images-1I hope Lebron watched last night’s game between the Lakers and the Suns and took one thing from it besides Kobe’s mid-range jumper. It’s the look a champion has when he says to himself, “there is no way I’m losing this game.” Kobe Bryant’s face said it all. It was a look and a scowl that Lebron never possessed during the entire series with the Celtics and is the reason why so many are wondering what was up with King James. After all, Lebron has shown that he possesses that fiery look. We all saw it in that infamous overtime win against Detroit in 2007, in the 2008 series against the Celtics and Paul Pierce and last season against the Magic. It was strangely absent though this year when it mattered most.
Now don’t get me wrong, the Celtics were clearly a better team during this series and Lebron could’ve used a few other things than just an ugly look on his face when driving to the rim. More commitment on the defensive end from the rest of the team would’ve been a good start. However, watching Kobe last night makes you realize that Lebron will never wear a championship ring if he doesn’t figure out how to have that scowl on a moments notice. You get the feeling with Kobe that he wakes up the morning of a big game and has it on his face while he’s eating breakfast. Well, it’s time Lebron eats his Wheaties with the look of a champion. -DM

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New Fantasy Football Trophy on the Way

A smaller Throwback trophy is coming!
A smaller Throwback trophy is coming!

What a week at FantasyTrophies.com. We’ve just finished our fantasy hockey trophy, the Armchair Goon (see previous post), and now we’re in the process of shrinking the Throwback. Like what happened with our fans who kept asking for a hockey trophy, we had to finally listen to the football leagues who said they’d love to have a small Throwback to keep for themselves after the large one moved on to another recipient. Well, he’s on his way. To achieve a smaller version, we use an incredible product that actually shrinks in perfect proportion to the original sculpture. In the case of the Throwback it will end up nearly 1/3 the size. After the material reaches it’s final size we can then take a mold from that new smaller version. That is the stage we’re at right now. Keep checking back and I’ll have more updates. Thanks, Dave

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Our fantasy hockey trophy has arrived- Introducing the Armchair Goon!

It’s been a long 4 months, but the Armchair Goon is finally ready to take his rightful place among the greats. Yes hockey fans, you’ll soon be able to play for the most original fantasy hockey trophy you can find. Believe me, I’ve looked and only some lame rip offs of the Stanley Cup exist out there. You’ve asked for it and now he’s here. Contact me for pre-ordering details and leave a comment to tell me what you think. – DM

Our fantasy hockey trophy has arrived - The Armchair Goon
Our fantasy hockey trophy has arrived - The Armchair Goon

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The Fantasy Hockey trophy is days away

My new fantasy hockey trophy is in the final stages. I’d say he’s even past due. He sits encapsulated in the rubber that will serve as his final blanket mold. We poured the rubber yesterday and now all we can do is wait until it dries. It’s like I’m anticipating the birth of a son. Who needs a cigar?
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