If you follow sports media enough to be reading this corner of the internet, then sometime over the next week -- repeatedly, perhaps -- you'll surely hear someone in the media complain about how lousy it is to cover Super Bowl week.
And those people are right to do so: the week leading up to the Super Bowl is the business side of sports at its most nakedly capitalistic. PR flacks wrangle access to athletes with something to sell, the athletes say dull things and endorse products, desperate members of the media interview other members of the media. In New Orleans, perhaps America's most original and culturally vibrant city, middle-aged white men in khakis will meet in windowless convention center rooms to eat bland sandwiches and file 800-word dispatches about nothing.
True, I have work to do in that convention center. I will speak to athletes with products to endorse. I will try like to hell to make them enjoy those conversations, to loosen them up, to say something fun on camera for SB Nation's video coverage of the Super Bowl (SPONSORED BY HYUNDAI PLEASE BUY AS MANY HYUNDAIS AS YOU CAN). I'm a wheel in the machine, but function can have form as well, and I don't want to be so cynical as to complain about six days in New Orleans -- not when the plane I boarded in New York was de-iced for twenty minutes before we took off in the swirling snow.
All of this is a long-winded way of introducing Gnawlins, my Super Bowl food diary. Throughout my off-hours this week (and perhaps occasionally during some on-hours, too), I will seek out the best food and drink in New Orleans, consume it with abandon, and record my gluttony here. Poboys will be devoured; etoufee demolished; Sazeracs Instagrammed and ingested.
Due to some uncertainties in our shooting schedule, I'll have to improv throughout the week, occasionally tackling what's nearby in lieu of what I want the most. But I'll be guided by two words from the improv world, two words that epitomize the medium's desire to maximize the experience for both the performers and the audience: "Yes, and ..."
Yes. Another. More. It's going to be a fun week. You won't hear me complain.