Perhaps no one is truly shocked that the Miami Dolphins have failed to land a spot in the playoffs, leaving South Floridians without a team to support this weekend. It's been ten years since our last Divisional Playoff game, for Christ's sake.
I suppose we will have to dry our tears on our beach towels and choose another team to root for this weekend. How do you decide which team to support, you ask? Maybe it's your hometown team. Or... maybe it's a team with delicious local food.
Here's a list of teams talented enough to make the playoffs and the cuisine for which the city is famous. Let your palate predict the winning teams for this weekend's Divisional Playoffs.
Saturday, January 15
Baltimore Ravens versus Pittsburgh Steelers
Nothing says Maryland like crab. Ravens fans can get their blue crab fix at Lake Worth's Riggins Crabhouse (607 Ridge Road) or Rustic Inn in Fort Lauderdale (4331 Ravenswood Road).
Terrible towel-ers can grab an "almost famous" Primanti Bros. Pitts-burgher -- a cheese steak sandwiched between Italian bread and topped with French fries, coleslaw, and tomatoes -- at one of its three locations: 901 N. Fort Lauderdale Beach Blvd.; 516 E. Oakland Park Blvd in Wilton Manors; 2019 North University Drive in Sunrise.
Green Bay Packers vs. Atlanta Falcons
Green Bay Cheeseheads eat cheese. If you are backing the Packers, how about showing support by enjoying some dairy delight from one of Florida's artisan cheese makers in Miami -- Hani's Organics (7758 88th St.) -- who specialize in fabulous goat-milk cheese.
Is it fried goodness and peach cobbler you desire? Then Georgia's cuisine may satisfy that cholesterol craving. A special place where you can get wonderful southern soul food such as fried chicken, okra and collard greens is at Betty's Restaurant in Lauderdale Lakes (601 NW 22nd Rd).
Sunday, Jan. 16
New York Jets
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vs. New England Patriots
The J.E.T.S SUCK, SUCK, SUCK! I cannot in good conscience recommend a food or restaurant to enjoy in support of this team. Instead, go eat some Clam Chowder chocked full of meaty clams and bits of potato in a creamy broth at Village Pump (4404 El Mar Drive, Lauderdale-by-the-Sea) and support the Patriots alongside enthusiastic New England natives.
Seattle Seahawks vs. Chicago Bears
Located in virtually every strip mall in Seattle is an eatery featuring a version of Pho, a Vietnamese soup. Try Fort Lauderdale's version of Beef Pho at Basilic Vietnamese Grille (218 E. Commercial Blvd.), it rated #74 in New Times 2010's 100 favorite dishes.
Rating even higher (#66) in last year's 100 favorite dishes was the Chicago Dog from Hot Dog Heaven. Depending on if your in the mood for beefy broth or a Vienna dog topped with hot peppers, onions, and tomato will decide which team you're backing in this match.
Are you in the mood for crab, burgers, cheese, soul food, clam chowder, Pho, or a hot dog? Your palate may just decide which teams win this weekend.