Football is a team sport. That means that while superstars make the highlight reel, the men in the trenches — often the most reliable and the toughest — bring victory. Assembling the perfect team is hard: ask the “dream-team” Eagles or the 2013 Broncos. Every position, every player has to fill their role perfectly if they wish to win it all. Mismatches are easy to spot, and all the more exciting. This year’s Super Bowl between the Falcons and the Patriots is a battle between a surging offense and a reliable one, an underrated defense and a get-the-job-done one.
Who will win? Who knows? But, we imagined the perfect team, the undefeated, win-it-all team would look something like this — well, except in our case the players are beers. But, we can dream, right? Who hasn’t compared Ben Roethlisberger to a Bourbon County Brand Stout?
Introducing… your offense:
Wide Receiver: We imagine your top wide receiver has some flash to him. He’s cocky, he’s fast, and he’s a resident of the highlight-reel. Think of Odell Beckham Jr. but an Evil Twin Sour Bikini instead.
WR2: The number two guy. He’s the go-to-if-they’re-shutting-down-number-one-guy guy. He’s an AJ Green-type player. He’ll make the catch no matter where he is, and he has the ability to get loose and air it out. He’s our Allagash Saison Ale.
WR3: The third guy. He’s important, too. He’s the guy you’ll check-down to in the slot, or the guy that slips free because the defense forgot to cover him. He’s a Wes Welker or an Eric Decker. He’s reliable, but he’s a little lighter, sneakier in his play. He’s a Uinta Monkshine Belgian Style Blonde Ale.
Tight End: What’s the tight end for? He’s there to be brutish, strong and reliable. He’s the guy to bully the defense around, to make the strong catches, and to annoy opposing teams. He’s tall, strong, and overpowering — in a good way. He’s Rob Gronkowski. He’s the Grimm Double Negative.
Running Back: A great running back lingers — think of Le’veon Bell. He assesses the situation, finds the lane, and takes off. He’ll annoy you, hit you hard, and then force you to watch him dance around the end zone. He has a hop in his step, so it’s only right he’s the Russian River Blind Pig IPA.
Full Back: What’s a fullback known for? Blocking? Getting the job done and occasionally being in the right place at the right time? Well, yes, but it’s also about being out there for every play and being the unsung hero. Think of a Yuengling: it’s not the prettiest or the most complex, but it gets the job done.
Quarter Back: The quarterback, at least nowadays, can make or break a team. So, if you want to win the Super Bowl, you’re going to need a good one. One that doesn’t crack under pressure. One that is strong, sturdy, and can sacrifice it all for those extra yards. He’s Ben Roethlisberger — the Goose Island Beer Bourbon County Brand Stout.
Offensive Line: So, the offensive line isn’t always the prettiest group of guys. They’re gritty, feisty and they’re reliable. They’re focused on consistency – do they do their job every play? Yes, most of the time. So, these guys are the classic, American-Adjunct Lagers: Bud Light, Coors Light, Busch Light, and Michelob Ultra.
And, not forgotten, your defense:
Defensive End: The defensive end should be as overbearing and powerful as they are elusive and divisive. Their job is simply put: to the ravage the quarterback; to annoy the offensive line; to pummel you if you have the ball. That’s why the prototype defensive end is J.J. Watt, or in our case Flying Dog Gonzo Imperial Porter.
Defensive End: Now, no defense relies on one player to carry the load. That’s why a great team has two defensive threats. Two guys who will bash the line and take control of the game. That’s why lining up on the opposite side should be — thinking of Vic Beasley Jr. here — the North Coast Brewing Old Rasputin.
Defense Line: These guys, the two in the middle, get the job of distraction, filling out the middle, and getting to the running back. They’re nothing special, but they’re something you’d never want to play without. They’re, in terms of beer, the malt liquors: Colt 45 and St. Ides.
Outside Linebacker: The outside linebacker adds some spice to the defense. They’re fast, they’re aggressive, and they make a decent portion of the highlight reel plays as far as defensive players go. They’ll dance after they sack you, or they’ll make no mention of your superstardom. For this defense, we think Von Miller, or in beer-speak, the Rogue Ales Chipotle Ale.
Middle Linebacker: The middle linebacker is the quarterback of the defense. They play a chess match with the quarterback and usually, if something were to go terribly wrong, they’re somewhat at fault. So, if you’re going for it all, you need a linebacker who is as consistent as he his bold. Inspired by Bobby Wagner, we’d pick the Brooklyn Brown Ale.
Outside Linebacker: Two is better than one. So, on defense, you should have two capable, sturdy outside linebackers. They don’t both need to be stars, but who says they can’t be? They can be equally as aggressive and consistent. You say Jamie Collins, we say Victory Storm King.
Cornerback: This is the area of the field where your team can either excel or fail miserably. The secondary: one made infamous by the likes of the Legion of Boom and the No Fly Zone, relies on playmakers, trash-talkers, and ball-hawkers. For our first pick, we’d take Richard Sherman, or the Great Divide Hercules Double IPA.
Cornerback: No secondary succeeds without its unsung hero. The quiet guy who won’t take a penalty, or skirmish after the plays over; the kind of guy who consistently makes great play after great play. He’s not the loudest, but he doesn’t go unnoticed. He’s Chris Harris Jr. a.k.a. the New Belgium Shift Pale Lager.
Strong Safety: The safeties are as important as the cornerback. They’re the last line of defense, necessary to prevent the big, opposing offensive plays. A team needs a safety that is poised, reliable and complex. They need a safety like Earl Thomas, or in our case: Tröegs Hopback Amber Ale.
Free Safety: This is where it gets fun. The second safety does the same job, but they can do it with a little more flair. They’re the hard hitter, the blitzer, and the one to watch out for. He’ll sneak out from behind the linebackers and just, simply put, crush whoever has the ball. Ball carriers beware; it’s Darian Stewart, the Dark Horse Plead the 5th Imperial Stout.