I’ve never really been into football. Rather than plopped in front of the TV on game days, I ‘ve always been known to be in the kitchen or on a running trail on those important fall days . In high school, I think I only made it to one or two of our high school football games, and I spent more time talking to my friends than actually watching what was happening on the field. I was never the girl who had a favorite Lion or Spartan. Heck, I didn’t even know any of the players’ names. But when I went to college, my dad insisted that I go see the Michigan State Spartans play football. I remember that first game I attended with my best friend LT. We were freshman, and we went to the game decked out in our green and white.
I actually paid attention to what was happening on the field, but I still didn’t quite “get” football. But then a few years later I met Eric. And for Eric, football was a passion stronger than anything. So just like he taste tested all my baked goods, and even went on a run or two with me, I decided to give “liking football” another chance. So we attended game after game our senior year and something happened.
I experienced the enthusiasm of the student section and sang along proudly whenever our fight song was played. Through the many, many interviews and Youtube videos Eric watched, I started to recognize the fierce loyalty that the players had to each other and to their coach. I learned to love the sharp focus that Coach Dantonio had, and began to laugh excitedly every time we caught one of those rare moments that he actually smiled. And somewhere along the way, I learned that football was much more than just a bunch of guys tackling each other. It is about loyalty to your team and the happy feeling you get when someone responds correctly to your shout of “Go Green” with a spirited “Go White.” It’s about that common bond you share with everyone who proudly wears the same team colors. And though I still don’t completely understand all of the rules of football, I like to think that I’ve finally begun to”get” football. So when our beloved Michigan State Spartans won the 100th Rose Bowl in Pasadena on New Year’s Day, even I, the former anti-football queen, got a little teary eyed. And while my ecstatic fiance was cheering on the Spartans at the game, I was plopped in front of the TV watching it with my parents. And I got to experience yet another great thing about game day. Game day food. My mom made these somewhat famous Hawaiian Ham & Cheese sliders for our game day meal. You may have seen this recipe on about 100 different websites, and it is definitely worth a try. You use the slightly sweet King’s Hawaiian rolls and a sweet glaze to create the perfect salty-sweet game day food. Bring them along to all of your tailgates next fall-I know I will!
Ingredients: Makes 24 sliders
- 2 dozen King’s Hawaiian rolls
- 1 lb. swiss cheese
- 2 lbs. sliced ham
- 1 cup butter, melted
- 4 tbsp brown sugar
- 1 tbsp poppy seeds
- 1 tbsp dijon mustard
- 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- Slice rolls in half and layer 2 slices of ham and 1 slice of cheese on each roll; spread rolls out on a lightly greased cookie sheet
- In a medium sized bowl, mix butter, brown sugar, mustard and Woscestershire sauce
- Drizzle butter mixture over all of the rolls, and sprinkle with poppy sides
- Cover sliders with tin foil and bake at 325 for 25 minutes