NHL Playoff Symbolic Ritual Cannibalism – 2019 Round 1 Recap

If you’ve been following along on IG, none of this will be news to you. But I want to post a recap of our Round 1 Symbolic Ritual Cannibalism Playoff Dinners, and explain why it worked.

ICYMI this is a thing we do based on an old belief that by consuming the flesh of your enemies, you also consume their strengths. So I find an edible representation of the opposing team’s identity, and we eat that on game days during the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

The first year I did this was the year my Sharks made it to the final. We ate black rice (aka royal rice) every night they played the Kings. We ate bleu cheese sauce on our meals every night they played the Blues (I know, but if 90% of the Internet can spell it wrong so can I in this one instance and it worked). We ate catfish every night we played the Predators. Once we got to the final, I sadly realized too late that my melted penguin sauce needed to be peanut butter and jelly penguin sauce.

Next time, I will know.

For the Vegas Golden Knights, that representation was Buffet. Nothing says Vegas like buffet, and in the case of such a young and new franchise, the identity of the team is essentially the identity of the city. This is not always the case though, so be careful you don’t take it for granted when attempting to use dark magic to best your foes.

But for Vegas, yes, it was all about the buffet. I defined that as a minimum of 4 items, served in and on the most generic dishes possible, everything set up for us to fill our plates before sitting down to watch the game.

Game 1: Chinese Buffet.  The Sharks won.

Sesame ginger bok choy, lamb with noodles, lemon garlic snap peas & mushrooms, and sweet & spicy chicken breast

Game 2: Brunch Buffet. The Sharks lost.

Hash browns, steak & green chile scramble, fruit salad, and sourdough muffins, consumed with a selection of far too many bubbly brunch drinks

Game 3: Mexican Buffet. The Sharks lost.

Vegetarian tostada bar featuring jackfruit mole, cheesy black beans, and tomato rice served with baked corn tortillas and a large bottle of Kirkland sangria

Game 4: Crepe Buffet. The Sharks lost.

Sweet & Savory crepe bar featuring chicken, smoked salmon, spinach, strawberries, bananas, Nutella, and truffle spread

This left us on the brink of elimination, and I was running out of chances to find the magic. If I was wrong about the buffet concept, we were screwed. If I’d merely been making the wrong kind of buffet, we could still turn it around.

Game 5: Indian Buffet, the buffetest buffet in all buffetdom. The Sharks won.

Tandoori chicken with chana masala, roasted cauliflower, spicy green beans, fruit & vegetable salads, naan, mango chutney, mango mint raita, and kheer made with pearled couscous

China and India having a continent in common, I decided to play the odds and go with another Asian cuisine.

Game 6: Korean BBQ Buffet. The Sharks won.

Bulgogi with spicy slaw, hobak namul, yam fries with gojuchang aioli, and hobakjuk

And I said jokingly “well, I guess Asia hates Vegas.” To which my husband replied “seems weird, considering all the tourist money that comes in from Asia.”


The next morning I searched the phrase “Vegas Asia tourism” and on the first page of the results found no fewer than 6 articles about the increase in tourism to Vegas from the Asian continent starting in 2017.

The year the Golden Knights came into being.

Tourism is the lifeblood of Vegas. The source of the tourism money is the city’s true strength, and by extension the team’s true strength. I had found the magic. Asian-themed buffets were the magic.

Game 7: Japanese Buffet.

Grilled chicken teriyaki, handmade matcha udon with red peppers in spicy sesame sauce, tofu & bok choy salad with carrot ginger dressing, and a bastardized version of Temaki that consisted of sushi rice, avocado, and pickled carrots wrapped in nori that was way too small but got the job done

And my boys are now moving on to Round 2.

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