Sports Illustrated launches a food vertical; expect the Longhorns and barbecue to get some play

Food and sports are intertwined in the national consciousness. “Buy me some peanuts and Cracker Jack,” it says it right there in the unofficial song of Major League Baseball. When you go to the San Francisco Giants game, you know you are getting parmesan fries, and a trip to a Longhorns game probably involves brisket (if it’s a really good tailgate) or ribs. At least burgers. To that end, Sports Illustrated has jumped into the food coverage game, one topic that remains hot in online journalism from Seattle to Miami. As Brett Martin of GQ put it on Twitter, “Everybody in the pool.”

ounders of the TXmEX tailgaters, from left, Jesse Reyna, Danny Rubio and Roy Alba, cook up lunch for members of their fan club outside the stadium. Texas Tailgaters were out in full force Friday afternoon November 25, 2016 for the Texas Longhorns’ season finale football game against TCU at home in Austin as fans from the Get ‘Em Hooked Tailgaters get ready for the big game. (Ralph Barrera AMERICAN-STATESMAN)

In its post announcing SI Eats, magazine senior writer Andy Staples said the new vertical from the stalwart brand would focus on where to eat near stadiums, on the way to games and at the games (both inside and out). The site will tell the stories of the people behind the food and focus on the type of cuisine (casual and comforting) we associate with sports, not foie gras.

Considering how big a role food plays at college football tailgates and in the college towns around America, expect the fall to be a big time of year for SI Eats and expect them to come a-knockin’ in Austin. I envision artisanal hot dogs from Frank at Scholz, barbecue at Franklin, Micklethwait and more, and maybe some tailgate burgers or fajitas. You can follow the nascent site at SI.com/eats.

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