Super Bowl 51 is this Sunday, and whether you're a diehard fan of the New England Patriots or the Atlanta Falcons or simply watching "for the commercials," it's likely you'll be tuning in at some point.
And while many will be consuming chips, nachos, pizza and beer, enthusiasts who are fond of the leaf will be reaching for something else: a premium, handmade cigar.
The Super Bowl is far more than a game—it's an intense, once-a-year sporting spectacle. A match of such magnitude means it's the perfect time to reach for that special cigar you've been saving in your humidor.
Check out what the editors of Cigar Aficionado will be smoking as they watch the game. And let us know what you plan to smoke and your prediction for the game in the comments section below.
Marvin R. Shanken, Editor and Publisher
Smoke of choice: I'll decide my cigar at game time.
Prediction: I can understand why New England is the Super Bowl favorite, given Tom Brady's record of achievement, but I think Atlanta is a much stronger and better balanced team. Plus, the bookies are giving them three points. I'm all in for Atlanta.
David Savona, Executive Editor
Smoke of choice: Super Bowls aren't quick, so I typically reach for a big cigar for the big game. In the past I've broken out the "As," but this year I've got my eye on something a little different. I plan on smoking a Padrón Serie 1926 80 Years, a perfecto made to celebrate the 80th birthday of José Orlando Padrón. In 2008, we named it No. 2 Cigar of the Year.
Prediction: As for the game, although I was born and raised in Connecticut, I'm a blue-hearted New York Giants fan, so I just can't root for the Patriots. Go Atlanta.
Gordon Mott, Senior Contributing Editor
Smoke of choice: A Super Bowl cigar in Mexico? NFL is big down here, so no problem getting the game on TV. But somehow, it's not your typical football game. I have to consider what goes with carnitas tacos, good guacamole from ripe avocados and, of course, Tequila. And, with all things considered, (and of course that somehow it just doesn't seem right to smoke a Cuban cigar watching American football), I'm going to pull out one of my nicely aged Flor de Las Antillas from Pepin Garcia's My Father Cigar. That should do nicely.
Prediction: Let's be clear. My NFL season ended weeks ago, but in honor of the sport, you have to watch the Super Bowl. And, I read what Dave wrote. No way, Brady or Belichick. So, go Falcons.
Jack Bettridge, Senior Features Editor
Smoke of choice: As the Ravens aren't playing I'm not rooting for anyone this year... but I sure am rooting against the Patriots. So I looked for a Falcon cigar, but alas, none exists. Next, I thought "any kind of bird." Well, there's the White Owl, but, hey, we smoke only premium handmade here. It didn't take much Googling—once I got past vintage cigar boxes with birds on them and that picture of Hitchcock with a crow alighting on his cigar—to find Drew Estate's Kentucky Fire Cured Yard Bird size. It's doubly appropriate since the yard is where I'll be smoking it at halftime. And what will I cut and light it with? Colibri tools...you know, the hummingbird.
Prediction: If all the bird mojo works, 50-0 Falcons. If not, 27-14 Patriots, and I lose my shirt.
Greg Mottola, Senior Editor
Smoke of choice: I have a big Partagás Lusitania Gran Reserva sitting in my humidor that I never found the time to smoke. I think that's what I'm reaching for. As for where I'm smoking it, I'll most likely end up at the cigar lounge that's serving the best French onion dip.
Prediction: I don't know much about football, so my prediction won't really be too insightful. Who's playing again? The Miami Dolphins?
Andrew Nagy, Associate Editor
Smoke of choice: Being from Maine and raised as a lifelong Pats fan (hopefully not one of the obnoxious ones), I plan to go "full New England" for the game: a 7-20-4 Factory 57 Corona Gorda from Kurt Kendall's New Hampshire-based Vintage Cigar Distributors in one hand, an Allagash Black in the other.
Prediction: Tom Brady, energized by Deflategate anger, his supermodel wife's cheers and the screaming superfan in row 8000, marches the Patriots downfield over and over again as if the Falcons defense were ghosts. The game quickly becomes a slaughter, and Roger Goodell has no choice but to sneak out of the stadium just before the Lombardi trophy ceremony. Patriots 98-6.
David Clough, Assistant Editor/Tasting Coordinator
Smoke of choice: The Super Bowl calls for something American-made, so I'm going with the Padilla Miami 8&11 Robusto, rolled in Miami at El Titan de Bronze.
Prediction: Born and raised in New England, so I'm with the Patriots. Patriots 34-27.
Blake Droesch, Editorial Assistant
Smoke of choice: Cigarmaker Nicholas Melillo says some of the filler leaves in his El Güegüense blend date back to 2011, the last year my New York Jets won a playoff game. This Sunday, I'll be reminiscing on better days with his Corona Gorda vitola, which we named the No. 25 Cigar of 2016.
Prediction: Football fans have underestimated Matt Ryan's ability all season long. Get Ryan in sync with Julio Jones and we could be looking at another Super Bowl upset for Brady and the Pats. Falcons 24-21.