Happy National Cheeseburger Day Lard

Good Afternoon, Broncos fans! Today is National Cheeseburger Day, so be sure to celebrate with your favorite version of the iconic American food.

A Hamburger Today is marking the occasion by giving away a signed copy of George Motz's Hamburger America. Motz's show Burger Land, which reairs on the Travel Channel next Wednesday and Thursday, is worth checking out.

My favorite version of our national treasure (favorite meal, really) is a rare burger with cheddar at J.G. Melon, along with their crispy cottage fries; the photo below is from my most recent trip there.

J.G. Melon is unfortuntely located on Manhattan's stuffier-than-stuffy Upper East Side, and the service isn't exactly top-shelf. But there's no better burger for my money.

As it happens, Ted Bartlett and I first met in person over Melon burgers, prior to his car burning up.

Here's a review of Melon from renowned burger expert Nick Solares, who also appears on Motz's Burger Land.

As for this great holiday, it will be observed in the Lee household tonight with homemade versions of the cheeseburgers at Shake Shack, which trail only Melon's on my list of personal favorites.

Complementing that recipe is a typically thorough description of the quintessential ingredients of a Shack Burger from J. Kenji López-Alt (nobody researches or tests a recipe better than Kenji).

The CliffsNotes version of it? Use Martin's Potato Rolls, loosely pack your own burgers (never, ever get pre-formed), and make sure there's enough fat in them (20%).

And for the love of Tebow, do not ever cook a burger on a grill - doing so causes that precious fat to drip out of the meat and into your coals, instead of going back into the burger, where it belongs. Smokiness is never worth the loss of fat, juiciness, or flavor.

Ever.

I happen to prefer cheddar to American on a burger, but American does have far superior melting qualities.

Let's hear in the comments about your favorite burger places, and methods of preparation.

But however you choose to enjoy yours, have a great Cheeseburger Day!

Broncos

Sam Monson praises the performances of Von Miller, Elvis Dumervil, Zane Beadles, and J.D. Walton, and he finds troubling that Peyton Manning made as many poor decisions as he did early on last night.

Bill Barnwell correctly points out that John Fox's decision to challenge the 12-men-on-the-field call last night was not a wise one, considering how little there was to gain on it, and especially considering how poor the officiating was, and has been. Also, he says the Broncos should have burnt a timeout prior to the two-minute warning, which is exactly what I was telling TJ and Ted last night.

Although Mike Lombardi sees the same old Peyton in terms of mental acumen, he thinks Peyton's arm strength leaves much to be desired.

Jason Whitlock believes Manning showed last night that he's essentially done challenging defenses downfield, and that Peyton should have signed with the Niners.

Christmas Ape recaps Denver/Atlanta and its finest moments.

Peter King, Sam DeWitt, and Tim Keown have had it with the replacement officials; Keown thinks the players should go on strike until the regular refs are brought back, and he drops the following gem:

And how about $10-million-a-year Goodell, discussing the pension benefit he's attempting to wrest away from the 119 part-time employees, saying, "Yours truly doesn't have that"? Let's all join together in hoping Roger can salt away a few pennies for retirement between now and 2019, when his salary rises to $20 million.

Even owner shill extraordinaire Jason Cole is finally acknowledging how much these replacement guys suck at their new jobs, now that one of the owners is criticizing the officiating himself.

Trimmings

Following Monday's game, Falcons RB Michael Turner was arrested on DUI and speeding charges.

Andre Carter is again working out for the Raiders; Drayton Florence suffered a broken arm during Detroit's loss at San Francisco; Philly placed center Jason Kelce on IR.

The bounty scandal is devolving into a battle of dueling subpoenas and affadavits.

Scott Kacsmar recaps the week's successful and failed comebacks; Chase Stuart looks at the history of teams climbing out of 0-2 holes to make the playoffs since 1990.

Offal

This is  vintage Jay Cutler, who admits he probably shouldn't have done J'Marcus Webb like he did.

The guys in Slayer also loved the John Clayton This is SportsCenter commercial.

RIP Steve Sabol, the energetic head of NFL Films, who died today after an 18-month battle with brain cancer, weeks shy of his 70th birthday. Thanks, Steve, for helping so many of us develop our love for the NFL game; NFL Films, Matt Yoder, Sam Page, and Christmas Ape offer tributes.

Doug is IAOFM’s resident newsman and spelling czar. Follow him on Twitter @IAOFM

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