Football and Cigars: Always Better Together

By The Cigar Don

We check out the storied history between coaches and their stogies and our recommendations for you to test out.

The leaves are starting to fall, and for many of us cigar guys, that means a chance to pair two of our favorite things in life together once again—football and cigars. And since there are plenty of chances to catch a good game Thursday through Sunday each week, there are plenty of chances to enjoy a good stogie along with it.

Football and cigars have a long, storied history together. Whether it’s celebrating a win, lamenting a loss, pregame tailgating or relaxing while you watch a big game, cigars have always been a terrific companion to many.

Many of you may not know that there used to be a Cigar Bowl held every New Year’s Day. It was played in Tampa, F.L. during the 1940s and ’50s and featured college football teams. I certainly lament the fact that American culture today would likely not support a similar event.

I long for the days when coaches would roam the sidelines with stogies hanging out of their mouths and players would even smoke them in the locker room. Famous coaches and leaders like John McKay, Mike Ditka, Red Auerbach and Art Rooney are known for their love of cigars. Many prominent players over the years likewise have a love for the leaf: Mean Joe Greene, Terry Bradshaw, Thurman Thomas and Michael Irvin are among them.

For ordinary guys like us, though, it’s all about enjoying two things we love, together. And for me, a good cigar just plain enhances my enjoyment of the game.

The pregame cigar selection is big. I normally recommend a larger ring gauge (50 or higher) and longer length (5” or longer) for the cigar, as you usually will have plenty of time to enjoy it. If there are pregame festivities, I will typically smoke something bolder and fuller bodied before the game, then follow it up with something more mild bodied and smooth during the game.

As for the brand, I usually go with nothing more than my mood and gut feel—sometimes a brand just sounds good to me when I consider the game and my team. Here are a few of my consistent favorites for the gridiron:

CigarDon is the lead copywriter for, America’s fastest growing cigar retailer.  He is also the founder and editor of the, a leading cigar blog that delivers ‘real cigar talk to cigar guys.The Don knows his cigars and he loves to talk about them with anyone that will listen.  He’s anything but a cigar snob.  He will drop cigar knowledge on you, but he’ll do it with plain talk every time.


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