In the long-ago winter when I first began dating my husband Ted, his beloved Montreal Canadiens won the Stanley Cup, the grand prize of professional hockey. They won it the next year, and the year after that, and I realized that if I wanted a life with this man, I'd better learn something about hockey. One thing I have learned is that you have to keep your strength up during the long playoff season, if your team is good enough to stay in the playoffs. (Believe me, it's exhausting to be a spectator married to a true fan.) Nothing says "sports fan" like chili, and the best thing about it is that you can make a pot at the start of the playoffs, and that chili will see you through the end of the season. I love to make chili, with or without beans, with or without meat, on the stove or in the slow cooker, and of all the chili variations I've shared here, these are my very favorites.