By Steve Silverman
» More Columns
There’s a rather strange phenomenon going on in Major League Baseball that runs counter to what has been going on throughout the rest of society for the last two-plus decades.
No, we are not talking about the slow-moving games that shot past the three-hour mark five years ago and are averaging 3:09 this year despite the league’s efforts to speed up the game.
That’s a problem and it will be addressed, but just not today.
The issue that I will address in this piece is the fat- and calorie-laden foods that are often found at ballparks around the country.
As society grows more health conscious and tries to make more responsible choices at supermarkets and restaurants, baseball stadiums from coast to coast have ignored these cues.
For those who want to be unrepentant gluttons, just make a trip to your local stadium and take a walk around the concourse so you can satisfy your hunger.
(Confession: As I write this column, I am at least 20 pounds overweight, a place I have been for at least the last 20 years. I am also munching on a glazed donut as these words flow out of my finger tips.)
S’Mores Bacon on a Stick — This is a Citi Field specialty and it couldn’t be more disgusting. I am definitely in the bacon camp and find that it can be one of the most perfect foods on earth in its traditional place with eggs, pancakes, or on top of a burger. But combine it with the S’more and you have a nightmare of gastric proportion.
Larry David put it best when his “friends” were eating S’mores on the beach during one of the best “Curb Your Enthusiasm” episodes. They are disgusting and shouldn’t be eaten by anyone over the age of 8 — my conclusion — and they are not saved by the bacon. Avoid this at all costs. Not only is it a caloric disaster, it’s a food mismatch of epic proportion.
Helmet Sundae — This remarkable bit of avarice can be found at Guaranteed Rate Field on the South Side of Chicago, formerly known as U.S. Cellular Field. It is more than three pounds of ice cream in a baseball helmet — full-sized and not a mini-helmet — with a variety of gooey toppings. How could any one person eat this ridiculous monstrosity? How could any four people take this thing down? Where do the White Sox get off selling this ridiculous calorie fest?
Chicken Funnel Cake Sandwich — This is a specialty found in the desert. The Arizona Diamondbacks are more than happy to sell you an unhealthy dinner and dessert in the same package, as they combine fried chicken with funnel cake.
If this wasn’t disgusting enough, they top it off with black pepper, strawberry jelly and, of course, a more than ridiculous amount of syrup. This is ballpark food?
The Punisher — The Atlanta Braves make no attempt to couch what they are doing with this sandwich. They are telling the purchasers of this item that they are putting their heart at risk by ordering this gross monstrosity. The Punisher consists of fried rib meat, heaping helpings of barbecue sauce, and bacon. Fat upon fat on a bun. Enjoy.
Burgerizza — This is another Atlanta Braves special, and I would say that it’s impossible to eat, except that the Georgia fans have been putting this item away. Take a 20-ounce burger, and surround it with two pepperoni pizzas that serve as the bun. What are we trying to prove with this item?
Triple Sausage Bloody Mary — It’s not just the food, it’s the drinks. You can get a fine Bloody Mary at Target Field in Minnesota, but it’s not just the booze you have to worry about. Instead of sticking an olive or two on a skewer, the Twins offer three different kinds of sausage — Bratwurst, Polish and Andouille — with their vodka concoction.
Cracker Jack Dog — According to the lyrics of “Take Me Out to the Ballgame,” you are going to buy me some peanuts and Crackerjacks at the ball game. When you go to PNC Park in Pittsburgh, you can combine your Cracker Jacks with macaroni and cheese, along with a hot dog. It’s all combined on the same bun.
Rocky Mountain Oysters — This delicacy can be found at Coors Field in Denver. This is a staple in Colorado, and in case you didn’t know, Rocky Mountain Oysters are fried bull testicles that are sliced into bite-sized pieces. They have been selling these “oysters” for more than 20 years, and they are true fan favorites.
We could go on and on, because there is no shortage of fat-laden items available at stadiums.
The recommendation here is stick with a hot dog, a beer, and if you are still hungry, one bag of peanuts.
Enjoy your Fourth of July barbecue!
Follow Steve on Twitter at @Profootballboy