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It’s the second most wonderful time of the year. Baseball season is back, second only to the return of football season, and it’s time to prepare for summer tailgates, getting blackout drunk, and soaking up the alcohol with overpriced ballpark food. A trend began last year where every major league ballpark was trying to outdo one another with over-the-top foodstuffs. It started with delicious, sensible sounding options like the Braves’ Burgerizza (pizza burger), TED (The Everything Dog), and Tater Tot Chop. There were the Rangers’ Wicked Pig (huge pig-meat sandwich), the Dbacks’ Cheeseburger Dog, the Jays’ Chicken and Waffles on a Stick, the Mets’ 108 Burger, the Royals’ Champions Alley Burger and Hot Dog, and so on. These were all cool options.
However, things are starting to get out of hand. Now there are absurd options. It also started last year, with selections including the Pirates’ Cracker Jack and Mac Dog, the Indians’ Slider Dog with Fruit Loops, and the Astros’ Sweet Potato Waffle Chicken Sandwich with Greek Yogurt. Now it’s expanding to the Tigers’ Coney Island Hot Dog Pizza and the Rangers’ Texas Snow Balls (brisket in funnel cake batter topped with powdered sugar). I’ll give you a minute to stop laughing at “snow balls,” pervs. The idea started out cool with enhanced burgers packed with different kinds of meat and loaded chili nacho dogs. Creative, inside-the-box twists on ballpark favorites. Now we’ve gone way off the reservation.
Some of these more exotic items sound like they were concoctions created by a pothead who had limited options in his pantry. Cracker Jacks with mac and cheese or Fruit Loops on a hot dog? Hot dog pizza? Brisket funnel cake? Who ruins brisket like that? Texas boasts the best brisket in the country and you’re telling me you’re going to ruin it in a funnel cake with powdered sugar? I’ll just take a giant brisket sandwich smothered in barbecue sauce, thank you very much.
This is just getting out of hand. These creative food options are cool and add a uniqueness to each city’s ballpark, but instead of trying too hard and piling whatever food item comes to mind on a bun composed of any carbohydrate known to man, please for the love of God try something that makes sense. There should be a chart of acceptable combinations to keep things within acceptable parameters. For example, it would show that acceptable toppings to hot dogs include ketchup, mustard, relish, sauerkraut, chili, cheese, mac, beef, maybe onions, chicken, tomato sauce, and slaw. I don’t think I could eat Cracker Jack hot dogs even if I was stoned out of my mind unless it was my only option.
I know the epidemically obese America seems like its citizens will eat literally anything, but the more out of the mainstream you get, the fewer people will buy into your “pile shit on a bun” cult. Take a step back and stick to the basics, there’s no need to ruin perfectly good brisket with fried dough or disgrace a pizza with hot dogs. Not everything goes together. You look like a try hard when you have a real opportunity to be a drunk junk food god (or goddess)..
Image via Rovell