Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Food for Thought

I imagine how it must be in first class on the plane. The drinks flowing, the food choices many and sumptuous, the seats holding you in a warm embrace, the atmosphere reeking with the smell of decadence.

Meanwhile, back in steerage, I am asking my wife if she is going to eat all her potato chips, as the six that came in my bag did not fully satiate me. I resemble a sardine, wedged in and hoping the person in the window seat does not have a weak bladder. I stare towards the front, envious of what life is like on the other side of that curtain.

Welcome to Yankee Stadium.

It was not always that way, or at least not the way I recall it. "Baseball and Ballentine" was how the game was sold in the days of my youth. Very plebeian, without the frills, a game for the masses to share and share alike. This was not the place for gourmet, but was intended for those folks who believed that hot dogs and hamburgers were as American as the pastime itself.

I show my ticket to the guardian of this gate. She stands outside one of the many restaurants in this House that Ruth did not build. She slips on my wrist the band that will permit me inside the Jim Beam lounge, with its free popcorn and peanuts (how would I have to amend the lyrics to "Take Me Out to the Ballgame?"). For those who did not pay the requisite price, this place, like others reserved for the elite, is as off limits as the clubhouse was to the fairer sex in the Berenstain Bears classic, "No Girls Allowed." Mine is a mid-level price ticket, and thus my entry to the more refined dining establishments will not be granted, my garnished wrist notwithstanding.

This is not to say that there are not a plethora of choices available to the "have nots' (at least as it is defined in this universe) such to warm the heart of a cardiologist seeking to increase his clientele. In fact, it should be mandatory, in addition to posting warnings about the thousands of calories you are about to ingest, that there is a reminder to those indulging to be certain your life insurance premium has been paid. In no particular order of the magnitude of their negative impact on bodily functions, there is the Triple Play Stand with its burger with beef, bacon, pastrami, American cheese and goat sauce; NY Grill with a shaved pork sandwich featuring broccoli rabe and provolone cheese; the Grilled Cheese stand (we do like our cheese);Chicken and Waffles; Brother Jimmy's Barbecue with its fried pickles and mac and cheese; Bacon on a Stick (which needs no further explanation); Tacos; NYY Steak Express and, of course, a Gluten Free NY Grill for those who actually are cognizant of some dietary restrictions.

Throw in all the ice cream cones or the tiny plastic helmets that house your favorite flavor, and you have undoubtedly just completed one of the most unhealthy meals you will ever consume. Oh yes, if you are still hungry, maybe you can top it off with one of those foot long hot dogs demanding to be wolfed down.

While I stare in through the window at those who are dining with their tablecloths and their utensils not made of plastic, I think back on those simpler times when baseball was free of steroids, wild cards, instant replays and wristbands. When there were not waiters and waitresses who came to the seats of the wellest to do and asked them to place their order. When hot dogs and hamburgers were the only options and we did not line up for our Chinese food or even Papa John's pizza.  

Those days are long gone and what remains is something that Phil Rizzuto might, in his own unique lexicon, respond to with a "holy cow." Now that could well be the name of the next food offering to appear at the Stadium.


Anonymous said...

Holy COW!!!


Anonymous said...

Great article...Couldn't agree more. It's amazing that the tub of popcorn has more calories than some of these new food items!


Anonymous said...

- At least you get your veggies with the pork sandwich

- A baseball game does not need wristbands, but unfortunately in today's world it does need experiences beyond the diamond and the footlong. A persons time is very competitive these days (this comes up when we discuss why golf play has declined). Similar to how golf has "tee it forward" and "play 9 hole" campaigns, and the rules are slowly but surely loosening, baseball needs arcade rooms to entertain the kids, "foodie food" to satisfy the yuppies, selfie contests for millenials, and vegan for the self-conscious, hippies, and Richie.

- Given how they don't seem to sell out with this new arrangement, they should go back to giving everyone access to the entire stadium. Get rid of the damn buffet inside for the suit and ties, and the morelli's.


Anonymous said...

i liked it a lot!


Robert said...

There is something about being at a game that brings about the desire to eat unhealthy foods in unhealthy quantities.