Having returned from a weekend in Las Vegas where watching sporting events on big screen televisions was taken to excessive levels, let me comment today on another excess attached to the world of sports. The Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, TX is one of the NASCAR racing sites. It would seem that the folks who run the operation there have taken a page from minor league baseball in terms of strange culinary concoctions. Here are five things that you might – or might not – indulge yourself with should you take in an event at this facility:
The Shakin’ Bacon Brew: This concoction mixes Ugly Pug Black Lager (from a local microbrewery) with vanilla ice cream, bacon-infused maple syrup and a topping of candied bacon. Actually, all of those ingredients taken singularly are inviting; this seems like something that is less than the sum of its parts. If you doubt that, why not also add a dollop of Dijon mustard to the mixture. After all, it would provide another flavor…
Hawg Heaven Bacon Cotton Candy: Yes, this is bacon infused cotton candy and to add extra flavor, there are candy-coated bacon bits as a topping.
Bacon Cotton Candy Martini: This is more than just Bacon Cotton Candy garnishing a martini; after all, that would not be very creative. This drink consists of citrus vodka infused with bacon cotton candy in a martini glass rimmed with brown sugar. Oh and for a garnish, it gets two strips of candied bacon and a slice of apple. Before you ask, I have no idea if it is shaken or stirred…
Jackalope Sausage: Yes, this is a sausage made from ground pork, rabbit and antelope. Of course, you can add a multitude of toppings to this offering.
Smokin’ Hubcaps: This seems like an appropriate name for a sandwich at a NASCAR venue – until you realize there are no hubcaps on NASCAR vehicles. This is a sandwich consisting of barbecue beef brisket topped with onion straws, coleslaw and cheddar cheese – between two glazed sugar donuts.
Speaking obliquely about NASCAR, here is a comment from Greg Cote in the Miami Herald about another NASCAR creation:
“NASCAR teamed with actress Alyssa Milano to create a line of fashionable apparel for women race fans. I am picturing a tastefully sequined Confederate flag.”
While in Las Vegas last weekend, I got to watch every NFL football game played on Sunday – including the “London Game” between the Niners and the Jaguars – which was competitive for about the first 5 minutes. Seeing a very large Wembley Stadium virtually full of fans made me understand why the NFL keeps putting games there and looks to expand the number of games there in the next few years. A report several weeks ago said that there might be a “third London Game” in the offing for next season; there are rumors that the NFL is considering putting as many as 8 games there per season by 2016. I have two comments on those rumors/speculations:
1. If the NFL is going to put 3 games there next season, they must put better games there than the ones they had this year. When the Steelers and the Vikings met in London, neither team had a win; last weekend, the Jaguars were an absolute mismatch for the Niners. The NFL attracted about 83,500 British/European fans for a second game this year but that is not going to continue to be the case if the only games the fans there get to see are bad ones.
2. The first thought many folks have with regard to the idea that the NFL might put 8 games there in a season is that the league might as well just put a franchise in London and be done with it. Not so fast my friend… [/Lee Corso] The ocean-crossing/jet lag problems can be spread among various teams if these continue to be random scheduling events as opposed to having one team in London having to deal with those issues for 8 away games every season. This is not the philosophy of “sharing the wealth”; rather, this is a way for the league to get a bunch of teams to “share the misery”.
Having enjoyed a weekend of sports wagering in Las Vegas brings me to the point where I need to recommend reading for all of you. This link will take you to a recent article at sportsonearth.com by Brian Tuohy about why sports gambling should be legalized in the US.
Here are the first two paragraphs from that article to whet your appetite:
“Imagine for a moment that you had to be in the state of New York, physically, to invest in the stock market. That you couldn’t pick up a phone to call your broker, or use a website to buy or sell stocks and mutual funds, because doing so would be a violation of federal law. Instead, you were compelled to invest your money with criminals who ran their own version of the stock market, using the same basic mechanisms as the NYSE, except with no oversight whatsoever. If your stock went up, you might — might — get paid. If your portfolio took a nosedive, and you failed to meet your margin call, your legs would get broken. And no one within the United States had a problem with this system.
“This subversive stock market exists. It’s known as sports gambling in the United States.”
In the past, I have referred to PASPA (The Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992) as the “Local Bookies’ Full Employment Act”. When you finish reading Brian Tuohy’s piece, you will understand completely why I came to that conclusion.
Finally, let me close today with another item from Greg Cote of the Miami Herald:
“As a security measure, NFL stadiums now require bags carried by fans to be of the clear plastic variety. Officials worry bad guys will in turn develop guns that look like ham sandwiches.”
But don’t get me wrong, I love sports………