Went to a basketball game this evening. Season opener for the local America East Conference team.
So, MJ and I tow Granddad and the kids to the game. Took our bleacher seats and dug in trying to remember how basketball worked enough that I at least seemed to know what I was talking about explaining the game to the kids. That's really my style of fathering.
It's not that I don't know the rules and whatnot... basketball was one of the only things we had to do around here as kids. I just don't understand why they spend so much time calling fouls and taking time-outs. That said, at least all the stoppage in play gives the pep band a good amount of time to jam.
So what's this got to do with food? I'm glad you asked.
Now the mascot for the local team is a Chesapeake Bay Retriever. That's a dog. A big, loyal, brown dog. Sort of like a Golden Retriever, but less dumb. Nothing against Golden Retrievers; Bay Retrievers make me look dumb too. They're smart dogs. One named Cookie saved my life once. I was walking him through an alley in Washington, D.C. when a mean-ass Doberman burst through a hole in a wooden fence and came up on me. The Bay Retriever leaned into the Dobby and gave it such a snarl the dog retreated in a whimper. So, I have a thing for Bay dogs.
Anyhow, I'm there at the game with the kids looking for the mascot because that's what you do at a basketball game with kids. And I don't see the Retriever. But I do see a giant cow.
A cow. White with black spots.
Turns out, this was a guy in a cow suit there to promote a big chain fast-food chicken restaurant. What's up with that? You mean to tell me, I have to explain to my six year-old that the guy in the cow suit isn't really a sports mascot: he's there to sell you chicken.
And this at an Atlantic East Conference game? I mean, we're not talking Big Ten here. We're not talking ACC money. We're talking a commuter school.
Yet more proof that athletics (and the wonder they used to inspire in little boys and girls who went home to play hoops on the back of a bedroom door after seeing a game) have been even further sold-out than one could think possible.
What's next? Tattooing advertisements on the players?