April 16th, 2009 By Danny Cross | Sports | Posted In: baseball

Re: Nachos


Dear Cincinnati Reds:

I recently attended a baseball game between the Reds and the Pittsburgh Pirates at Great American Ballpark. I don’t usually go to your stadium to watch the games live because walking across Fort Washington Way and looking at the Pepsi Smokestacks in the outfield kind of make me hate being there. I don’t mind the Mountain Dew bottles racing each other on the scoreboard or how Mr. Red always loses the Skyline Chili race because he is too tempted by a 3-Way to finish the competition. That guy’s lack of dedication kills me every time.

I only really went through all the trouble of driving downtown, parking my car on Fourth Street and walking a 5-year-old over the 10-lane freeway because it was a nice day and my sister was in town. The three of us (me, sister, niece) had a good time overall, thanks largely to your Kidzone, which distracted our niece from the cotton candy man she spotted selling the fluffy sugar sticks to children in an aisle all the way on the other side of the stadium. It was the fifth inning and she was starting to get bored, but that blow-up bouncy castle thing really made her day!

It was fun to walk around in my Chris Sabo jersey, holding the hand of an adorable little kid wearing a Griffey T-shirt and reflector shades. I felt like an adult, and I gladly spent $20 at two different concession stands before the second inning. La Rosa’s pizza? Yes, please. $5 beer? I’ll take two. Throw in one of those giant pretzels, because I kind of have a hangover.

But before I could head back to my Kroger Bleacher Seat and enjoy the lovely day and Johnny Cueto’s ability to strike out nine batters but still give up four runs, I had to find some nachos for the kid. The nachos at your stadium have been a personal favorite of mine for years — offering a sweet salsa on one side and nacho cheese on the other, the perfect snack for two people to share in the ballpark. Your choice of salsa was great (Chi Chi’s?), and at a game a couple years ago a former girlfriend got double cheese instead of salsa, and I got super mad at her.

I found your nacho stand on Saturday and I accepted that this snack now costs $6.25. Your sporting events aren't about getting a bargain (the $25 pink bat we purchased for the kid didn't go over too well with her father, for reasons beyond its price), and we came to the park looking for no such deal. I'll gladly pay $6.25 for nachos, but what ensued after I placed my order on this day still hurts my heart:

“I’ll give you six dollars and twenty-five cents for some nachos, please... Um, what is this pre-packaged plastic box? Is this “Ballpark Nacho” product the only form of nacho that you offer at Great American Ballpark? ... It comes with a packet of jalapeno relish? What the hell is that?"

Have the Cincinnati Reds — the world's first professional baseball team — seriously stopped serving a decent nacho? This classic sports snack is one of the easiest products to prepare — for years your organization even let the people working the volunteer stand handle this extremely simple task: Put handful of nachos in middle of plastic bowl; ask customer if he/she wants cheese and salsa (distribute accordingly); offer jalapenos and place on the top if confirmed.

Even our 5-year-old was offended by your “Ballpark Nacho” product. I didn’t even given her my opinion, hoping that once she figured out how to open the plastic bag containing the mini nacho chips that she would enjoy them as if she had never partook in the classic version. She doesn't have the memories of day-games-gone-past, spending quality time with a nacho-eating partner and snacking on one item for innings at a time. But one dip of her finger into the cheese-food that shared this sealed plastic space and she said, “This cheese tastes funny.” I almost had to laugh.

Reds, I understand that you’re a business and that times are tough these days. I don’t like the Toyota Tundra pickup truck sitting in the center field seats where a 550-foot home run off the “full-size truck that’s changing it all” will win one lucky fan a truck of his own. But I get that, I really do. And you can add your red wine and shrimp cocktail and sushi to the ballpark menu if you want — I might even be convinced to partake in some of these new-age ballpark delicacies, should the right item sound tasty on a given day.

But don’t do these things at the expense of the ballpark staples that have helped make baseball and America great for all these years. Nachos most not be outsourced in order to save money or increase efficiency. Fans will wait in your long lines, we will pay your exuberant prices, but when we finally get to the counter and start stacking foods on top of each other in that flimsy cardboard drink holder, we must not be disappointed.

Bring back the real nachos, Reds. It's the least you could do.

04.16.2009 at 03:05 Reply
Excellent jersey, but really boring post. I'm determined to check the CityBeat sports blogs as often as possible because I like the idea of our city maintaining an alternative news source, and I sometimes laugh at both yours and Mr. Thorn's musings, but the problem I have with most of CityBeat's content is that it's always about the writer and not the reader. So much of this stuff reads like journal entries, assuming that, we, the audience, want to read about your nachos experience. With all do respect, I don't care about your everyday life; I care about your opinions on sports. I rarely feel like I can sink my teeth into the sports coverage in CityBeat -- it's all just fluff. Try an exercise where you refrain from using "I" or "me" at all in your writing. That way, the content is all about the sports and not about you. I hope this comes off as constructive and not snarky or insulting. Thank you.


04.16.2009 at 03:10 Reply
In the spirit of fairness, I've included the web address to my blog in case you'd like to return fire. bryan-burke.blogspot.com Again, I'm just trying to help. Thanks.


04.16.2009 at 03:29
I like this blog. And let's not be confused. Blogs are not journalism...and they're not being construed as such here. I hope you're not either on yours. You'd be taking yourself too seriously if you were.


04.16.2009 at 03:40
Then I totally am taking myself too seriously. It looks like I'm outta touch with the definition of a blog because I thought that when a journalist writes anything on a "news source" it becomes journalism. I'll be sure to keep in mind that readers shouldn't expect work of any serious caliber when reading future blogs. Thanks.


04.16.2009 at 03:56
Yup. Yours included now that I had to go and look. Plenty of "I's" and opinion. Zero investigative discovery. Can't we all just be entertained?


04.16.2009 at 04:08
I'm sorry I brought it up. I'll keep my opinions to myself and my blog. Keep up the good work.


04.16.2009 at 03:53 Reply
This story isn't about me, it's about advertising and overpriced products. And the way nachos and America are supposed to be.


04.16.2009 at 09:15 Reply
Coca Cola is the beverage sponsor of our Redlegs this year. Those stupid sody bottles are only at Paul Brown now. Anyhoot, I think that is terrible. Nachos that suck? That is as lame as going to a game like that with people you love is cool. I'm going to reject my stimulus money if those new nachos are as bad as you say they is.


04.16.2009 at 11:32 Reply
yeah danny, no one wants to hear about you. talk about me or the vortex.