Sunday, December 18, 2011

Gourmet Football Food: Have They Gone Too Far? (Answer: No)

Cinnamon sugar popcorn with a super
secret ingredient: 3 scoops of melted butter
There's something about watching a sporting event live that gives any game (even golf) a whole new level of excitement.  Speaking of golf, on tv, it's like watching grass grow (sorry Dad).  In person, it's a bit more interesting (in fairness, I may be referring to a celebrity pro-am game where I basically stalked Drew Brees).  Hockey?  Channel surf time.  But in person?  I turn into a raging idiot who can't wait for the next fight ("Is that BLOOD? AWESOME!" This would be a direct quote from me at a recent Rangers game).

My favorite sport of all time is football.  I grew up watching it and learning about it from my dad and have become a passionate supporter of some of the worst teams in the universe (Buffs, thanks for sucking it up for about a decade.  Jets, you're not making me very happy this year either).  

Our fun picture with the Cheerleaders.  I mean Flight Girls.
My friend Sylvia, a fabulous fellow football fan,  recently flew from LA to meet me for a riveting Chiefs vs Jets game (aka "The S*%# Bowl") at the Metlife Meadowlands Stadium in beautiful, scenic Rutherford, NJ.  

I could have taken this little red-headed kid. 
One of the funnest things about football, besides the food--I'm getting to that--is the pre-game activities.  Sylvia and I showed up a bit early in anticipation of exploring all the fun things to do! 

First, pictures with Flight Girls--not to be confused with cheerleaders because that's just silly.  This is different because these girls wear Top Gun uniforms, carry pom-poms and cheer, but again people, learn from my mistake, they are NOT cheerleaders. 

Next, warm up drills on a little fake field!  Oh wait!  DENIED.  Apparently this was a contest for little kids only. Awww.  I was just a bit disappointed. 

So we moved on to the truly important task of finding which football foods we wanted to eat.  The MetLife Stadium offers a huge variety--even Gluten Free food stands, which I must say, I did not see one person approach the entire game.  

Look at these amazing options! Maple French
Toast Sugar Popcorn! At a stadium! 
I was most excited about The Food Network, which apparently has a little deal with the stadium, catering to "football foodies" who might want something more than a hot dog and a beer.

So in the spirit of supporting the Jets, my team since 2010 (long story and perhaps Mark Sanchez was a factor), I decided to try a few things, starting with The Food Network stand.  First on the list, Maple French Toast Sugar Popcorn!  Very warm and buttery, it was a nice little snack but very difficult to eat with gloves on (it was sooooo cooooooold). 

Jets green cotton candy, in a surprisingly fun flavor.
So I gave it to our nice neighbors, who then rewarded me with some of the stadium's signature green cotton candy.  Hmmmm.  Not my first dessert choice, but they enticed me with this: "You'll never guess what flavor it is".  Ok nice neighbors, I'll bite.  Sylvia guessed Mint.  Well that's a perfectly reasonable guess, isn't it? 

For some reason, the first thing that came to my mind was Green Tea.  In my defense, if they can serve Sun-Dried Tomato Caesar Salad, and call their cheerleaders Flight Girls (yeah, I'm not over that yet), why not serve Green Tea Cotton Candy? 

Thank goodness I'm not in charge of cotton candy flavors.  The smart people at The MetLife Stadium chose Green Apple--a much, much better idea.  I'm not a huge cotton candy fan, but I have to tell you, flavored cotton candy is a pretty spectacular.

Ooooh pizza....
We also ended up eating gorgonzola pear and margherita pizza, a cinnamon pretzel stick, a hot dog, and 2 Mrs. Fields cookies.  You know, just a few things.

The game finally wound down, which for Sylvia, a die-hard Chiefs fan, could not come soon enough.  Between my incessant chanting "And that's a JETS FIRST DOWN!" and my awesome touchdown dance (both of which happened about every 10 minutes), we were ready to go home.  Thank goodness our driver knew exactly where to pick us up ("Hello lady, I'm at the stadium, near a flag. Where are you?"  What I wanted to say: "Great, I'm the girl in the black jacket.")  Another story entirely.

MetLife Stadium
102 Route 120
East Rutherford, NJ 07073 

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