In reading Angela Hill's story in the San Jose Mercury News about the recent A's MUG Root Beer Float Day, a fundraiser for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, I couldn't help but think about the other affordable and tasty promotions that the A's have put on in the past. Hill describes how, for $2, fans could get a commemorative cup and a chance to meet all kinds of local celebrities (sorry, MC Hammer and Gabrielle Union were not there unfortunately). Now that's one major reason I would go to a game!
For some reason, food promo days such as the 25-cent "Taco Day" is reason for how me and friends/fans talk about how we became A's fans or why we go to A's games to begin with. Is food how the Oakland A's gain more fans? Or rather, what role does food have in how we become A's fans?
When talking with fans and even random people on the street, the food promos always came up in conversation about how or when we would ever go to A's games at all. And it's not as if Oakland Coliseum concessions are any good, but there's a strange nostalgia for summer fun and baseball that comes from eating ... bad food.
Many years ago, I was chatting with a friend about hot dogs purchasable at A's games prior to a chemistry class we both had to take at the Division II sports powerhouse that is University of California, San Diego (sarcasm). We talked about how we used to wait in line for over 4 innings -- the worst was waiting 7 innings -- for a couple of $1 hot dogs. We laughed at how while everyone got up during the 7th inning stretch, we instead needed to rest our feet and backs after standing for over an hour and some change. Gobbling and finishing our hot dogs before the 7th inning stretch ended made us feel stupid for waiting so long, yet satisfied at the same time.
Another guy waiting for class -- we didn't know him -- turned with a huge grin, clearly missing home, and blurted out "You guys ever eat the Coliseum Dog?"
We both laughed and said we never paid more than $1 for a hot dog at a game. He proceeded to tell us about how they were "sooooooo good" and that THAT was THE hot dog to get if you ever went to an A's game.
We never saw him again after that conversation. But that conversation always stuck with me because I've never heard anyone talk about coliseum food with such excitement. Imagine a foodie telling you that a Coliseum Dog was tastier than a Top Dog Hot Dog (or Costco Kirkland Hot Dog).
But Hill's recounting of the MUG Root Beer Float Day, or "Scoop-a-palooza" as she calls it, reminds me of the fun memories of going to A's games and bumrushing the food stands "as if being chased by bulls through a small Spanish town."
With that said, what was your favorite food at an A's game? And do you have any fond memories of food while going to A's games?