Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Je [mange] au foot.


Last Saturday, I attended the 2009 Adidas Fanatic tournament, or "Adicup" in a park on the west side of Manhattan. I was there to cheer on competing CSC members (no matter their various alliances f0r the day), but was myself "fanatic" especially for the official CSC team in their smart yellow jerseys.

I was also there to eat.

I do like soccer. I promise I do. But I'll admit that a major draw to this event is the promise of free food. And free drinks. And free ice cream. Especially free ice cream.

Here's a brief photo-review:


Woo! Soccer!


Woo! Free Drinks!

Two things to mention here -- it was quite hot last Saturday, but I swear it was a good 20 degrees hotter on that green astroturf (or whatever) field. Thank goodness for rehydration options. Secondly, I refused to drink any of the "0 Calorie" beverages. To me, zero calories means weird fake sugar flavor. The Sobe Lifewater wasn't bad. Pomegranate Cherry was much better than Blackberry Grape, which tasted kind of cough-syruppy.

At the field

Awesome! Soccer! Yeah!

Grill faster!

Awesome! The grills are up! Finally!

For an event that started at noon, which I consider to be lunchtime, the people running the show waited a good long time to put out the eats. I lingered near the tables when I finally started seeing smoke from the grills, and ended up pretty near the head of the line. Just out of my reach? Hot dogs (beef or vegetarian), veggie burgers, hamburgers, BBQ chicken, corn on the cob, coleslaw, potato salad, and various "fixin's," as they say.

The people ruining it for everyone.

Wait a minute! What's going on here?!

Although we were only 25 people or so back from the start of the line, it took maybe 40 minutes to make it to the table of food. Why is that? Well, apparently, there were not enough fully cooked hamburgers to go around. The men working the grill were busy rectifying this issue, but in the meantime there were plenty of other things to eat.

The problem that halted the line when it had barely begun moving was when people at the start of the line who *really* wanted burgers refused to accept alternate protein sources. They blocked the line in a snarl of greed and effectively kept it from advancing. Like a huge hairball in a pipe, they twined around each other, many of them waiting while eating from loaded plates (loaded with everything but their precious burgers) in front of everyone still hungry behind them in line.

The polite thing for burger-desperate free-food gobblers to do would have been to take what was ready and available (and free) and eat it, getting back in line for a burger if they were so determined to consume ground beef. Or at the very least to have made a second, single-file line of burger-holdouts that the rest of us could navigate around/through. But not these patrons. Stubbornly waiting for more burgers to be made, they clotted around the buns and condiments, holding up the works. As a rule, any one of them would move slightly to the side only grudgingly and in tiny increments of distance when challenged for access to the table by people directly behind them in line. This was infuriating to those of us just out of reach of food who could not move forward while they stood there trying to look innocent.

I admit to yelling, "Move it! You have food!" in that direction (okay. several times). But these Meat-Greedy Guses just hovered blankly, jamming up the works, refusing to make eye contact, and trying not to look guilty. Maddening. You can bet I whipped around them haughtily with my burger-less plate and elbowed in to get my mustard packets when we finally did manage to get to the buffet. Ruiners.

Empire field 2

Ahhhh! Soccer! Now I feel better!

I Scream for Free Ice Cream

Ahhhh! Ice Cream! Now I feel best!

At some point, late in the afternoon, the free ice cream wagon came out. I grabbed an ice cream sandwich and a lemon ice for myself (and shared both with Dan). They were just what I needed. By this point, I was as sweaty as if I had played 5 games of soccer myself. Or run from the countryside into Rome carrying a dish of Italian ice (as pictured below) while wearing a heavy-looking helmet of some sort.

Roman Ice

At any rate, the ice cream treats cooled both my literal and figurative hot-head hotness. The evening ended in cooling breezes, dimming sunlight, final games, a spirit of everybody's-a-winner, and happy weariness.

Football! Ice cream! Rah! Rah! Rah!

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