Opening Day â€“ The Great South Side Nacho Helmet Inauguration
Life is Good: Nachos in a White Sox Helmet
The only thing better than seeing the Chicago White Sox christen their home schedule in person at cozy and getting-better-with-each year U.S. Cellular Field was seeing the 5-1 opening triumph over the Tampa Bay Rays with the accompaniment and nourishment of a nacho helmet.
The White Sox are, maddeningly, rarely first in the standings but have a tradition of leading the league, or at least pacing it, when it comes to concessions and sartorial courage and this season theyâ€™re combining those pursuits by offering â€“ for the ball park bargain price of $11.50 â€“ a generous serving of nachos served in a faux batting helmet replete with the dignified Sox logo.
The helmet is different from regulation headgear in that it appears to offer no cranial protection as itâ€™s constructed out of a durable but hardly unbreakable plastic which is suited more for holding nachos than cradling your cabeza.Â The nacho helmet also stands apart from those donned by Paul Konerko and brethren in that the top of the helmet, which serves as the bottom when itâ€™s being used as a food receptacle, is flattened so that your bowl/helmet can easily be placed on a flat surface for convenient access and dining pleasure not just during your time at the old ball yard but, hopefully, for many years to come.
Itâ€™s a nacho helmet.Â And itâ€™s better than Christmas.
The line was long at the nacho helmet booth as intrepid South Siders knew that spending the fifth inning standing in a queue would be well worth it if a bucket size bowl of nacho chips, lettuce, fresh cheese, salsa, hot peppers, sour cream and guacamole awaited them.Â The wait was a little longer than expected, though, because demand â€“ unsurprisingly â€“ began to exceed supply and we were told by one of the kind concessionaires that there was plenty of pork but they were out of beef and chicken and so there would be a 15 minute delay if you desired those delicacies on your nacho helmet heaven.Â One gent, directly in front of me, became frustrated and bowed out, perhaps to buy a bratwurst and eat it out of his glove.Â The rest of us had no problem whatsoever with pork and a few fans even observed that the only difference between ballpark beef, pork and poultry is likely the labeling.
As soon as I bought my nacho Sox helmet I began to feelâ€¦wellâ€¦better about myself.Â Itâ€™s true.Â I had nachos.Â In a baseball helmet.
I got many looks walking along the concourse with one hungry chap inquiring as to where I had purchased such a delightful comestible and when I returned to my seat I was greeted like a hero because, really, wasnâ€™t I?Â Another member of my group had also purchased a nacho helmet and being more civilized, or maybe just not as hungry, he ate his like a salad using a plastic fork.Â Certainly a divine creation such as a Sox nacho helmet deserves the respect and care of a utensil but I chose the more tactile approach and kept my fork in my pocket and, holding the helmet with one hand, dove in with the other.Â What happened next?Â Edwin Jackson struck out a few more Rays.Â The Sox tacked on two insurance runs in the eighth playing bang-bang, run-run baseball and, by the ninth inning, I was easily able to wipe the helmet completely clean with a napkin.Â The White Sox won and I wore my helmet â€“ my trophy, my pride, my victory, my happiness â€“ all the way home on the train.
I did have some help eating the nachos but the helmet, the glory, the religion and reward were all mine.Â And always shall be.Â The season will unfold how it may.Â The White Sox might have the best offense in baseball and a cold spring â€“ the pork in my nachos kept us all warm in 39-degree weather â€“ could give way to a hot, promising summer and maybe a rousing fall.Â But I ask, honestly: if you canâ€™t have a year of well-played baseball wouldnâ€™t you settle for hot-pork and nachos in a would-be hat?