Friday Sep 28, 2007

Official Donuts Explained

I'm watching the state of New York area sports with a mix of incredulity, passion, illness, bewilderment and bemusement. Around Mother's Day, Mets fans all over the tri-state area were beaming, shining a light on their much-detested Yankees loving friends and just gloating. Why not? The Yankees were so far behind the Red Sox that Boston looked like another country, and the Mets were sitting on top of a healthy lead that they maintained into the last week of the season. Emphasis on last week.

For those of you like my boss that believe baseball is the thing taking space from the cricket scores, let's recap briefly:

The Mets have lost 11 out of 15 games and no longer control their own destiny. Being able to say "Win it and we're in it" is nice with reference to sports playoffs or even big sales deals, but the Mets need help now. Help from the Phillies, who are so hot right now that South Jersey is considering asking Pennsylvania to annex it (with all of the shopping mall land rights contained). Along they way, they blew 5-run leads more times than a Little League team that has run out of eligible pitchers and lets "the snowsuit kid" take the mound.

The Yankees did not win the AL East for the first time since the dot-com boom. I see this as a trend reversal; the Yankees return to Earth and win the Wild Card. Not bad; a Wild Card team has won the World Series the past few seasons. At least there will be playoff baseball in the Bronx. And they play Cleveland in the first round, which means I can shout "Hello, Cleveland" at the TV, combining references to Spinal Tap with baseball cliches.

The Cubs won the NL Central. But a goat is going to fall out of the sky in the bottom of the 9th inning of the 5th game, turning a sure game-winning home run into a ground-rule double, and all will be for naught. You read it here first.

The football Giants and Jets each won last week, but don't get used to it. I've learned that football is played with a round ball, 90 minute running time halves that count up, not down, and without the use of the hands. I think the Giants and Jets are mixing their sports rules metaphors here. Or else they're both miserable. Or all of the above.

After much careful consideration, weighing of the evidence and consumption of post-game data on mlb.com, all became clear during a morning coffee run. Dunkin' Donuts, the staple of my morning routine, has introduced the "Official Donuts" of the Yankees, Mets, Giants and Jets. "Official" means that Dunkies has the coffee concession at those stadiums. The official donut is a vanilla frosted or Boston Kreme (how ironic) donut covered in the appropriate team color sprinkles: Green and white for the Jets, blue/red for the Giants, white and blue for the Yankees and blue/orange for the Mets (even though the Mets colors are now black, blue and orange). I don't think they're selling well. Who wants to eat the official donut of a team that couldn't beat your local high school on a good day? On top of that, Dunkies is using sprinkles to represent teams without any reasonable Jimmies.

If we're going to field junk food and junk on the field, we might as well provide explanations (sprinkled with obscure references) of what happens when consuming Official Donuts Of Your Mathematically Eliminated Home Town Teams:

Giants: First half tastes great. Unfortunately, the second half of the donut tastes like the three-week old grease in the deep fryer, and you run screaming for the nearest bathroom before the donut is over.

Jets: Lots of potential. They look so tasty that you buy two, one for you and one for the guy you've been tailgating with at Giants Stadium (don't ask) for the last 11 years. On the way into the parking lot, you each grab your "late breakfast", take one bite, and all of the sprinkles fall into your lap. In the rush to wipe them off, you spill Dunkin' Donuts coffee onto the mess, permanently staining your Zubaz pants.

Yankees: Hard to love. Maybe it's the thought that random coatings of sprinkles don't really do justice to Yankee pinstripes. Maybe it's the suggestion that the winningest sports team of the entire known universe could be represented by a donut. Or maybe it's the fact that even though you really want a Yankees donut, you can't get one in every outlet, particularly if the "other" cable system is on in the store. Since they cost five times more than other donuts, you arrange a seemingly clever trade of six promising, less decorated donuts for one Yankees item. Sadly, you knock your half-eaten confection onto the floor, and while reaching to save it from certain contamination you pull your shoulder, break a finger and develop tenderness in your striding hip. And the donuts that you traded away lead in every breakfast statistical category for their new owners.

Mets: Choking hazard. The first one is great, the combination of artificial flavors and colors delighting your coffee-sensitized palate. The second, third and tenth ones are just as good, as you are fearful of breaking your donut streak. And then you wake up and realize that while you were hysterical the Phillies had lost 10,000 games, they passed you in the standings. And you choke on your 18th donut, sickened that nothing fits your newly enhanced waistline, and almost relieved that there's no reason to go outside anyway until April.

As for me, I'm enjoying the last of a Benchwarmer Porter, and cheering for the Padres. If the Friars win the World Series, not only will Southern California have the Stanley Cup and the Commissioners Trophy, but there will be two champion Tigers (George Parros, Ducks; Chris Young, Padres) in the same season. And I can ask Dunkies to do a black and orange themed crueller for the occasion.

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