Sunday, March 09, 2008

Baseball and Lots of Hot Dogs

The USA Today reports that numerous major league baseball teams, including the Texas Rangers, are now selling seats in sections deemed "all you can eat." Fans who sit on those areas, for a flat price, are allowed unlimited concessions.

One might think that whether teams have such promotions, and whether fans choose to indulge, would be a matter of each individual's personal choice. Not so in modern America. USA Today reporter Michael McCarthy deems the practice "controversial." He quotes Christine Gerbstadt of the American Dietetic Association calling those who participate in this bit of fun "disgusting" and "insane." Responding to reported statistics related to average consumption, she adds, without any sense of jocularity, "This is something you do once in a lifetime, and pray you don't get a heart attack."

Remind me not to invite Ms. Gerbstadt to dinner.

The jeremiads in the article are based on the assumption that these consumers do this regularly, but this is almost certainly not the case. Rather, fans buy the tickets to get around the exorbitant cost of concessions, then make the decision to "get their monies' worth." It is likely that by next morning they decide never to do it again.

Of course, lessons learned by the next day are never enough for those who take on the role of national nanny.

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