Further Review

Steve Hummer's Further Review blog offers comments, asides and quick hits on the state of sports

How long before Falcons are declared health hazard?

When the Falcons announced their new, lowered concession prices for their new, higher-priced stadium, the business media ate up the story.

The team got more traction out of this than almost anything it had done on the field in years, with coverage across such widely varied platforms as NBC News, CNBC the Wall Street Journal and ESPN. Color me highly amused. Here was the concept of the $2 hot dog and the $5 beer becoming as revolutionary as anything since Steve Jobs said, “Hey, I have an idea.”

And here we’ll insert a polite golf clap for the team. A muffled hooray for the gesture – any gesture – that demonstrates an awareness by professional sports that not everyone out there has just negotiated a fat contract with a huge signing bonus.

In truth, reducing the cost of the waffle fries and popcorn at an NFL game is a little like Lexus dealership offering a $25-off coupon, but, hey, it’s something.

Let them eat chicken tenders, the fellows in the owner's box declared.

Concession prices are outrageous, be they at the game or the movie theater. An insult, really, to the junk food-eating public at large. And the world always can use one less minor outrage.

Wait a minute, isn’t there another new stadium going up in the metro area, scheduled for opening in 2017? Another franchise that probably should offer low-interest loans at its concession stands? Hello Braves, are you listening? Your move.

This leaves one final task: Trying to figure out how the seemingly harmless offer of reasonable concession prices will go wrong. These are the Falcons, after all. They are going to make someone unhappy.

So, don’t be surprised when a radicalized group of nutritionists, led by some crusading official who knows what is good for you, protests the idea of all this cheaper, high-calorie food.

After all, there is nothing on a stadium menu that suggests healthy, active lifestyle. Free refills on the soda! Three pizza slices now for the old price of one! Surely the government must step in and stop this, in the name of a leaner, smugger electorate. Or at least force the Falcons to offer kale chips as an alternative.

It is only a matter of time before there is established a definitive link between the Falcons – more specifically the Falcons performance – and obesity. Because if you are like me, you eat when you’re depressed.

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About the Author

Steve Hummer writes sports features for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He covers a wide range of sports and topics.