I'm not mad, I'm just disappointed.
On Tuesday, we reported that Redditor u/jblosser99 took a picture from the Redcoat and Usher awards that showed that Ohio State fans had consumed, among other things, eight tons of nacho cheese during the 2018 football season.
Once again, here is that picture for posterity:
As this image made its rounds on the internet, the reaction ranged from "holy hell that's a lot of cheese" to "oh, gross" to "damn so much cheese I can't believe it." Sports Illustrated expressed their disgust in terms of F-150s, cool sports bloggers made incredibly hurtful jokes, and everybody had a fun time pretending that eight tons is a lot of nacho cheese for over seven hundred thousand people to eat over the course of a season.
It isn't. And frankly, fellow Ohio State fans, it's a little pathetic and I'm kind of ashamed that we had to be exposed like this.
I'll get to the incredibly painful truth about our collective nacho cheese consumption in approximately 500 words, but the image above also provides a treasure trove of other, equally disappointing information that can put some of this in perspective. We begin each analysis with the knowledge that 713,629 people walked through the gates of Ohio Stadium last season, and we end it upset that our digestive systems didn't give 110%.
25,165 BOXES OF POPCORN SOLD
This particular statistic might upset me more than the nacho cheese. I have literally never in my life been satisfied with the amount of popcorn I have been given to eat. Every time I've been presented with the chance to shove handful after handful of delicious popped corn down my gullet, I get to the bottom of the box or bowl kind of insulted that whoever gave it to me thought that anything less than like four pounds of the stuff was enough to sate my cravings.
As such, twenty five thousand boxes of popcorn for over seven hundred thousand patrons works out to about one box for every 28 people, a ridiculous number which makes me question if you heathens even like popcorn. What the hell are we doing here, guys?
8,682 BAGS OF CANDY
First of all, if anyone sells candy to you in a bag, they had better be between the ages of six and eleven. Anyone preteen age and older who says they have a "bag of candy" for you has an ulterior motive and should be avoided at all costs.
Secondly, what kind of candy are we talking about? Choosing the appropriate candy for a football game, especially depending on the time of year, is a very delicate process. In the warm September months you could carelessly cast your lot with a box of half-melted Raisinets, if you're dumb, or you could happily enjoy the timeless flavor of Mike and Ikes. Cold weather? Maybe a Snickers, which you can pretend is almost like a granola bar that an outdoorsy guy in similar weather might eat. You're lying to yourself, but it's a tasty lie.
Lastly, this all works out to one "bag" of candy per 82 sports enthusiasts. Given that candy is more of a movie thing and less of a live sports thing (for whatever reason) I'm actually okay with that unless any one of those purchases included Good & Plenty, which are disgusting.
178,405 BOTTLES OF WATER
200 GALLONS OF MUSTARD
42,614 ORDERS OF NACHOS
Nachos are really the quintessential sports food, and yet Ohio State patrons only saw fit to down less than 45,000 orders of this treat.
Quick story: last season, my wife and I scored insanely great seats to the Oregon State game. We ordered nachos, and then it rained. The nachos got wet. I ate those nachos, because I'd be damned if I was going to allow Mother Nature to deny me the rite of passage that is horking down several thousand calories worth of chips, salsa, jalapenos, and extremely processed cheese in less than five minutes at a sporting event while also trying to avoid spilling any on the people around you. I managed the former, failed at the latter, and did not tell the lady in front of me that she now had a huge glob of nacho cheese on her jacket collar.
In hindsight I perhaps should've felt bad about this, but eating those nachos was God's work and I will not apologize for following a divine plan. I also tried to scoop some of it up with a chip, and it sort of worked.
The point here is that had other Buckeye fans shown the dedication that I did, we'd have bought a hell of a lot more than 42,614 orders of nachos.
Which brings us to the eight tons of nacho cheese.
Set aside your initial disgust, work out the math, and you'll find that gives us right around a mere 0.35 ounces of nacho cheese per ticket holder. To put that in perspective, half a slice of Kraft American Cheese is 0.4 ounces, meaning that your average Wisconsinite wakes up every morning putting more cheese in their coffee than your typical Buckeye fan consumed on a weekly basis watching football, a sport created for the expressed purpose of giving people a reason to eat cheese.
This is simply not acceptable. As a lactose-intolerant American, I still managed to do my part while attending contests against Oregon State and Rutgers this past season, inhaling cheese-dipped nachos and pretzels with abandon. I'm bothered that if compared with other Big Ten teams, eight tons of nacho cheese consumption would put us squarely in the middle of the pack, not at the top.
Solutions? Well, nacho cheese needs to be on everything, immediately. All Ohio Stadium concession food, from the Short North Bagel sandwiches to the shaved ice to the Skyward Grille gyros to the strawberry smoothies need to be slathered in a thick glaze of nacho cheese. Nacho cheese will now be added automatically to all orders, only to be removed upon repeated, angry insistence from the patron.
Together, we can make Ohio Stadium the most nacho cheese-friendly stadium on the planet, but it will require us to ignore the naysayers who insist on telling us that eight tons is somehow enough, and to challenge both ourselves and our intestines.
We can also have a related and necessary conversation about the lack of toilet stalls in the stadium.