Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Moldy Tortillas

TigerBlog and his friend Todd stopped off to eat at a place that they'd been to many times before. In fact, they'd often go out of their way just to eat at this restaurant.

Both ordered fish tacos. When they came, TigerBlog noticed that the tortilla had what appeared to be some brownish spots on them.

At first, TB figured that it was some of the sauce that had leaked through the tortilla. Quickly, though, he realized something wasn't right.

Not quickly enough, as it would turn out.

Todd had already taken three bites of his own when TB realized what the brown spots were. Mold.

As in yuck.

Fortunately, Todd handles situations like this better than TB does. Touching the plate alone made TB use three Clorox wipes and about a quart of hand sanitizer. Todd, who actually ate three bites, sort of shrugged it off with a comment like "it's not that much different than eating yogurt," which, by the way, is something TigerBlog does not eat.

The waitress was fairly apologetic. The manager came over and tried to say he had no idea how this could happen. He also offered something else as a replacement.

When TB and Todd politely declined - with the implied suggestion that eating anything else there that day would result in immediately puking - the manager gave the two a card for $10 off the next time they were there.

All of this begs a few questions.

1) would you ever go back there, knowing that you've gone for years and liked it?

2) should TB and Todd have tipped the waitress (they did)?

3) TB shudders to ask this, but what else goes on in food preparation at restaurants that the customer doesn't know about? For instance, suppose the fish taco part had been put on the tortilla shell and then the person preparing it noticed the mold. Would he/she simply have scraped off the fish taco part and put in on another tortilla?

Anyway, TB is happy to report that Todd didn't get sick last night. And TB ended up having Corn Flakes for dinner.

So let's go back to question No. 1 for a second.

Would you ever go back there?

Princeton Athletics exists first and foremost as an educational venture for its athletes and to provide those athletes with the best possible experience they can have. There is also the little matter of competition and trying to win championships, something that obviously is a huge part of college athletics and goes without saying.

There is also the entertainment factor, though.

College athletics are big business, and while Princeton isn't quite on the level of, say, North Carolina or Texas when it comes to that, it's still very much in the business of entertainment.

Princeton sells tickets for five sports: football, men's basketball, women's basketball, men's hockey and men's lacrosse. Those five sports brought the following totals to campus this past year:

football - 39,918
men's basketball - 34,667
women's basketball - 14,499
men's hockey - 28,928
men's lacrosse - 11,120

Add that all together and it comes to 129,132 fans for those five sports. That's a pretty good number.

There are also 33 other sports for which tickets are not sold and for which no official attendance numbers exist. Still, some of those sports draw very well. If you want to say that those 33 sports at least equaled the number of the five tickets sports, then that's 258,264.

That's a lot of people who come here each year for athletic events. Some are parents of players, obviously.

Most, though, come for the entertainment value.

And it begs the questions: If you give them one moldy tortilla, will they be back?

No, not an actual moldy tortilla. A figurative one.

If fans who come here have had really good experiences for a few years and then have an awful one, will they be unlikely to return?

The people in athletic department spent a lot of time talking about our events and how they're run, and the people in charge of putting on events here work very hard.

Still, are there things we're overlooking, and what would they be?

TigerBlog isn't sure if he's ever going back to that restaurant.

He'd hate to think there are people out there thinking the same about Princeton athletic events.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Mr. Blackwell says, "For many years, Princeton had the best uniforms in college football, especially the home black jerseys topped by elegantly menacing black helmets with black facemasks. Look at how great the sprint football team looks in the photo accompanying today's schedule release.

Last season's inexplicable switch to orange helmets was a marketing mistake of the magnitude of New Coke, a change from first to worst. For the love of all that is holy, take off that orange moldy taco."