The 44th in our 118-part series.
The Popcorn at Continental Airlines Arena
When we dedicated an earlier Reason We Love Hockey to loving the CAA, the food was most distinctly not on the list of its many charms. The stink from the hot dogs lingered for weeks (let alone the taste, which, admittedly we cannot address ourselves), the ice cream tasted like it was dredged weekly from the swamplands and no one can ever convince us what they advertised as “soft pretzels” weren’t in fact dryer lint wrapped in cardboard. After several years of going hungry, we finally received a tip worth its weight in gold: go to the fresh popcorn stand near section 200. Don’t buy one of the pre-packed bags of popcorn; that stuff might as well be grubs that crawled through mud. No, no, the good stuff, the genuine stuff, was popped in front of your eyes, and lovingly scooped into a bag with buttery salty goodness piled to almost overflowing. We quickly adopted this fresh popcorn as our gametime meal of choice. Sure the popcorn stand was as far from our seats as was possible, sure the amount of salt one handful of that popcorn contained would leave you dehydrated for days on end, sure the corn kernels would get stuck in your teeth causing you to spend the final period and a half thinking more about how much you’d pay for a string of floss rather than thinking about what was going on down on the ice, but it was worth it.