This post is going to be all over the place — from crack-laced bread to finding out whether I’ve won tickets to the 1994 Super Bowl, in which case I’ll be needing a time machine. But let’s start with that crack-laced bread, the Swirl breads baked by Pepperidge Farms.
At one point in time, the wife and I went on what seemed like a months-long bender with the Pepperidge Farms Swirl breads. I think we lost track of the time. I think we lost track of ourselves. These breads are so good that they’re obviously laced with crack. It’s like French Toast and cake rolled up into a loaf of bread. Miracle bread.
So when I found out there was a “limited edition” pumpkin-swirl version, I was on a mission to find it, which I finally did last night. The idea of limited edition bread is somewhat bizarre, but Jesus, I’ll take it. It takes a special holiday like Halloween to bring words like “limited edition” and “bread” together. Just go with it.
The Pumpkin swirl has a nice, subtle, pumpkin flavor. It’s not too sweet and goes well with the slight saltiness of butter. But to be honest with you, I kind of made that review up because I don’t even remember what it tasted like. I just wolfed that shit down.
Here’s another thing only Halloween could have brought together: your favorite football players and a corny Halloween tie-in promotion.
In 1994, Coca Cola and the NFL teamed up for a seasonal promotion known as Monsters of the Gridiron. First of all, let’s just stop to reminisce about a more innocent time when a soda company teamed up with football, and not just your favorite watered-down light beers. Inside specially-marked cases of Coke came a pack of Halloween-themed football cards, each card featuring a star player from each team dressed in a Halloween costume. I’ll borrow another blogger’s review of the cards that puts it best: they all looked like “a bunch of damn Zoobilleezoos.”
It was a perfect cross-section of the 1990s, Halloween, aforementioned Zoobilleezoos and how goofy the NFL—and sports in general—used to be. For bonus goofiness, it’s worth looking up the cheesy commercial on YouTube. These days the NFL is a bit too self-aggrandizing and serious for its own good. Of course, I can’t exactly preach about this. I take it ridiculously seriously.
All fans have superstitions that they think affect the outcomes of the games. The wife and I sit on opposite ends of the couch during the Ravens games and don’t talk. Sitting close, speaking affectionately, being nice, or exchanging any sort of pleasantry ALWAYS causes some nightmarish meltdown play to happen for our team. We even go as far as to tell each other we hate each other before big plays. I know it sounds crazy, but we have racked up hours and hours of circumstantial evidence that proves this works. No one ever invites us over for football parties.
So I mentioned above that I’d need a time machine if it just so happened that I won tickets to the 1994 Superbowl. In the pack of Monsters cards that I recently found, there was an unscratched game card:
In addition to two player cards in each Coke pack also came a scratch-off game card in which prizes could be won. The prizes ranged from a free Coke all the way up to Superbowl tickets. What if this card right here is the unclaimed winning grand prize? It might not be the greatest thing ever, but it would make for a pretty cool pick-up line. Not that I need pick-up lines, but I’d totally sell the card to somebody who does.
The card is one of those scratch-your-own-fate cards, which are too stressful for me. I prefer the do-or-die scratch-offs.
You won’t be able to read this unless you have superhero vision, so let me give you the play-by-play. Eighteen-year-old scratch off games feel like an archaeological adventure. The instructions say to pick a row and scratch it. If you reveal three GAINs in a row, you win and can proceed to scratch the TOUCHDOWN box to reveal your prize. If you reveal a TACKLE, you picked the wrong row and blew it. I chose the third row and blew it on the second box. So I wouldn’t have won those Superbowl tickets in any decade, whether this was a winning ticket or not. I scratched the touchdown box anyway. I would have won the Monsters of the Gridiron “mini-football.”
Oh well. Not as cool of a pick-up line, but I guess an old-fashioned “come back to my place, I’ve got limited edition bread” will do.