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September 14, 2020

2020-2021 NFL press box food spread ratings

Eagles NFL
091420Food Jimmy Kempski/for PhillyVoice

My chicken had a disturbing face in it. See if you can find it!

Throughout the season, we'll be posting press box food spread rankings for each of the Philadelphia Eagles' road games. This is probably of no interest to you if you're a sane human being, and, well, I don't care. I'm doing this anyway. 

If you're fake-appalled by a sportswriter playfully complaining about free food, shut up nerd.

Please note that we'll have the most recent press box reviews at the top.

WASTEAM logo 2020.gif

Eagles at Football Team, Week 1

A year ago, the Football Team tied with the Jets for the second-worst grade on the season, with a C-. The only team they beat out were the Jaguars, who got an F.

Food spreads aren’t going to be the same in 2020 as they were in 2019, because, you know, nothing is the same in 2020. In reality, they’re not even going to be food “spreads” at all. Typically, teams serve food, buffet-style, with some rare exceptions. For example, the NFL had boxed meals at the Eagles-Patri*ts Super Bowl in Minnesota, and the Rams earned an F in 2018 with their comically bad boxed meals.

In 2020, my assumption is that it’ll be boxed meals across the board, which should be a fun wrinkle for the press box food ratings this year. Because I have very little to compare to from previous years, boxed meal-wise, my grades may be a little more fluid this year, and are subject to change as the season progresses. If I grade a team harshly early in the season, and later realize that they weren’t so bad, comparatively speaking, then I reserve the right to go back and re-evaluate. Good? Great. OK, onto the Football Team “spread.”

The Football Team had four pre-game options:

  1. Sausage and scrambled eggs
  2. Bacon and scrambled eggs
  3. The "Brunch Box": This contained fried chicken, potatoes, and corn on the cob.
  4. Pancakes

The pre-game meals stunk. No, like, I mean, literally, they smelled bad.

“The pre-game meal smelled so disgusting it made me want to leave the press box,” Eliot Shorr-Parks of 94.1 WIP noted. 

On the side, they had three muffins. Yes, only three when I looked, lol. They also had some refrigerated yogurt, a danish or two, trail mix, peanuts, chips, and assorted drinks. The coffee was via a Keurig machine, car dealership-style.

"I appreciated the peanuts," said Bo Wulf of The Athletic.

What I appreciated about the Football Team spread was that they had boxes with clear lids, so you could see what you were getting. I imagine that some teams will have boxes that don’t offer a food preview. They will be docked points, if so.

Anyway, I had the “brunch box.” It was gross. The chicken was super dry, and the potatoes looked and tasted like waffle fries marinated in water. Corn on the cob is also just a terrible choice for a press box. You get your hands all slimy, and then you’re left with corn stuck in your teeth. That’s a side for backyard cookouts, not work environments.

I wondered if I should have gone with one of the other options instead.

“The bacon was mushy and might have been spoiled,” Jeff McLane of the Inquirer said. “The pancakes were stale.”

OK, so maybe not. A look at my brunch box:


I happened to post that picture on Twitter, and a reader made the astute, yet horrifying observation that my chicken seemed to have a face on it.

I think it looks like some combination of a rooster, Jabba the Hutt, and the baby dinosaur from Dinosaurs.

At halftime, they had hot dogs and chicken quesadillas. I had a hot dog. It was fine, I guess.

“The chicken quesadilla was edible — the best thing I could say about it,” McLane said.

No cookies. No cake. No sweets of any kind. That seems like an easy enough thing to serve. Just individually wrap them. D.

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