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August 14, 2023

2022-2023 NFL press box food spread ratings

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110422TexansSpread3 Jimmy/for PhillyVoice

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.


Chiefs at Eagles, Super Bowl LVII

If you scroll down, you'll see that we reviewed the Cardinals' spread at State Farm Stadium earlier this season. They got a C.

Pregame they had preassembled sandwich boxes, which is never a good sign. The choices were veggie, peanut butter and jelly, ham, and turkey. I begrudgingly chose the turkey. Here's what that looked like:


First of all, any packaged snack food with powdered cheese like Cheetos is just an automatic no in a work situation. There's just no way of keeping that powdered cheese from soiling your clothes, face, keyboard, etc. The only time Cheetos should ever be consumed is when you're home alone, hung over, falling in and out of consciousness on your sofa while 50 First Dates or some other bad-but-unobjectionable movie is on TBS because the remote is on the other side of the room.

Here's the turkey sandwich, unpacked:


I, mean, come on. It's the Super Bowl. Have some pride! Anyway, that thing tasted exactly how it looked. And you might be wondering what's in the middle of that sandwich box. It was a bag of carrots.


Remember in grade school when you would try to trade something in your Transformers lunchbox that you didn't want but found no takers? That's what these carrots reminded me of.

After tricking people into eating awful boxed meals, they served chicken and steak fajitas. I mean, they weren't good either, but they were better than boxed meal.


The fajitas were accompanied by a tray of Spanish rice and scattered beans in a tray of sauce.


The beans in that picture look like when you eat a bowl of Cocoa Pebbles and you have to frustratingly chase the last 15 or so pieces around with your spoon.

It probably shouldn't come as a surprise that the press box food was bad, given that the Cardinals got horrendous marks in the NFLPA's infamous team report cards. Here's how the Cardinals fared in that survey:

 CategoryCardinals' grade 
Treatment of families 
Nutrition F- 
Weight room F- 
Strength staff A- 
Training room F- 
Training staff B+ 
Locker room 
Team travel B+ 

They finished second-to-last overall in the NFL behind... (can you guess?)... the Commanders, of course. Here's what the food section said:

"If players would like dinner, it will be boxed up for them, but players reported that the team will charge you via payroll deduction. This is apparently the only Club that does this."

Media didn't have to pay for their food, but the food boxes checked out! Lol.

On the ride down from the press box to the locker rooms after the game, Cardinals owner Michael Bidwell happened to take the same elevator as me. Someone in the elevator remarked to Bidwell about how first class the entire Super Bowl experience was. So Bidwell, in Dave Chappelle nerdy white guy voice, goes, "It was a victory not just for the Chiefs, but for the state of Arizona," like he was some political figure who was asked to give an official quote or something. That's a true story. It was super weird. 

The city of Phoenix was fine and good, but I'm not sure that the ice skating rink of a field that these guys rolled out will have anyone looking back at this Super Bowl as some sort of organizational triumph.

Grade: D

Team Grade 
Texans A- 
Colts B+ B 
Lions B- 
 Giants C+ 
 Eagles C+ 
 Super Bowl
Commanders  D- 


Last year I definitely gained weight because of my press box gorging. This year I want to make sure I offset that to some degree by hammering out at least a 20-banger on the travel day preceding gameday (or a day close enough), which was a sacred day typically reserved for old fashioneds at the airport 🥃🛫. I mean, I'll still have the old fashioneds, but let's add some exercise in, too. Or if time/weather isn't permitting on that Saturday, some other day close to gameday. As a way to keep myself accountable, let's go ahead and track those efforts publicly:

Week 1, Lions: 23,793 steps ✔️

Week 2, Eagles: 20,234 steps ✔️

Week 3, Commanders: 20,047 steps ✔️

Week 5, Cardinals: 24,581 steps ✔️

Week 9, Texans: 21,003 steps ✔️

Week 11, Colts: 20,726 steps ✔️

Week 14, Giants: 22,179 steps ✔️

Week 15, Bears: 😬. I didn't do them yet. It was too cold in Chicago to be out walking around for a couple of hours, and I got sick upon my return home. I will complete my Chicago steps penance at a later date. 

Update: 20,106 steps (1/4/23) ✔️

Week 16, Cowboys: 🛋️. I owe a 20-banger for the Cowboys, too.

Update: 21,241 steps (1/5/23) ✔️

Super Bowl, Chiefs: 51,170 steps (4/13/23) ✔️


Eagles at Cowboys, Week 16

Prior to the Eagles' matchup against the Cowboys on Christmas Eve, I came down with an absolutely awful flu, and canceled my trip to Dallas. It was a tough break, as (a) I had formulated all of my holiday plans around this trip, (b) I really do value the view from the press box as opposed to watching games on TV, and (c) I would be missing out on the best food spread in the NFL.

But maybe I didn't have to completely miss out on the Cowboys' spread. Maybe if I asked nicely enough, the Cowboys would send me some of the best mac and cheese I have ever had in my life. And so, I sent their head of public relations the following email:

Dear [Redacted], 

I don’t think we’ve met, but I hope you’re well. Before I begin, my apologies in advance for this absurd request. 

My name is Jimmy Kempski, and I’ve covered the Philadelphia Eagles as a full-time beat reporter since 2013. I came down with a nasty flu, and as such will not be flying out to Dallas for the game on Christmas Eve. 

One of the silly recurring things I write each year is a press box food spread review, based on the stadiums that I visit. The Cowboys' grades each of the last 4 years: 

2021: A++

2020: N/A (COVID)

2019: A++

2018: A+

You guys win by a mile every year. For example:

I was even asked to talk about the press box mac and cheese along with some of your local media like Brad Sham, Todd Archer, and Jane Slater. (I'm the guy who suggested Jerry Jones was flying in unicorn milk.)

Anyway, again, I fully realize that this is not worth your time, but I was wondering if the Cowboys could ship me some mac and cheese so that I can include the Cowboys in my food spread review. I would gladly reimburse the team for any costs.

Kind Regards and Happy Holidays,

Jimmy Kempski

I figured there was about a 10 percent chance that they would reply. To my surprise, they responded and enthusiastically agreed to send me some mac and cheese. A few days later, it arrived. An unboxing recap:


In case you can't tell, that is a lot of mac and cheese. They sent me 10.6 pounds ❗ of it, lol. I thawed it out, and then scooped it into seven Tupperware containers.


I'd say there are 3 solid servings in each of those containers, which now reside in my freezer. I also fired up a serving in the aluminum container below.


Grade: Let me first note that Legends Hospitality makes the Cowboys' mac and cheese. They are indeed legends for life (in my mind, anyway) for sending me a giant tray of it. Special thanks to Fran from Legends for setting up the shipment and even calling me to make sure it was still frozen upon arrival. 

Honestly, it could have been terrible and the Cowboys would have gotten at least an A, but unsurprisingly it was delicious, as always. A+++.


Eagles at Bears, Week 15

This review is going to be shorter than usual, because the Bears barely had anything. They served the following for breakfast, pregame, with a quick review of each thereafter: 

  1. Belgian waffles: Cold, and awful.
  2. O'Brien potatoes: Less awful than the waffles, but still bad.
  3. Bacon: Decent-ish.
  4. Sausage link: Cold and bad.
  5. Scrambled eggs: No thank you.

My plate: 


While going back later for coffee, an anonymous Eagles employee approached me and said, "You better not complain about the Eagles' spread ever again," as he or she tossed their waffle into the trash. Personally, I do not like throwing food in the trash, but my waffle met the same fate as this anonymous Eagles employee's waffle about an hour earlier. It was maybe the worst waffle I've ever had.

Otherwise, they had no snacks whatsoever. No bags of pretzels, or chips, not even a big communal bowl of trail mix with the tongs that only grab like a piece or two at a time. Nothing.  

The Bears did have some interesting soda choices. They went with RC Cola instead of the usual Coke or Pepsi. They also had something called Squirt, which I had never heard of. (Note: Never tweet "I've never heard of Squirt," unless you want people laughing at your hypothetical sexual performance.)

121822Bears Spread2

Squirt is a grapefruit-flavored soda, and I am apparently in the minority among people who had never heard of it. It was actually pretty good, and a number of folks pointed out that it is a great mixer with tequila. I'll make a note to try that this summer.

At halftime, they served this:


I'm not 100 percent certain what one would call that. It wasn't a cheesesteak, because the meat wasn't shaved, and, you know, there was no cheese. I guess it was a Chicago Italian beef sandwich. Of course, if you google image "Chicago Italian beef sandwich," they look a lot more appetizing than whatever the Bears served.

It actually wasn't that bad. I ate the whole thing, (a) because of my "don't waste food" thing as noted above, and (b) they didn't have anything else, aside from some cookies.

Postgame, they had nothing.

Grade: I expect this kind of spread from a city like Jacksonville, but Chicago is a huge market, and a city known for its food, which makes the Bears' craptastic food spread effort all the more embarrassing. D.


Eagles at Giants, Week 14

I arrived at MetLife Stadium a little before 10 a.m. (looks like it was ~9:48 a.m.), and the Giants' serving areas were completely empty, without any activity. 


I was hungry after my drive up the New Jersey Turnpike, but there was no food. Making matters worse was that FOX had their own separate food spread setup, which was off limits to non-FOX employees. You could smell it, but not eat it.


I considered acting oblivious and sampling FOX's spread, like I did with Eliot Shorr-Parks in Detroit one year. I felt like they kinda owe me for subjecting me and other Americans to Tucker Carlson, Laura Ingraham, and Mark Schlereth for all these years, but the "FOX CATERING" sign in all CAPS was threatening enough to scare me away.

When the Giants eventually did serve their food, here's what they offered:

  1. Omelet station: Farm fresh eggs and egg whites with assorted meats and vegetables
  2. Scrambled eggs
  3. Sweet pork sausage
  4. Bacon
  5. Tater tots
  6. Assorted bagels
  7. Fresh fruit platter with berries

The omelet station isn't my bag, but it is always a crowd pleaser among the other beats. 


I had the sausage, a bagel, bacon, and tater tots.


The tater tots were one of the most controversial menu items in the history of this long-running series. Bo Wulf of The Athletic said of the tots, "worst I've ever had." Chris Franklin of and Shorr-Parks agreed that they were bad. On the opposing side of the tot debate were Martin Frank of the Delaware News Journal and me. I didn't think they were good, necessarily, but I also didn't think they were bad. I ate all of my tots on the plate shown above.

Bo was adamant in his disdain for the tots. "The whole appeal of tater tots is that they have a high floor," he said. "They’re making me rethink that."

Franklin still had some tots on his plate, so I tried one, and, well, yeah it was bad. So I guess depending on what batch of tots you got, they were either OK-ish or the worst tots ever.

At halftime, the Giants served the following: 

  1. Turkey and Swiss cheese sandwiches
  2. Black Forest Ham and Swiss cheese sandwiches
  3. Tuna salad sandwiches
  4. Vegetarian wraps
  5. Penne vodka
  6. Meatballs
  7. Nacho bar: Chips, cheese, salsa, and guacamole
  8. Cheese and crackers
  9. Vegetable crudité
  10. Rice pudding
  11. "Bakery fresh" cookies

It was funny to me that crudité was being served in a North Jersey football stadium a few months after Dr. Oz's campaign infamously published a video of him shopping for crudité ingredients.

Anyway, I had the penne vodka, meatballs, and a couple of cookies (one sugar cookie, one chocolate chip).


The penne was actually pretty good, as were the cookies.

Postgame, the Giants had some assorted desserts, and most importantly, they kept the coffee on for the drive home.

Grade: The Giants' press box food spread has been on a steady decline over the last few years:


They did make a little bit of a comeback this season, but ultimately they're not remotely close to contending for league supremacy, much like the Giants themselves. I debated between a B- and a C+, but felt they were closer to the Eagles' C+ spread than the Lions' B- spread, so I went C+, but with a head-to-head tiebreaker over Philly.


Eagles at Colts, Week 11

I always appreciate when teams display their full menu for all to see. The Colts had theirs up bright and early. I'll just type in their full menu:

Fresh Fruit

• Yogurt parfait bar: Assorted yogurt with honey, fresh berries, house made granola, and nuts

• Assorted fresh fruit


• French toast casserole: Served with maple syrup

• Chorizo potatoes: With melted jack cheese, and peppers and onions

• Chef-attended omelet station: Assorted toppings

• Smoked bacon

• Country fried chicken and waffles: Peppered maple syrup


• Bratwursts and hot dogs: Freshly baked buns and assorted condiments

• Roasted Harvest Vegetables


• Pork rind nachos: Queso blanco cheese sauce, chicken tinga, pico de gallo, cilantro and onions, salsa rojo and salsa verde

• Smoked pulled chicken sliders: With local BBQ sauce and pickles

• HotBox Pizza: Pepperoni, cheese, sausage


• Assorted breakfast pastries: Whipped butter and preserves

• Cinnamon Rolls

• Assorted cookies and fudge brownies

They also had a nice coffee station. I love the aesthetic of the stainless steel coffee pot, with the Sterno flame underneath. 


They had an assortment of flavor add-ons.

  1. Cinnamon bun
  2. Salted caramel
  3. Pumpkin spice
  4. Vanilla
  5. Hazelnut

I had the cinnamon bun flavoring. Delicious. On the food front, pregame I had the chicken and waffles, some chorizo potatoes, and some bacon.


The chicken was good, the waffles were fine, and the bacon was, eh. The surprise hero of that plate was the chorizo potatoes. They're going to make the 2022-2023 All-Jimmy Press Box Food Spread All-Star Team.


The French toast casserole was a hit as well among those who tried it. I decided against it, figuring it would be too filling, thus limiting the number of other things I could sample. Instead I had a cinnamon bun, which is probably equally as filling, and something I normally wouldn't ever touch under normal circumstances. I talked myself into it on the premise of my #StepsTracker noted below, and, well, of course it was good, because, I mean, it's baked cinnamon dough with drizzled sugar frosting. How can that possibly not be good?


At halftime, I was already full but because I'm a hero who reviews these spreads for you all out of love, I had the bratwurst, some pulled chicken (I skipped the bun), and the chicken tinga. All very good. I had a chocolate chip cookie and a brownie, too. They were just OK.

So the Colts probably got a really good grade, right? Eh, not so fast. While the food was good, they received a number of deductions:

  1. They didn't serve food until 11 a.m., which was weird. The breakfast food was ready at like 10:30 a.m., just sitting there in the buffet warmers, waiting to be eaten, but they simply didn't open the line until 11, because... 🤷‍♂️.
  2. They had no ice. Apparently the ice compartment in the soda machine was broken, which is understandable, but there was no backup ice plan.
  3. There was no tea, which was also weird because they had hot water.
  4. They had some bootleg off-brand "Red Gold" ketchup. Maybe they don't like Heinz because they're affiliated with the Steelers, and the Steelers are like a quasi AFC rival? Just serve Heinz.
  5. When we came back from the postgame interviews, the pizza was already gone.
  6. They took the coffee away postgame, which is a huge no-no, as we've discussed here quite often in the past.

An anonymous Eagles beat writer informed me that he discussed the Colts' food spread with an Indy beat writer at his media outlet, who said that the Colts' spread has long been really bad, and had only improved this season. An attempt to obtain comment from this Indy beat writer was unsuccessful.

But that certainly makes sense. Their food was good, but their execution was unrefined. Their spread reminded me a little bit of rich folks who are considered "new money," as discussed in movies like Titanic and Boiler Room. In Boiler Room, the Giovanni Ribisi character says, "They had all the money in the world, and not a clue what to do with it."

The Colts had really good food, and a whole lot of different options to choose from. But like the "new money" guys in Boiler Room, they don't quite yet know what to do with it. It'll take some time, and they'll get there. But for me, 

Grade: With the deductions I can only award a B+, which is a very good grade, but does not yet put them in elite company. 

UPDATE: The Colts are being downgraded to a B, for serving St. Elmo's world renowned shrimp cocktail to the Steelers' media contingent, but not the Eagles'. 

This is basically like the time I took my daughter to Disney, only to find that the log flume was closed, and then to find out again later that it opened back up a week after we were there. BOOOOOOOO!


Eagles at Texans, Week 9

Before Thursday, I had never covered a Texans game in Houston. As such, I really had no idea whatsoever what to expect of their food spread. To my surprise, they brought it.

To begin, they had an elite snacky treat table that included cookies, popcorn (with seasoning options!), various trail mixes, chips, pretzels, an M&M tower, a Sour Patch Kids tower (pure class), mini cupcakes, and almost sort of like a wedding cake. I took a video of the snacky treat table:

Previously, the Cowboys had by far the best snacky treat options in the NFL, but I think the Texans are right there with them, or dare I say, even better? If someone could please let Jerry Jones know that he has a high bar to clear on Christmas Eve, that would be great, thanks.

For the healthy folks, the Texans had a nice salad setup, complete with a Texans player mannequin. Their choice of player to serve as the mannequin was funny to me. If the Eagles had such a setup, they might have a Jalen Hurts mannequin. Maybe Jason Kelce. Fletcher Cox. Lane Johnson. Brandon Graham. A.J. Brown. You know, some kind of great player. If you know who No. 52 on the Texans is, you're a way more knowledgeable football observer than me.


(It's DE Jonathan Greenard, to be clear, and yes, it said Greenard on the back. It wasn't just a generic Texans jersey.)

On that same theme, the Texans' ring of honor is funny, too. There's only one player! That would be WR Andre Johnson, who played in Houston for 12 years. 

On the one hand, I get that the Texans have only been in existence since 2002, but it's still funny to only see one name. I suppose J.J. Watt will join Johnson whenever he retires. 

On the other hand, I respect that the Texans don't just throw names up in the rafters willy-nilly, even when it looks so barren up there. By contrast, last year when we went to Denver, the Broncos had names of dudes wrapped around the entire stadium. 34 total! I never heard of many of them. It's kind of like the Eagles not giving out the number 87.

Update: This is an outstanding point from reader Michael Danziger on the Greenard jersey: 

If that is indeed why the Texans picked his mannequin to stand by the salads, that is incredible work by them.

The main course was a taco station, with marinated steak, achiote chicken, garlic rice, and black bean rancheros. This picture doesn't look like much, but they were surprisingly delicious. 


"Restaurant quality," Eliot Shorr-Parks of 94.1 WIP said. Good take by Eliot there.

If you'll note, writing stations within the Texans' press box came equipped with pull-out trays. I think they're designed for keyboards, maybe, but I found it useful for eating. So bonus points there, I guess.

At halftime, they had burger sliders, nachos, ice cream, and perhaps the most unique press box offering in NFL history, "punch-soaked pickles with hot Cheeto crust." Wtf is this?!?


I do not like pickles, like, at all, so there was no way in hell I was eating this, but I completely respect the uniqueness of that offering, and even if the ingredients are odd (to say the least), that is one picturesque tray of food. I tried to get commentary on it, but no other Eagles beat writers were willing to take the plunge either. Maybe we're all just a bunch of wusses.

Grade: The team stinks, but the Texans put out a hell of a spread. A-.


Eagles at Cardinals, Week 5

The Cardinals did not serve breakfast. Instead they had an early lunch, consisting of brisket, chicken thighs, corn on the cob, grits, cheddar biscuits, and a salad bar. My plate:


Meh. The brisket was a smidge overcooked, in my opinion, but I do always appreciate the extra effort of a carving station. 


"Jimmy, I liked the salad bar," Zach Berman of The Athletic said. Empty vitamins, in my opinion. 

Bo Wulf of The Athletic pointed out that the Cardinals did not have any snacks, like chips, pretzels, popcorn, cookies, etc., which is pretty much a given in any press box. They did have mini cheesecakes, which were fine, but again, nothing to just casually snack on during the game.


I think that during games I've just taken for granted that there are always snacks. I never realized how much I missed them when they were gone.

Also, they had ice cream, but for like the first 6 or so hours after they served lunch, they kept a blanket over the ice cream bin, and they didn't make it available until halftime.


Like, WTF is that? I'm an adult. Why are the Cardinals deciding for me when I can and can't have my ice cream?

And if you're going to eventually serve the ice cream, and least keep it in a back room somewhere. Don't have it featured prominently in the press box with a blanket over it, lol. We can all see that it's ice cream! Does the blanket mean "No!"?

At halftime, in addition to the ice cream, they had hot dogs resting in a half inch of hot dog juice.

They had nothing post-game, though they did at least keep the coffee machines on.

Grade: The general rule of thumb for press box food spreads is, the better the stadium, the better the spread. The Cardinals were an exception. Good stadium, disappointing spread. C.

Previous 2022 reviews


Eagles at Commanders, Week 3

Let me first thank the NFL's schedule makers for getting this game out of the way in Week 3. This is always the worst road trip of the season and the sooner that it is over and done with, the better.

Let's start with parking, which used to be normal. Not anymore. These clowns put media parking a half mile away from the media entrance. Actually, it was 0.48 miles. 


Personally, as long as the weather is still nice, some of us like a little 10-minute walk more than others. Count me among them. I got to take in a little of the parking lot atmosphere, get some extra steps in, etc.

Still, when you're dropping a pin so that you can find your parked car after the game is over, that's far. Now, I'm not saying that media folks should be entitled to better parking than the average fan attending the game, but the Commanders seemingly going out their way to move us from the lot that was right by the media entrance to one that was substantially further away was a petty 🖕 and an example of the inhospitable malaise that infests every corner of this franchise, in my opinion.

OK, so you get inside, find your seat, and gaze out upon the view of the field, and, well, it's the worst view in the NFL. 


The DeVonta Smith touchdown was in the corner of the end zone closest to us, so we could see that. But if the action is on the other side of the field, forget it, you ain't seeing sh-t. Oh, and if you're in the front row of the press box, there are no working televisions, or at least there weren't where I was sitting. So if you didn't see the play clearly on the field, you're not getting a replay of it either. We did, however, have a sweet view of this mystery moisture dripping onto someone's seat.

It wasn't even raining, lol. I'll note that the dripping did subside, but the dude sitting in that seat wore a Commanders towel over his head throughout the game. Maybe they gave him a 10 percent discount on that towel for his troubles? Let's hope so.

OK, onto the food. Their spread:

  1. Salad
  2. Fruit
  3. Scrambled eggs
  4. Sausage patties
  5. Spicy chicken parmesan
  6. Lemon pepper potatoes
  7. Garlic buttered corn
  8. Cookies and brownies
  9. Assorted snacks

And then at halftime they had hot dogs and cheeseburgers.

I ate a piece of the chicken. It felt wrong, but I did it. It wasn't good, of course, but it felt like the most edible food item they they had prepared, so I took one for the team and dove in. I didn't die, so we'll call it a win. Jeff McLane of the Inquirer noted that he has never seen gray breakfast potatoes. Eliot Shorr-Parks of 94.1 WIP remarked to me, "As part of your job, you should have to eat the eggs." 

I'd rather quit. Honestly, even just uploading this picture into this article got me a little nauseous.


The Commanders' coffee is supplied by Black Rifle Coffee Company, which offers brands such as AK-47 Espresso, Silencer Smooth, and Murdered Out.


You may remember Black Rifle in the news this summer, when the Dallas Cowboys announced a partnership with them, fresh off of the mass shootings in Uvalde, TX and Highland Park, IL. I was not aware that the Commanders had a partnership with them as well, but of course they do.

The hotdog at halftime was fine, and they had a decent rack of assorted snacks, which would put them above the level of an F, but given all the other badness of this stadium and organization as a whole, I just can't see to it to grade them higher than a D-. I think the only reason I still go to games here is for this stupid column.


Vikings at Eagles, Week 2

In 2020, the Eagles had the best press box food spread among the six spreads I sampled (I did not travel to Dallas due to spikes in COVID), with a really solid B+ showing. They took a step back in 2021, when they earned a C+. And so, 2022 is something of a crucial year for the Eagles' spread. Would they settle in as a "middle of the pack" type of spread, or would they take their game to the next level with a team on the field that can perhaps compete for a Super Bowl, thus soon likely becoming a magnet for increased national media attention?

Unfortunately, in my opinion, it was the former, at least on Monday night. The Eagles had three main entrée dishes:

Korean BBQ pork roast: This was a polarizing dish. "Tender and tasty," podcast partner Brandon Gowton (BLG) of Bleeding Green Nation said. 

E.J. Smith of the Inquirer was not as impressed. "The short rib was literally one of the worst things I’ve eaten in recent memory," Smith said. "Ruined my appetite for the midnight Stromboli. Whatever grade you were planning, make it lower."

I lean more toward E.J.'s thinking here. Mine was bad. In fairness, there was only like one piece left on the tray when I got mine, so I got the piece that the rest of line deemed unfit for their plate. It was fatty and gristly.

Chicken Bruschetta: The chicken was fine, I guess. It was cooked correctly, with the right amount plumpness. It just didn't have much flavor.

Four-cheese tortellini: I only grabbed two tortellinis just for the purpose of sampling them, and had no desire to go back for more.

A pic:


I think that just as a general bar to set when evaluating food dishes, I ask, "Would it be better if I made it?" And in my opinion, while I'm not exactly Wolfgang Puck, yeah, I could make a better pork roast, chicken bruschetta, and tortellini. In chart form:

Dish Eagles Jimmy 
Korean BBQ pork roast  ✅ 
Chicken Bruschetta  ✅ 
Tortellini  ✅ 

The Eagles also had their traditional hoagie options, as well as their typical snacky treat table.


From left to right:

  1. Cannolis
  2. Assorted cookies
  3. Various chips
  4. Popcorn
  5. Soft pretzels
Three notes on the snacky table items:

• The cannoli cream was very tasty, though the shell was kinda soft. I'd prefer a flakier shell, personally, but the taste of the cream made up for it.

• Jeff McLane of the Inquirer felt that the cookies were more like muffins. Gowton made a similar comment, noting that they were "cakey." Agreed on both takes. I felt that the rainbow sprinkle cookies were the most like actual cookies.

• The last two seasons, the Eagles had individually wrapped pretzels. They were trash. This year, the old pretzels are back, and they were delicious. They had ideal texture and great salt coverage. The upgrade from the prepackaged pretzels to the fresh ones is a HUGE development, and worth a half letter grade bump. 🙌🥨

At halftime, the Eagles served their usual hotdogs and chicken fingers. The hot dogs simply don't look good, so I never touch those. The chicken fingers are reliably satisfying enough for halftime. I sit next to Eliot Shorr-Parks in the press box at home games, and one of his patented moves is to go get his chicken fingers while there's still time left on the clock during the first half so that he can beat the line. It's usually a veteran move that I respect, but I had to convince him not to do that on Monday night, as there was a decent chance he'd miss something. And sure enough, the Eagles had a great drive at the end of the first half that ended in a Jake Elliott field goal. You're welcome by the way, ESP.

Postgame, they always have strombolis, as E.J. noted above. I wasn't touching sleep-inducing carb pockets at 1:00 a.m. when I still had to write and drive home.

While we're on the Eagles, I quickly wanted to give a shoutout to former Eagles PR guy (and current Bills PR guy) Derek Boyko, who raised the bar this week by sending out the press box food spread menu in advance. This comes via the No. 2 ranked press box food spread analyst in the world, Ross Tucker:

That is outstanding work by the Bills, and Ross is correct that every other team in the league must adopt this approach immediately.

Grade: I really like the people who serve the food (and I don't think there's much they can do about the quality of it), so I'll be kind and give the Eagles a C+.


Eagles at Lions, Week 1

I arrived at Ford Field at around 9:00 a.m., and food wasn't being served yet, but they had coffee, which was good enough. While getting my computer and other electronics situated at my press box spot, a Lions PR guy approached me, addressed me by name, introduced himself, and chatted me up for a bit about the upcoming season. This was out of the ordinary. Well, for me it was, anyway. Maybe not for someone like, I don't know... let's go with... Mike Garafolo? Was this PR guy aware of my press box food spread schtick and he was trying to butter me up, or was he just super good at his job? Maybe it was both? Whatever the case, as a memo to PR guys/gals around the league, being extra nice to me on gameday will indeed improve your press box food spread grade. Please make a note of it.

The Lions' breakfast offerings, served at 10-ish:

  1. Biscuits
  2. Red eye sausage gravy
  3. Scrambled eggs
  4. Applewood bacon
  5. Flour tortillas
  6. Ground chorizo
  7. Grated cheese
  8. Yukon gold breakfast potatoes
  9. Shredded cheddar

I sampled the biscuits and sausage gravy, which was actually quite good. Fluffy biscuits, tasty gravy. The potatoes... eh.


I also had the ground chorizo with shredded cheese, which was also good and had some heat.


At halftime, they had hot dogs and "Detroit-style Coney dogs," which have Coney sauce, diced onions, mustard, and shredded cheese. What's Coney sauce? After some research, it appears that ground beef, tomato sauce, and chili powder as the base ingredients. I went regular hot dog, and it was good. No mustard, though, unless I missed it. They only had honey mustard, which I tried on half my hot dog just to see if I had been missing out on something great all these years. (I hadn't.)

They also had an ice cream freezer, which contained the following:

  1. Blue Bunny Vanilla Cones
  2. Good Humor Strawberry Shortcake bars
  3. Blue Bunny Ice Cream Sandwiches

A visual:


To note, they did not have bites taken out of them, as shown in the pictures above. Strawberry Shortcake was an odd choice. Of the the three Good Humor bar staples (Strawberry Shortcake, Chocolate Eclair, and Toasted Almond), the clear No. 1 pick is the Chocolate Eclair. But whatever. They had ice cream, which is an automatic bump in a half letter grade for me. It's so easy to do. Buy a small freezer, load it up with some ice cream, and let people grab and go. Boom. (I went ice cream sandwich, for the record.)

They also had a snacky treat station at halftime, which included an assortment of nuts and trail mix (for lack of a better description), and boxes of popcorn. 

We had our first food-related injury of the season. Jeff McLane of the Inquirer had a chunk of his tooth break off while sampling the popcorn. I blame the Eagles' passive training camp / preseason for not having Jeff ready for the regular season.

Post-game, they had pulled chicken and pulled pork. The pulled chicken was gone by the time we made it back up to the press box after locker room availability, but the pulled pork was still there. It tasted better than it looked:


Grade: Overall, it was a nice enough showing by the Lions, who improved from a C- last year to a B- this year.

Other random gameday experience notes:

  1. Ford Field is one of the more underrated stadiums in the NFL. It's definitely top 10, borderline top 6.
  2. During the late afternoon games (while we're writing our postgame stories), all the press box televisions had the Packers-Vikings game on. That's a party foul. RedZone channel is the move.
  3. Oftentimes when you show up to an opposing stadium and you ask a stadium worker where the media entrance is, you get a blank stare back, typically followed by a guess that is always wrong. On Sunday, the Lions dude I asked was like, "Gate G, blue awning" like he was Brad Rutter answering a $200 geography question. Kudos.

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