There’s just nothing like Texas high school football. The excitement of the competition on the gridiron, the fervor of the fans, the pageantry of the marching bands and, also a significant part of the experience, the fare of the concessions.

As a youngster, the jingling of change in my dad’s pocket as we climbed into the stands on Friday nights had the Pavlov’s dogs effect on my salivary glands. Even though the meal Mom had put in front of me before heading to the stadium had filled the void temporarily, the aroma of buttered popcorn and hot dogs wafting into the bleachers renewed this young man’s perpetual appetite.

Back in the day, a young ‘un could fill his hands with lots of goodies without dad having to fork over paper money, so I knew my chances were pretty good for snagging four to six bits. With quarters in hand, the only task ahead of me was how to spend the precious coinage. Though a daunting dilemma for a hungry kiddo, the choices were really not that numerous. Besides the popcorn and dog, a few choices of candy, a bag of chips and a couple of options for soda were about all there was in the booth from which to choose. Still, this was more than enough variety for me. I was glad to get it.

Of course, as time marches on, so does marketing. Even in a modest booster club booth. Nachos were introduced (with or without jalapenos, of course), as were pizza slices. Friday nights now featured international cuisine.

Add a dozen varieties of drinks, a plethora of candy bars, corn dogs, hamburgers and ... viola! No need for Mom to rush home from work and throw together the tuna casserole before everyone heads to the ballgame. Add to the mix all the other organizational sponsors pulling their portable smokers to the stadium and one has the choice of virtually anything that can be barbecued and slapped on a bun. Not to be denied a piece of the Friday night pie (and yes, you can get fried pies, too), fast food chains are now represented at many of your higher profile stadiums.

So, OK. The variety simply enhances the experience that is rough-and-tumble schoolboy football in the Lone Star State. Or so I believed.

I just THOUGHT all the food groups were represented.

It appears that Southlake Carroll will add a grass-skirted tiki hut alongside its other booths this season and begin serving the item that has been glaringly overlooked from Friday night fare, oh, these many years.

Sushi.

That’s right. No more settling for cholesterol-ridden hot dogs or “faturated” candy and burgers. I have little doubt that other schools will follow suit, so, not only have we gone international, we’ve gone dietetically healthy.

I don’t know about this, folks. I mean, eating properly at home or at work or at a restaurant is one thing. But when you go to a ball game, aren’t you supposed to loosen up, throw a little caution to the wind and root like heck for the colors? I’m sorry, but I like a little vice (and mustard, and onions, and kraut, if they’ve got it) with my hot dog.

Don’t get me wrong. I am one of “those” people who likes sushi. And to clarify, sushi is not a big, honking slab of raw fish. It’s a little wad of vinegarated rice, wrapped with paper-thin seaweed, containing bits of veggies, like avocado, celery or carrots, etc. and sometimes even little bits of brine-soaked fish. Sounds healthy, don’t it? Well, it is. Unless, of course, you get carried away with the wasabi and burn away a few layers of your gums!

But to each his own. Let the seaweed rolling begin. Dragons fans will have to be careful, though. When Carroll scores (and they usually score a lot) and there’s handful or mouthful of sushi in play, the place could resemble an August wedding in Houston. And the poor souls sweeping the bleachers on Saturday...

Konnichiwa, y’all.

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