Now that’s a burger!

Courtesy photo of the Fifth Third Burger, available at the Fifth Third Ballpark in Comstock, Michigan, home to the West Michigan Whitecaps Class A team.

This is one of those stories that make you go hmmmm – or mmmmm depending on your likes.

The above sandwich, and I use that term loosely, is available at the Fifth Third ballpark in Comstock Park Michigan.  This is the home to the West Michigan Whitecaps, Class A team.  This is probably not something you’ll be seeing on the TinCaps health menus!

It may not look like much in the photo, but this is one huge sandwich.  It weighs 5/3 of a pound.  Yes, almost two pounds.  From The Grand Rapids Press:

Whitecaps add Fifth Third burger to ballpark menu
by Gary Bond
Thursday March 5, 2009

COMSTOCK PARK — The West Michigan Whitecaps, along with Gordon’s Food Service, put together an afternoon of food tasting to determine which items earned a spot on the 2009 menu.

And the winners were: the Fifth Third burger, chocolate frozen banana, Chicago Dog, Italian beef and sausage sandwich and scooped ice cream served on a regular cone, a waffle cone or in a dish.

Fans in suites can enjoy an Antipasti Platter, Pita Chips, Fruit ‘n Cheese, a Party Platter, Jumbo Breaded Ravioli, Chicken Rumaki and the Ballpark Triple Play, which is three all-beef mini-hamburgers.

“We have a few more new items on the menu than usual,” said Matt Timon, the Whitecaps’ director of food and beverages. “The item most talked about was the Fifth Third burger that could serve about four people and will cost an estimated $15.

“My favorite was the chocolate frozen banana because it’s a summer food. It’s tasty and healthy.”

The ingredients in the Fifth Third burger include five-thirds of a pound of grilled hamburger, nacho cheese, chili, salsa, crunched tortilla chips, tomato and lettuce served on a special eight-inch sesame seed bun.

Reports place the price of the sandwich at $20.  This was highlighted on one of the local news stations, and I counted at least 5 hamburger patties.  There are reportedly around 300 grams of fat in this sandwich as well.

This story is also interesting because of the national interest generated and the snowball effects (and power) of such interesting blog posts.  Benjamin Hill writes on

[…] Now, as a conscientious journalist, I hate to inject myself into the story. But it must be done in this case, because what happened next is this: On March 11, after being alerted to the Fifth Third burger’s existence, I contacted the Whitecaps and asked for photographic evidence. Promotions coordinator Brian Oropallo sent along a picture, which I featured in Ben’s Biz Blog.

That would have been it, except that CNBC sports business reporter (and fellow blogger) Darren Rovell noticed the post and decided to take things a step further. He obtained nutritional information about the burger and went on to brazenly declare it the “Minor League Concession Item of the Year.”

This was the start of a truly remarkable chain reaction, as the burger has now been featured throughout the national media.

[…] “It’s interesting to see how this one has built up from the time we announced it in the Grand Rapids Press to when [Ben’s Biz Blog] got it to when CNBC’s Darren Rovell posted it on his blog Monday. The snowball effect of the media is amazing,” Whitecaps media relations and marketing director Mickey Graham said. “Since those two blog posts, we have fielded interview requests from media outlets all over the country. It’s a tribute to the speed at which information moves today.”

Moving at a considerably slower speed will be anyone who is able to eat the burger in one sitting. It may seem impossible, but the Whitecaps will award a commemorative t-shirt to any fan that is able to do so. The front of the shirt features a huge photo of the Fifth Third Burger, while the back proudly lists its nutritional information.

This leads us to the next poll question:

[poll id=”53″]

By the way, Ben features another gimmick/promotion available at another Minor League ballpark:

[…]”You can probably deduce that All-You-Can-Eat ballpark food might lead to substantial gas emissions, which is where corporate sponsor, Subtle Butt, enters the picture. Made of activated carbon fabric, each disposable 3.25″ square shield is held onto the inside of the underwear with two self-adhesive strips. Subtle Butt effectively filters flatulence, absorbing and neutralizing its odor.”

Therefore, the first 250 fans in attendance at every “Fat Tuesday” ballgame (the first is on April 14, mark your calendars) will recieve a free product sample of Subtle Butt.


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