Size Does Matter!

I live in Michigan, and everyone in the country knows we’re struggling at the moment in a number of crucial areas.

  • Michigan has a 12% unemployment rate.
  • Michigan is second in the nation when it comes to job cuts (California is first.)
  • According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Michigan is losing more residents than any state in the nation.
  • If the master minds in Washington, D.C. get their way, our Big Three Automakers (GM, Ford, and Chrysler) will soon be replaced by Tonka, Matchbox, and Hot Wheels.

Enough of all that. I’m sure I could go on and on about our challenges in the Great Lakes State, but national media outlets are doing too much of that at the moment. You seldom hear anything about why so many Michiganians (Michiganders or Michiganites) are still here and will probably never leave. I’ll skip the travelogue and get right to the point.

Size Does Matter!

It’s getting to be that time of the year again when the call of cracking bats and peanut vendors once again fill the air. Michigan also boasts several minor league baseball teams who happen to play in beautiful, state-of-the-art, high-tech, baseball stadiums.

One of those stadiums is Fifth Third Ballpark located in Comstock Park, Michigan, just north of Grand Rapids. The stadium is home to the West Michigan Whitecaps, a professional minor league baseball team and class A affiliate of the Detroit Tigers. It currently has a seating capacity of 11,123. Don’t forget that number.

If they have their way, the West Michigan Whitecaps may soon replace the traditional hot dogs, peanuts and beer usually found in every stadium. They’ve added a menu item they have dubbed the Fifth Third Burger. Wait a minute—this isn’t your typical burger.

It starts with an 8-inch sesame seed bun that requires 1 pound of dough and is made specially for the Whitecaps by a local baking company. Then spoon on nearly a cup of chili and place five one-third pound hamburger patties on top of that. (Get it, 5/3 pounds of beef for the Fifth Third Burger?) Add five slices of American cheese and liberal doses of salsa, nacho cheese and Fritos. Top it off with lettuce, tomato and sour cream, and you have a burger that can be sliced with a pizza cutter and feed four people for $20. Jalapeños are optional. Now consider that price tag when you remember that the stadium seats 11,123. Great financial potential!

In addition to more than 4,800 calories—potentially the most caloric item ever offered at a ballpark—the Fifth Third Burger contains nearly 300 grams of fat, 744 milligrams of cholesterol and more than 10,000 milligrams of sodium. The smell alone might be 25 calories.

The Whitecaps might want to consider the potential of offering Pepto-Bismol, Rolaids, Tums, Pepcid and Maalox at their concession stands as well. This may be the real gold mine.

Here you see the giant burger compared to a McDonald’s Cheeseburger. If a single person can consume the entire 4-pound finished product in one sitting, the team plans to give him or her a special T-shirt.

The team’s Fifth Third Burger was recently featured on ESPN’s “SportsCenter” and NBC’s “The Today Show.”

Maybe this article should have been filed in our “Out-of-the-Box Thinking” category as the creative minds in Grand Rapids seem to have a knack at producing mind-boggling and stomach churning specials such as:

  • deep-fried Twinkies
  • deep-fried Pepsi
  • entire turkey drumsticks
  • frozen bananas dipped in chocolate
  • sandwiches utilizing such potential ingredients as cactus, sausage gravy, Spam, fried eggs and grape jelly. Fortunately, not all on one sandwich.

However, they’re going to have to go overboard to top the Fifth Third Burger.

What were they thinking?

About Harry K. Jones

Harry K. Jones is a motivational speaker and consultant for AchieveMax®, Inc., a company of professional speakers who provide custom-designed seminars, keynote presentations, and consulting services. Harry's top requested topics include change management, customer service, creativity, employee retention, goal setting, leadership, stress management, teamwork, and time management. For more information on Harry's presentations, please call 800-886-2629 or fill out our contact form.

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