Nothing should come as a surprise to us in this town anymore; the Bengals just won a Monday Night Football game for the first time since the first Bush administration, and our billion-dollar baby quarterback didn’t take a single snap. We’re on a joyride of the impossible right now.

This now extends past our sports franchises and right into our food. As I grew up, I often wondered why the Riverfront concession stands offered greyish hamburgers and questionable mets when we had so many delicious things right outside the stadium walls.

2 AM vs 5 AM

The welcome trend of featuring local fare at MLB ballparks was the greatest thing to come to the game since cupholders, but I do believe that when our airport followed suit, the menu planners got a little carried away.

You now can get Skyline Chili for breakfast in Concourse B of the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport and only at Concourse B of the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport. This isn’t necessarily groundbreaking; my nephews eat Taco Bell and LaRosa’s for breakfast, but then again they’re boys and teenagers and breakfast typically happens at 2 PM.

However, I don’t have to walk past a simmering 3-way at 6:25 AM on two hours of sleep and a Pointer Sisters playlist. When I am in this state, I am easily nauseated, and while I’ll eat Skyline at 2 AM, there’s absolutely no question of doing so at 5.

The Good News

It’s not that I don’t love Skyline and craved it while I was gone. It was the first food I ate after Josh The Pilot and I became engaged. It was the first highway exit sign I’d look for when I lived eight hours away. It made me cry when I stumbled upon it in frozen form at a Florida supermarket when I was first living on my own and very, very frightened.

But timing is everything. The same product that made me call everyone I knew back home to deliver the Good News of the Miracle of the Frozen Two-Way causes no such reaction now that I walk past it every time I need to shove my face into some ice cream.

It’s Everything

I had to pass the airport Skyline last week while catching a day-long flight to LA. It was so early that the Starbucks were shuttered. I approached it cautiously, just so that I could tell people that I’d seen such a thing. How would Skyline deliver breakfast?

It would pile a 2-way on top of a mass of hash browns or eggs, that is how Skyline delivers breakfast.. The airport Skyline also offered expected variations of breakfast tacos and wraps, and I even saw such non-barfable items such as bagels on offer.

Even so, I fled the food court before the smell could hit me. My mother knew she was pregnant for the first time when she felt nauseated while cooking bacon one morning, and I knew I had maxed out my native Cincinnatian card when I felt nauseated when I was looking at a Skyline sign over Gates B 1-25 and wanting nothing to do with a cheese coney (no mustard, no onions.)
Timing is everything.

The Farms and the Journeymen 

The Reds are currently in a position to in which they can carefully balance their buying and selling. The front office seems to be pondering this carefully. We would welcome Sonny Gray back for this much but not that much, and they wouldn’t go amiss by shoring up the infield.
We are known for our carefully tended farm. Now how do we time the harvest? If the Reds force our hothouse rookies out of the minors too quickly, they’d not only stunt a career, they’d kneecap the mothership team.

And who to send off to other farms, and who to let soak a little while longer? What about bringing in more veterans? Entire careers have hinged on who was available at what time after which season. There suddenly seems to be a lot more at stake here than the usual player to be named later.

It is glorious that the pot boiling over this year’s hot stove is one of optimism and hope instead of gloom and despair. And that makes judging our trading timing all the more difficult.

4 Responses

  1. LDS

    Timing is everything, but for some us, the “it’s another year like every other” feeling is starting to creep in. The Reds need to reward their fans by doing something strategic and forward looking. As for Skyline, I’ve never had the opportunity. But nothing is worse than franchising great products and subsequently watching them morph and decay.

    • Mary Beth Ellis

      I’d love to see Votto return but that was a surprise decision. Usually sentiment rules the front office.

  2. Mark Moore

    Love the analogies, MBE. Being I live elsewhere, I’ve never done Skyline Chili in any fashion. Now at 60, it probably isn’t on the top of my list. Heck, I didn’t indulge in any ballpark food when I watched our Reds play 2 games up in DC. Probably because I’m cheap.

    Hope does spring eternal once again. Let’s see if that hope ripens enough to harvest a good showing in 2024.