Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Top Five Backstage Food Spreads

Ah, the backstage food spread... the yardstick by which a promotion's success or failure can be measured. A press credential usually gives you access to wherever you want to go, and through the years where MMA Journalist has wanted to go is where the free grub is at, where one rule has emerged immutable: the more extravagant the selection, the more doomed the organization. (Something about spending money on unimportant things, like feeding the press, being directly proportionate to loose finances. Or something. Who cares?) MMA Journalist regrets never having partaken in Pride's alleged epic epicurean ensemble, but there have been quite a few winners Stateside, so here are the top five.
  1. The World Fighting Alliance - July 5th, 2002 - When John Lewis was running the show, the venue was the Hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas, where your press credential got you access to the hotel's staff cafeteria. Was the food good? It was outstanding, and entree selections were changed three times a day. Plus, as the hotel employed paid "beach goers" to populate their pool, the place was littered with bikini-clad babes getting their lunch on. That's always a plus.
  2. BodogFIGHT: "Alvarez vs. Lee" - July 14th, 2007 - Sliced roast beef, steamed potatoes, mixed vegetables, plus a table stocked with fruit, juice and granola bars for snacking throughout the night. BodogFIGHT really pulled out all the stops to feed people. Where are they now?
  3. EliteXC: "Heat" - October 4th, 2008 - Ken Shamrock and Seth Petruzelli may have conspired to destroy the organization that Kimbo Slice called home, but nothing can detract from this press room buffet. Hot dogs, hamburgers, potato salad, desserts and more, yet the icing on the cake was the endless supply of drinks (cans of soda and water). Yeah, baby.
  4. UFC 32: "Showdown in the Meadowlands" - June 29th, 2001 - The organization may be the very model of success now, but don't forget that Zuffa was bleeding money for years. Case in point, this bad boy in New Jersey, which featured a pre-show dining extravaganza that saw everything from cocktail shrimp to a carving station in play. Oh how I miss the good old days!
  5. UFC 37: "High Impact" - May 10th, 2002 - Zuffa still hadn't figured out the whole "not necessary to feed the reporters" thing, so they were still hosting press dinners at this point - which were small affairs where UFC brass would mingle with us scribes at high-end hotel restaurants. I remember the filet mignon as if it were just yesterday. Oh how I really miss the good old days!

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