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I’ve maintained a relatively decent interest in the Beijing Olympics. The wife and I have put in our fair share of hours, mostly watching Michael Phelps’s pursuit of history and the track and field excitement.
I’ll admit that I’ve paid scant attention to the less traditional sports. Shooting, judo and rowing have garnered little attention in the Forster household. There are, after all, only 24 hours in a day and one has to go to work, you know.
One of the lesser sports, however, suddenly got a whole lot of love. When I got to the office this morning, I was given a press release, and it’s big news: CiCi’s Pizza will give every one of us a free Pepperoni Flip should any American platform diver score a perfect “10”. If that happens, Pepperoni Flips will be distributed on Aug. 25, 2 - 5 p.m.
Not being confident about a) what a Pepperoni Flip is, and b) how difficult scoring a “10” in platform diving can be, I did a spot of research.
I found out the most important info: a Pepperoni Flip is similar to a calzone, which is basically a pizza folded over and baked. It’s a big semi-circle o’ pizza goodness.
A “10” is an achievable score in platform diving and has been earned before. Having the pressure of several million Pepperoni Flip-coveting Americans on your shoulders might make winning a 10 a bit more of a challenge
Woe be to the judge who denies an American platform diver that perfect mark. He will suffer the wrath of the CiCi customer.
I’ve been to CiCi’s. I know the kind of people that frequent CiCi’s; they take their chow seriously.
For the uninitiated, here’s a quick primer on CiCi’s. For four bucks, or so, you get the right to eat all of the pizza, salad and desserts you can .
Few of CiCi’s patrons seem to bother with the salad.
You are welcome to help yourself to about 15 different types of pizza on the trough...er, warming rack.
There’s little time for the pizzas to be “warmed” on the rack. The speed with which they are devoured would make a swarm of locusts blush.
I’m not sure the pizza servers wear heavy oven mitts so much to protect their hands from the heat as from the voracious crowd.
Behavior at the warming rack is tame compared to what goes on at the tables where the food is actually consumed.
Without going into the gory details, the CiCi’s experience can be a gruesome one.
Not gruesome enough, however, to keep me away from the joint.
And I’ll certainly be in the mix, should one of our platform divers hit that magical 10.
What CiCi’s has done is genius. They have finally given us a reason to fanatically cheer for our Olympians. Yeah, national pride is important. And, some of the athletes’ personal stories have been compelling. But they pale in comparison to a free Flip.
Michael Phelps? What has he done for us lately? The U.S. men’s basketball team? I don’t see them putting food on my table. Nastia and Shawn? I don’t recall getting any complimentary Italian grub as a result of those gymnastics sprites.
No, the Olympic athletes I’ll be cheering are those jocks who perform near-miraculous dives from over 30 feet up.
They bear the names of Laura Wilkinson, David Boudia and Thomas Finchum.
They are the ones who have the real chance at capturing the hearts, the minds and, yes, the stomachs, of America.