In an editorial for WeOutHere.Net, local community activist Jessie Sponberg reacts to the news that the Portland Trail Blazers have replaced their popular free Chalupa promotion with Taco Bell by partnering with McDonald's to give out a free Sausage Egg McMuffin whenever the team hits 100 points during a game at the "Moda Center."
Sponberg spent a number of years collecting free Chalupa coupons outside the arena and distributing the tickets to local outreach agencies with the goal of giving homeless people a chance at a meal.
For those who have been living in a cave for the last two NBA seasons, the DYC program has collected over 20,000 transferrable "chalupons" and donated them to local outreach agencies such as Janus Youth, who then redistributed them to Portland's most vulnerable population - street kids. The coupons not only entitled the bearer to a warm Chalupa, but also access to a clean, safe place to use the restroom, which is even rarer on the streets than the warm meal.
I figured that whatever it is, it has to be better than Taco Bell. I was stretching my moral fabric pretty thin as it was to be giving kids such low quality food, and was excited about the prospect of something healthier - especially since the team just sold their naming rights to a health insurance provider. Whether any of the new giveaway ever made it to the hands of Portland's most vulnerable, it would be nice as a Blazer fan and a citizen of Portland to see healthier options available.
So imagine my surprise when I woke up Monday morning to find out the McBlazers sold out the McCity and signed a 5 year deal to giveaway McCrap. That's some effin McB*******. I have now had a full day and a half to process my anger and bewilderment. Is there any company that could be further away from the terms "healthy" or "local"? We're talking about a company who's very name is a synonym for everything wrong in a society plagued by obesity. How could the McBlazers management have seen this as a good idea? A blind man could see this is a terrible idea. How can I, in good conscience give somebody something that I refuse to put in my own mouth? For the record, I've never eaten a Chalupa in my life, but at least it has lettuce, tomatoes, sour cream and two kinds of shredded cheese. I can't possibly give this crap to anybody, and I damn sure ain't gonna stand out in the rain to do it.
I wouldn't give a McMuffin to my worst enemy. My real anger however, rises from the wasted opportunity. The fact that the team had a perfect chance to do something innovative, something progressive. Instead they paired up with the McNastiest company in the world- to give away a breakfast item! McGeniuses.
Earlier this week, the Blazers announced the switch, encouraging fans to chant "MICK-E-DEES" as the team approaches 100 points.
Blaze the Trail Cat symbolically buried a Chalupa coupon in a Blazers.com video.
-- Ben Golliver | firstname.lastname@example.org | Twitter