Concessions at the Games of Rome

The crowd of 80,000 plus roared as Aaron Rogers hit Randall Cobb on a crossing route that slanted deep up field. He was wide open and that catch went for 40+ yards and a touchdown – something you don’t often see against the New England Patriots. But we saw it that day and more than that, we saw a Packers win!

We’ve seen a lot over the last 25 years of Packer football – the play of two, count them, two future Hall of Fame quarterbacks and the dynamic receivers that were made so by the play of those QBs. We saw our team take two trips to the Super Bowl, the advent of the Lambeau Leap and on one Monday night against the Minnesota Vikings we saw Antonio Freeman catch a ball that should’ve been intercepted while laying on his back. He got up and ran into the end zone to score a game winning touchdown in overtime. That play happened right in front of me.

Do you know what else is a must at every game at Lambeau Field? Brats and beer! A nice sizzling brat with stadium sauce and sauerkraut nestled in a soft bun washed down with a cold Miller Genuine Draft. Call me stupid, but it just doesn’t get any better than that, and that’s why I wouldn’t have liked the games of the Colosseum in Rome.

Never mind that the chariot races were brutal, the gladiators were ruthless and the lions ate people – there were no brats and there was no beer.

Oh, there were concessions at the games. A dude by the name of Statius wrote of the tables at the games of the Saturnalia that “served every class alike, child, woman, plebs, eques and senator”. And what did they eat?

“Scarce had Dawn got out of bed”, writes Statius, “when sweets began to rain down on us, a rare dew distilled by the rising East Wind. The finest harvest of the hazel orchards of the Pontus and of the fertile hills of Idume, all that devour Damascus grows on its boughs, all that thirsty Cunus dries, all fell in profusion.”

Still no brats and no beer.

“There was a veritable shower of little cheeses and fritters, Amerines not too smoked, must-cakes, and enormous caryotis dates form invisible palms.”

No brats and no beer.

“A second audience, at least as good-looking and well-dressed as we who were sitting down, now threaded its way along every row. Some carried baskets of bread and white napkins and more elaborate delicacies; others served languorous wine in brimming measure: you would think each one a divine cupbearer from Mount Ida.”

Yes, but no brats and no beer!

Yes, I’m quite sure. Without brats and beer, the games of the Saturnalia in ancient Rome would’ve been a flop.

Thanks to the folks at the Food Timeline for the discussion about the Ancient Roman Colosseum on their website: http://www.thefoodtimeline.org

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