Hockey + Tacos = Hackos? Tacky?

wewanttacos.jpgHow do you keep asses in the seats and eyes on the screen during a blowout? It’s a question that has plagued sports franchises forever. Several NHL teams have (or had) promotions tied to the home team scoring lots of goals in an attempt to maintain fans’ interest. I am reliably informed by my MYFO compatriots that Pittsburgh used to run a promotion with Wendy’s where fans would get free chili if the Pens scored 7 (with Mario and Jagr and Stevens and Tocchet, that’s a lot of free beans). And the Capitals, apparently, have some sort of deal involving free wings if the Caps score 6 (why not just promise everyone $1,000?).

But today’s topic is tacos, that simple-yet-tasty faux-Mexican staple. The Blues used to have a promotion where fans (and not just ticket-buying fans, but everyone who might conceivably hear about the game in some way) would get free and/or reduced-price tacos at Taco Bell the next day if the Blues scored 5 goals. This promotion had its pluses–it was for everyone, and didn’t involve some sort of mythically unattainable score like 6 or 7 goals. It also had the obvious downside–the “prize” was Taco Bell tacos.

Nobody over the age of 23 actually eats Taco Bell tacos, do they? Voluntarily and uninfluenced by alcohol, that is. Grilled Stuft Burritos and Mexican Pizza are one thing, but a few dribbles of greasy “meat” buried under a handful of half-wilted lettuce shreds inside an unusually crunchy shell…that’s college food. Or late-night-soak-up-some-of-the-vodka-in-my-belly food.

But the promotion was nonetheless popular with fans, who would start a spontaneous “WE WANT TACOS!” chant after a fourth goal was scored. And the only thing better than having Towel Man count out those five goals was the knowledge that, if your taste buds suddenly died overnight, you could gorge yourself on tacos the next day, and have plenty of money left for toilet paper.

Plumber’s Delight

But the promotion has been gone for a couple of years, forcing St. Louisans to pay full price for their tacos–putting a serious crimp in the budgets of many Jefferson County families. For new Blues owner Dave Checketts, this was simply unacceptable. So, he recently announced that cheap tacos are back. Well, sort of. As first noted by the excellent folks at St. Louis Game Time, the promotion isn’t exactly the same as it used to be. First, you need to have a ticket stub. No tacos for the unwashed masses. Second, the tacos involved are not even Taco Bell brand crappy tacos, but concession stand tacos from the Scotttttttrade Center. And you have to go to the arena to get them.

The new chant: “We want tacos! But we’re not going to get them! Because we don’t work downtown!”



  1. Habs fans get 8 free wings for 5 goals, but you have to speak French to know how to get them:

    The irony is that I am sure the restaurant, given the Habs recent lack of offensive firepower, thought the Habs would NEVER score 5 goals. They’ve had to pay out 3 times already.

  2. The Pens also used to (may still) run a Subway promotion — if the team scores a goal during a specified 2 minute period in the game, fans with ticket stubs could get a free 6″ meatball sub at local Subways.

    I do remember enjoying such a freebie courtesy of Alex Kovalev after a blowout of the Flyers at the Igloo. The game was better than the sub, of course, but you can’t knock a free lunch.

  3. I will take a taco in any form and if that makes me a taco hockey whore, so be it!

  4. LeNoc, I too like vodka.

    If I ruled the world (or controlled Minnesota Wild promotions), I would go with 5 free sliders from White Castle if the Wild scored five goals. Since my squad finds it hard to score more than two goals, it’s a pretty sweet promotion – for the organization, that is.

  5. For Spokane Chiefs fans, it’s free chalupas when 6 goals are scored. So around goal 4, people scream/chant cha-lu-pa. Those coupons are nice when you are extra broke and want Taco Bell.

  6. As I wrote at Game Time, we’re all in favor of people giving their tickets to the homeless. BUt sometimes the homeless say, “No thanks, it’s not even Taco Bell.”

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