The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Local News

October 24, 2012

Mike Pound: Forget steel; tacos are the new symbol of industry

In keeping with my philosophy of saying “Cool! Free lemons” whenever life gives me lemons, I’ve decided to look at the bright side of the St. Louis Cardinals losing game seven of the National League Championship Series.

For one thing, I no longer have to worry about the Cardinals losing game seven of the World Series. I also don’t feel the need to constantly check ESPN for updates about the Cardinals. On Tuesday night, for example, instead of checking ESPN to make sure the entire Cardinals team had not been run over by the stadium tarp, I watched something that I thought I would never see again in my lifetime: a show on the History Channel.

When the folks who created the History Channel launched their station, I’m pretty sure they figured they would never run out of history. But apparently they did because, a few years ago, they quit running history programs on the History Channel. The folks over at the Weather Channel are lucky. They never seem to run out of weather. History, I guess, is different.

The program I watched Tuesday night on the History Channel was about a few guys who helped shape this country and got incredibly rich doing it. The name of the show is “Congress.”

Ha. I joke.

No, the name of the show is actually “The Men Who Built America,” and it was pretty good.

On Tuesday, I learned quite a bit about John D. Rockefeller, Cornelius Vanderbilt and Andrew Carnegie. While I watched the show, I thought about the giants of industry in today’s America. Specifically, I thought about the great minds behind the massive Doritos Locos Taco giveaway planned during the World Series. I’m pretty sure the men who built America would be impressed. I’m pretty sure John D. Rockefeller would say: “Forget about Standard Oil. Those guys made a taco out of Doritos. Genius.”

Andrew Carnegie, I’m sure, would say, “Well, I’m glad to see all those libraries paid off after all.”

If you haven’t heard, the folks at Taco Bell will give a free Doritos Locos Taco (one per person) to anyone who wants one, provided that a player steals a base during the World Series. If the stolen base occurs during games one through four of the Series, the free tacos will be given out from 2 to 6 p.m. on Tuesday at all participating Taco Bells. If the stolen base occurs during games five through seven, the tacos will be given away from 2 to 6 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 5.

I was told that the folks at Taco Bell came up with the World Series stolen base giveaway after their first idea didn’t pan out. Taco Bell at first was going to give away tacos if a Republican candidate for the Senate said something stupid, but they decided that was too much of a sure thing, so they went with the World Series deal.

I sort of like the idea of the taco giveaway. Baseball players don’t steal bases like they used to. Back in the 1980s, baseball players would steal bases — literally — at the drop of a hat.

“The second baseman dropped his hat. RUN!”

But during the steroid era when the average baseball player weighed nearly 300 pounds (not including their giant heads), they stopped stealing bases. Now, with the free taco deal, players have a reason to steal bases. And maybe, if a player steals a base and everybody gets a free taco, somebody will do a show about the whole thing.

They can air it on the History Channel.

DO YOU HAVE AN IDEA for Mike Pound’s column? Call him at 417-623-3480, ext. 7259, or email him at mpound@joplinglobe.com. Follow him on Twitter @mikepoundglobe.

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