Concession to recession: Big league burger at minor league park

Taking that first bite of an opening day hot dog is a rite any (non-vegetarian) baseball fan relishes.

Now, imagine yourself to be a fan of the West Michigan Whitecaps, a minor league baseball team in the Tigers chain. They mock your "hot dog with everything" and instead present an entree that makes heart patients skip a beat and cholesterol-watchers go blind:

It's the Fifth Third Burger, 1.67 pounds (rounded up) of grilled ground beef, topped with — this is not a drill, folks — nacho cheese, chili, salsa, Fritos (despite what's in the photo), tomato and lettuce served on a 8-inch sesame seed bun.

What, no fries? Not if you want to live.

This from Mickey Graham, director of marketing and media relations: "No one has eaten the full one yet."

UPDATE: We have obtained schematics (Graham sent them, actually) of a T-shirt that goes to anyone who can wolf down this monster burger.

CNBC's Darren Rovell already has awarded the Fifth Third Burger the Concession Item of the Year. Too soon, I say. What if Paula Deen comes along, y'all, and tries to top it by deep-frying a hamburger-hot dog chimera on donut buns and squirts on buttered mustard? Could happen.

Ben's Biz blog discovered the burger monstrosity and surmises that — even with a $20 price tag — it can feed a family of four in these recessionary times.

The first thing that came mind when I saw this burger: John Candy and the steak-eating contest in "The Great Outdoors."

That was a 96-ounce steak. This is just five-thirds of a pound of burger and the only prize for downing one is a Whitecaps T-shirt. An amusing T-shirt, yes. But still.

But, as the man said, nobody's earned a shirt yet. Maybe increase the incentive? Finish the burger, free admission to another Whitecaps game. How 'bout it?

The second thing that came to mind: what kind of damage could Kobayashi and Joey Chestnut do in a Fifth Third Burger eating contest?

Oh, if you must have a hot dog, but want to eat one in style, there's always this bad boy.

FYI: It's called the Fifth Third Burger not only for its size, but for the sponsor of the ballpark in which the W'caps play.

Finally, here's the nutritional data again, in case the T-shirt wasn't clear:

Concern..........Count.........Daily Value


Sat. Fat.............199g...........460 percent

Cholesterol......,744mg.........248 percent

Sodium..........10,887mg.......454 percent

Carbs................354g............118 percent

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