Classic Junk Food: Crackerjacks & Introducing…Clout Wars aka, This Is How Nerdy I Truly Am

Junk Food Nation, tonight is the nerdiest night I have in the year.  I’m about to bear my soul to you.  Cue timpani…. Tonight is the night of my fantasy baseball auction draft. I know, I know.  So nerdy. It gets worse.  I play in a few different baseball leagues – one with high school friends for a substantial pot of money, one with some industry folk, and then this one, affectionately called Clout Wars.

Clout Wars: Battle of the Semi-Experts

Ooooooooh yeah.  Comprised of all the top players from the random other leagues I was in (college league, law school league, work league, etc.), Clout Wars is a true battle between 12 owners who actually ENJOY fantasy baseball, and KNOW baseball.  Nerdy enough? It gets worse.

Clout Wars is named after and modeled after the professional fantasy baseball league with numerous “industry” experts called Tout Wars.  Tout Wars gained huge popularity after it was featured in the book, Fantasyland, written by Sam Walker.  I own said book and have read it cover to cover…oh…27 times.

It gets even worse.  Tonight’s draft will feature me, sitting in my sweats, locked into a computer for probably four hours while I click away at a fake bid box to attempt to buy the baseball players to form my fictional team.  I will be ignoring food, water, sleep, and the Junk Food Gal, during this time.

And if that wasn’t bad enough…this league isn’t even for money.  No, at the end, the winner gets a trophy (that I made – cough) as a symbol of their fantasy baseball geekdom.  We’ve played now for five years; I am pleased to have been the champion 2 out of those 5 years, and I am the current reigning champion:

My precioussssssssssssss

Anyways, I’ll be live tweeting the Clout Wars auction draft this evening in case anyone wants to see how much Gio Gonzalez went for.  Who, you ask?  Pssssh….you don’t even know.

In celebration of baseball, and acting like a child, today’s junk food is a classic: Crackerjacks!

The Money Shot

The Junk Food Gal gave me these the other day, and I had to admit, I couldn’t remember the last time I’d eaten Crackerjacks.  Literally.  Like….over 20 years?  Do you realize how upsetting it is to actually think back to OVER 20 years of existence?  Ugh, I need a drink.

Sailor Jack & Bingo! Wait...who?

Crackerjacks are a classic junk food, having been around since 1893.  Wow.

And apparently, the official name is Cracker Jack.  That’s weird.  Why the singular?  What is this the Utah Jaxx, Miami Heat?  Would I ever eat Dorito?  No, it’s Doritos, and to me, its Crackerjacks.  One word.  Own it.

Simple ingredients

The unstoppable Crackerjacks formula – popcorn, peanuts, corn syrup and molasses.  All the things a growing kid needs.

Prize pack!

And there's the prize...

Growing up, Crackerjacks always had a prize within.  I’m curious what the prize is these days.  In the past, waaaay back, it’d always been something like a decoder ring.  Apparently, these were choking hazards.  According to Wiki:

“More recently, Cracker Jack ships a small fold-and-tear comic or paper device as its prize. These are punched from sheets, and can be produced much more cheaply than small plastic trinkets. This is likely meant to avoid choking hazards, as well as a cost savings measure, similar to the use of a non-recyclable, non-biodegradable bag rather than a cardboard box with a similar foil bag inside.”

What??  That’s BS!

Crispy and sweet

The taste of Crackerjacks is pretty amazing, and brings me back to my childhood – it’s light popcorn and a few peanuts, covered with a light caramel candy coating.  The great thing about Crackerjacks is the texture – it’s all light.  Unlike Poppycock or other popcorn companies, they really DON’T overdo the caramel – the popcorn and peanuts are the stars of the show, and they aren’t overwhelmed.  If you’re someone looking for more candy, go elsewhere.  Otherwise, I think Crackerjacks have the perfect balance of caramel and popcorn and peanuts.

Anticipation building

Ah, the friggin prize.  A fold-and-tear-comic, huh? Hooo boy.

What the....

Ok….some random dude, and a lot of text.  What is this, a history lesson, Crackerjacks!?  Grrrrr….

Detach panel and fold to reveal my image as an adult?  Say whaaaaaa….

It's George W.! IN DA HOUSE!

Oh lord, it’s George Washington.  This was a history lesson.  “Washington can also be found on the $1 bill and the quarter.”  Thanks, Crackerjacks.  I’m sure this is the information Nicolas Cage was looking for in National Treasure:

Abigail Chase: You’re treasure hunters, aren’t you? 
Ben Gates: We’re more like treasure protectors. 

Genius.

Thoughts? Hit me in the comments below or hit me on Twitter @junkfoodguy or on my Facebook Page. Sincerely, Junk Food Guy

Discuss - 10 Comments

  1. Neil Tyra says:

    Clout Wars? Your own homemade trophy? Baseball? Jeez…

  2. Shorneys says:

    If you put the S on Cracker Jack, then “Take Me Out” doesn’t rhyme anymore (I don’t care if I ever get backs? weak).

    It’s crackerjack. As you rightly point out with the S in Doritos, the presence or absence of the letter S has nothing to do with the plurality or singularity of a named foodstuff. So crackerjack. I’m with you as far as it being one word. But if there’s no S on “backs,” then there’s no S on “crackerjack.” Boom, roasted.

  3. Awww…the Junk Food Gal… ;)

    I just barely remember when the prize used to be a plastic toy – it’s been these crappy paper things for a long time now. I think I’ve gotten that exact Washington history lesson at least twice…weak, I tell you…

    I think the flavor is almost burnt caramel, which makes it so good. Now I have to go buy a box…

  4. Lindemann says:

    I was wondering how the Junk Food Gal feels about being called the “Junk Food Gal.” Also, if you had been attending more baseball games, you would have given in to the siren song of Cracker Jack more recently than 20 years ago. Some summer nights it’s just what you need (though it’ll never be as good as the kettle corn they served when the Nats played at RFK. That stuff was crack-dusted or something).

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