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Blame Howard Cosell for ballpark nachos

October 17, 2008 |  7:10 pm

From left, Don Meredith, Howard Cosell and Frank Gifford

Is there anything that makes you feel worse after eating them than ballpark nachos?

Maybe you've had better experiences than I have had, or go to a better class of ballpark. But every order of nachos I've ever eaten tasted like soggy cardboard drenched in melted Cheez Whiz with a few mild, perhaps expired, jalapeno peppers scattered on top.

I thought of this because of the excellent obituary in today's LA Times about Carmen Rocha, the waitress who introduced nachos -- not ballpark nachos but real ones -- to Jack Nicholson and other Angelenos at El Cholo Mexican restaurant.

As for ballpark nachos? We have none other than Howard Cosell to thank for their popularity in stadiums and arenas throughout the country.

Cosell, Don Meredith and Frank Gifford, the "Monday Night Football" crew, tested them on air more than 30 years ago and then mentioned them at every opportunity, creating an enormous appetite for them.

(That reminds me: Please vote in our favorite, least favorite sportscaster poll.)

Alas, we just missed the International Nacho Fest in Piedras Negras, Mexico.

-- Randy Harvey

Photo: A January 1972 photo released by ABC shows (from left) Don Meredith, Howard Cosell and Frank Gifford, the broadcasting team for "Monday Night Football." Credit: ABC / Associated Press Photo