On Wednesday, the University of Nebraska – Omaha hockey team announced that their 2015-2016 home games will feature a taco cannon – a glorious combination of compressed air, delicious meats, tortillas, and ‘Merican engineering.
With this new addition, the University of Nebraska system* is now a leader in firing free food to fans. The University of Nebraska – Lincoln has featured Der Viener Schlinger, a giant hot dog gun, for almost 20 years.
*Hey, University of Nebraska – Kearney. Where you at? What delicious foodstuff are you shooting at your fans? If you want to join Lincoln and Omaha in D-1 grandeur, you need to step up your game.
I’m trying to wrap my head around the logistics of firing a taco from a air-powered cannon. Having caught a hot dog from Der Viener Schlinger a few years back, I can attest that not all foods are ideal for being fired 100 feet into the air. The dog I received was in a Ziploc bag, taped closed (presumably, for maximum aerodynamic efficiency), and looked crumpled and sad. The good news is the journey from the sideline to row 47 had no impact on the taste.
The better question is: What other foods were considered as cannon fodder? What delicacies sounded good in theory, but failed in testing (they do test these things, right?) Luckily, the cousin of a friend of a guy I know from a thing runs the Zamboni for UNO Mavericks game. He gave me a rundown on the food cannons that were rejected:
- Jumbo shrimp cocktails (naturally, an oversized gun operated by a midget, with cocktail sauce chaser).
- Personal pizzas, fired by a clay pigeon thrower. (Skeet shooter not included).
- Snow cones.
- Eggs (“Why do they always come scrambled?”)
- Spaghetti and meatballs.
- Nachos. (Think tortilla chips fired from a shotgun, followed by a water gun blast of piping hot cheese sauce. Want jalapeno with that?)
- Salad. (Attempts to “ramp up” your mom’s Salad Shooter did not go well).
- Cans of soda or beer
- For weddings, there is the Rice Cannon, which plays Pachelbel’s Canon in D.
- Whole roasted pigs