Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Skyline Chili Crosstown Shootout VIP Party

Along with chili, another great Cincinnati tradition is the Crosstown Shootout, where Xavier University and University of Cincinnati square off in basketball. Skyline Chili is the title sponsor of the game so it makes perfect sense for them to honor the tradition of the game by hosting a VIP Party at their location downtown on 4th & Sycamore. Skyline was gracious enough to extend us an invite to the party. Apparently blog about coneys is the way to become VIP, who knew?

Alison is a graduate of UC and I am a life long fan and season ticket holder of XU, so we were looking forward to attending the shootout party. We almost scored free tickets to the game, there were door prizes, our numbers were 11 and 12, the number drawn for the tickets (and $50 Skyline gift card) was 13. If only we had shown up slightly later. Along with the door prizes, the restaurant was decorated with UC and XU balloons and appearances were made by both schools cheerleaders and mascots. The UC mascot stopped by our table at one point and it did not appear that he approved of our intercollegiate relationship. Speaking of mascots, a fun fact about Xavier's famed Blue Blob mascot: One year (over 20 years ago) Skyline Chili offered a mascot to the winning team of the shootout. Xavier won that year and the blob was born.

Former Bengal, and current member of the Bengals radio broadcast team, Dave Lapham emceed the event, which featured XU Coach Chris Mack and UC Coach Mick Cronin as the main speakers. Both coaches talked about the tradition of the shootout, how they were from the area and how they have known each other for a long time. They appeared to get along pretty well considering how fierce the rivalry can be, definitely not hated rivals like Bob Huggins and Pete Gillen were in the early 90's. There was also a fun video that featured old shootout highlights and both coaches communicating via text messages talking trash to one another. As someone who follows both coaches on twitter, you can tell Chris Mack is a little more comfortable with new technology, and this was clear on the video as Mick's awkwardness showed. Wasn't a video that will win any awards, but it was effective for this event.

As food bloggers, the main attraction of the event was the food, which was all free! The invitation indicated it would be buffet style, but to my surprise waitresses worked the event and the whole menu (minus potatoes) was available. We of course ordered coneys, the main challenge was to eat the coneys without over analyzing them since this wasn't the official Skyline coney quest stop.  We did enjoy they coneys (and the oyster crackers, and the free Busken sugar cookies) and look forward to "officially' visiting Skyline later. Beer and wine was also served, I assume there were other non alcoholic drinks, but cmon, we took advantage of the free drinks as if it were open bar at a wedding reception.

Overall we had a lot of fun at this event and are gracious that Skyline extended us the invite. We will also have fun rooting against each others teams on Thursday night. I think loser has to buy the coneys on the next quest stop!

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