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What if I don't want a Big Mac? (No offense, Brad!)

Once upon a time, way back when the Bulls were still playing basketball, there occurred a certain game in which one Mr. John Salmons scored the 100th point.  You may recall that we - those of us who frequented the game threads, anyway - were inclined to mark the awarding of free Big Macs to UC patrons with many a snarky comment, particularly following the Hamburglar incident.

At that time, BaB regular cranscape suggested that in honor of John scoring the pivotal point, a Filet-o-Fish would have been a more appropriate giveaway than the standard Big Mac.  And thus, ladies and gentlemen, it is really all cranscape's fault that this post exists - because her comment started me thinking about which McDonalds menu item paired best with each Bulls player, something that would permit the promotion to be unique to the player with the great honor of breaching the triple digit threshhold. 

Obviously this is a pointless pursuit.  Rumor has it that many of the fine dining establishments concerned will hand over a free Big Mac even if the Bulls didn't score 100.  Assuming this is true, we certainly couldn't expect McDonalds' bright and friendly employees to care not only that the team had scored 100 points during a game, but on top of that which Bull was responsible for rewarding UC patrons with the opportunity to jeopardize their health without paying.

Nevertheless, this problem of which unhealthy fast-food item to pair with which professional athlete semi-fascinated me.  Yes, I am weird, but I have also been in a prolonged avoid-working-on-the-dissertation-at-all-costs phase.  So here are my proposed pairings.  All input is highly welcome - with the rate at which my dissertation is not writing itself, this could end up being my only meaningful contribution to society.  ;-)

  • Brad Miller - Big Mac.  What other big man on the team has the variety and trickery present in Brad's game?  A little offense here, a nice rebound there, a tricky assist one possession followed by a slow-mo roll to the basket the next.  All these ingredients combine into an appealing picture when you're thinking about what to order.  Yet who else can trick Vinny into thinking he's the healthy end-of-game option just by slapping on a little lettuce?
  • Joakim Noah - Chicken McNuggets.  Underneath the trappings, Chicken McNuggets are just plain solid, a good fundamental and versatile base to build on.  Pair that with a crazy dipping sauce or two to add some personality and the fun never stops.
  • Tyrus Thomas - McRib.  Sometimes it shows up on the menu, almost like magic.  And you think, hey, this is a really nice option!  But just when you get used to it being there they take it back off the menu.  Put it on the menu or retire it, damnit, and quit playing with our emotions like this!
  • Derrick Rose - Premium Grilled Chicken Classic.  A premium player already who's stepping up from the crispy world of childhood to the grilled responsibilities of stud PG.  Like all classics, he'll be around for a good long while, growing better with time.
  • Ben Gordon - Chipotle BBQ Snack Wrap.  At first you might think there's not much there - it's just a snack wrap, after all, good for one thing only, and that's taking the edge off your hunger.  It doesn't seem like there's enough there for a full meal.  But when you dig into it, you realize there's more to it than you first thought.  And it's really, really good.  On top of all that, it's a bit of a bargain compared to much of the menu.  And this one's the hot, 4th quarter version!
  • John Salmons - Filet-o-Fish.  Where it all started.  From the outside this doesn't sound all that appealing, but when you actually try it it's far better than you ever imagined it could be.  It kind of seems out there on its own, though, just hanging out one-on-one and not really mixing with the other menu options.
  • Kirk Hinrich - Bacon, Egg & Cheese Biscuit.  A lot of really solid, good things in this one that blend nicely into a yummy option.  Not one ingredient really stands out from the others, but all the basics are covered and overall it's just a very comfortable choice that's hard to go wrong with.  Too bad breakfast may not be in the plans.
  • Luol Deng - Premium Caesar Salad w/ Chicken.  Hey, it says premium, and you're sure paying like it is.  There should be a lot of good stuff there, because you ordered the version with chicken.  Only then you open the container and it seems like an awful lot of vegetables.  And at the end of the meal you're left wondering "Why'd I pay that for a bunch of lettuce?"
  • Aaron Gray - Double Quarter Pounder with Cheese.  If Brad is the Big Mac, then this one has got to be Aaron.  So many similarities between the two (size, two patties, lack of speed, pickles, a few offensive moves), but Aaron lacks the subtleties of Brad's Big Mac game.  No special sauce here!
  • Tim Thomas - Cheeseburger.  It's not that the basic cheeseburger is all bad or anything, and it's a big improvement on the plain hamburger you traded to New York, but it's just not much of a meal.  Plus, why pay all that for a single patty when you can get a double for about the same price?
  • Lindsey Hunter - Hot Fudge Sundae.  A classic that has withstood the test of time.  The only problem is if you run with it too long, the whole thing melts into a puddle.  Plus, you just can't live on ice cream.  A nice extra, but not a meal.
  • LJ3 - McDonaldland Cookies.  They're not especially good, but they somehow make you smile anyway.  You even enjoy the first two or three of them.  But keep eating them and they start to tast like stale cardboard.
  • Anthony Roberson - Snack-size Fruit & Walnut Salad.  It's probably the last thing you're thinking about ordering if you're at McDonalds, and it won't tide you over for long.  But, when the occasion is right, a snack-size helping of Anthony Roberson can really hit the spot.
  • DeMarcus Nelson - Happy Meal.  Your pretty sure you probably know what you have there, and it's not all that great.  The thing is, sometimes when you actually open the box, the prize inside is way better than you ever expected.  But most of the time it's pretty crappy.  Doesn't stop you from picking up a Happy Meal here and there, hoping to strike it toy-prize rich.
  • Jerome James - Ice Water.  He's not going to be scoring, and this is the only thing you can get for free.  (OK, it costs a quarter if you don't buy anything else.)  Hey, it's not much, but with the dry economy a nice cup of cold water can be pretty refreshing.