Hold the pickle, hold the lettuce, Special orders don't upset us, All we ask is that you let us Serve it your way... --Burger King advertisement jingle, 1974
While the McDonald's Corporation threatens innocent old Greek Revival buildings in Cambridge with demolition, number two is trying harder. Burger King corporation is sponsoring today's women's heavyweight crew race between MIT, Radcliffe and Boston University, and will award the Burger King trophy (which, contrary to popular belief, is not in the shape of a Whopper) to the winners.
The Burger King Invitational Regatta all began with Jeannie Friedman, an employee at the Allston franchise and a member of the fund-starved B.U. women's crew team. "Bu was not willing to give monetary support," Rich Litchfield, the regional merchandizing coordinator for Burger King, said yesterday, "and the team was looking for someone to come up with sponsorship. They deserve the recognition the college won't give them."
So, thanks to Friedman's suggestion, the fact that Burger King, according to Litchfield, "is looking at some sites on Commonwealth Ave. near B.U. along with an increasing drive for student publicity in the Boston area, tomorrow's race will be a run for the Whopper.
The important question, however, is what sort of trend among fast food chains will this move create? "Burger King usually ends up following McDonald's," Litchfield said. "I'm hoping in this case Burger King will set the pace. If they copy us, it would be nice, but McDonald's is very individual and I really can't tell what they'll do."
Of course since Burger King has already gotten into collegiate crew first, other hamburger chains will have to move into different sports to avoid that old "imitation is the sincerest form of flattery" syndrome. McDonald's owner Ray Kroc already is involved in pro sports, so why not get into collegiate as well?
Soon, we might be seeing the Ronald McDonald Intercollegiate Invitiational Tennis Tournament, with a set of Golden Arches served to the winner. The fans could cheer from the sideline "You deserve a service break today" and the event could be held in McFebruary (a month of fundays).
Or as Mel Embree clears the 7 ft. 1 in. mark in the Big Mac Track Championship high jump, you might hear someone singing, "You deserve to break a record today, so get up and get away..."
Or how about the Fillet-O-Fish Sailing Regatta. Maybe they'll replace the pot of beans with a large order of French fries for that annual Boston collegiate hockey tournament in the Garden. Colonel Sanders instead of Snatch?
Pretty soon, they'll be phasing out "Ten Thousand Men of Harvard" and substituting a new Crimson fight song:
Hold the Tigers, hold the Elis!
Dartmouth, Cornell don't you realize?
Harvard's men have sealed your demise and will beat you today...