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#1 The Oldtimer
He's the first guy you see as you walk into the concourse. Relegated to a stool, selling programs and scorecards, his yellowed, foggy eyes have witnessed every team championship of the last half century. While his mouth might not say much, his stooped posture, trembling hands, and withered cheeks all seem to say the same thing: I haven't pooped in a week.
Likely a veteran of war and a vestige of American perseverance, his dignity seems a little compromised when a little kid in an oversized jersey points at him and says, Daddy, is that a troll? Semper fi, Oldtimer.
#2 Brawny Beer Guy
The Brawny Beer Guy is a beast of burden. With a neck and shoulders thick enough to absorb an oncoming Prius, he totes scoliosis-inducing loads of beer for hours on end, dealing with an increasingly belligerent clientele. His pitch is rough, guttural, and uncomplicated-usually some variation of Heyyyyyyy beeeeeeeeerrr herrrree!-and he wears thigh-high shorts to accommodate the constant squatting.
Though he looks like a cross between the Incredible Hulk and one of the Village People, he sits at the peak of the vendor hierarchy, earning high commission on a product that's always in demand, regardless of season. And if anyone's bullying tips out of smaller salespeople, he's the one.
#3 Underwhelming Female Vendor
Some professions just naturally work better for certain genders. The Underwhelming Female Vendor is employed, if anything, because the government required it. Her snack-sized lungs bark with the force of a chipmunk, immediately dissipating in the crowd's roar. Her smaller frame forces her to sell lighter items, like cotton candy, anatomically disqualifying her from hawking high-gross foodstuffs. What's worse, she deals with a largely male patronage in their most primal arena, and chivalry is to sports as Taylor Swift is to BET. It's a tough gig for the Underwhelming Female Vendor.
#4 Hopelessly Eccentric Hotdog Guy
Back in the good ol' days, hotdog vendors tossed their product over heads and across aisles, hitting their buying target with admirable accuracy. They were a respected part of the sporting experience, but then paranoia and liability wiped out their kind, spawning different versions of the Hopelessly Eccentric Hotdog Guy.
The Hopelessly Eccentric Hotdog Guy is the kind of guy who always felt he was really funny, but due to a lack of confidence, is really just a poor imitator of a funny person. He's generally pale, usually balding, and his shirt is likely coming un-tucked in the back. He depends on one of two sales weapons: a crazy voice or a bizarre line. The crazy voices tend to be lousy bootlegs of either Krusty the Klown or Barry White, and the bizarre lines usually serve to catch people off guard (Recent examples I've heard: Buy a hotdog, defeat the vegetarians! Get your hotdog! Rich in zero vitamins!). Whatever the case, you sort of feel bad for the guy and hope he has a supportive family.
#5 The Pubescent Candy Peddler
Not a peddler of pubescent candy (hairy Tootsie Roll, anyone?) but a candy peddler who's also pubescent, the PCP (angel dust, anyone?) is a guy with pro athlete dreams without the skills to boot. Even though he's selling the cheapest, most undesirable items, like licorice ropes, the PCP doesn't care because he's not in it for the money. Just an opportunity to be in the big stadium, taking in the energy, feeling the breeze move through his wispy mustache-it's all he needs to soothe his unachievable dream. Fresh from high school and unfit for community college, he banks on one day joining the ranks of the beer vendors. But until then¦Would anyone like some licorice?
#6 Mai Tai Guy
More a mainstay of basketball and hockey games, the Mai Tai Guy is sort of a freak among the vendor ranks. Carrying a large, cylindrical backpack of tropical cocktail, he stands out from the otherwise thoroughly American stadium fare. His hair is gelled back, his assigned yellow shirt unbuttoned, and there's something distinctly off-putting about his presence, kind of like someone selling carnations at a gun show. Booze is booze, though, and if Mai Tai Guy provides some consolation when a team's losing, then he's A-OK in my book.