If you’re wearing a burrito on your head, it better be free
It’s free stuff, it’s loot, it’s booty, it’s what everyone at the X Games wants when they’re not watching the main events.It’s swag. Pronounced “schwag.”It’s everywhere at the base of Buttermilk this weekend, but you have to stand in a few lines if you’re going to get some. Fliers, posters, buttons, tiny samples of deodorant and slap-on bracelets – it’s the gateway to pack rat heaven.On Saturday afternoon the crowds were thick in front of booths where ESPN Winter X Games sponsors were doling out their brand-name swag. Free 0.9-ounce containers of Right Guard Sport with Power Caps, free buttons from Burton snowboards, free carabiners at the Jeep booth and free X Games bells for your cheering enjoyment from ESPN.At the Taco Bell booth there was plenty of logoed chapstick to go around, and plastic purple bracelets in the same style as Lance Armstrong’s yellow wristbands. These ones, however, read “Spice up the night – Taco Bell.” Why support cancer survivors on your wrist when you can support schleppers of 69-cent bean burritos?At the U.S. Navy booth you could periodically try to do more pull-ups than the military muscle on scene, for a chance to win a snowboard. Mountain Dew wowed the crowd by giving out the occasional iPod as part of its spin-the-wheel competitions, and anyone wanting to show off their swag-gathering prowess wand-ered around the games wearing newly won taco or burrito hats from Taco Bell. And we’re not talking baseball or knit caps here – we’re talking giant foam creations in the shape of a taco or a burrito. The mohawk-like taco hats may be referred to (by 8-year-olds) as phat.Of course, if there is a creme de la creme of free stuff, it’s worthy finding yourself a friend in the media who can show you what comes out of the press tent while everyone else queues up for a chance at a foam taco hat.Our X Games experience at The Aspen Times wouldn’t be complete without stopping in to check out these items, spraying deodorant around the newsroom and regretting it a minute later.There’s Tag Body Spray for Men that smells like the 13-year-old who took a bath in his dad’s cologne before cozying up to you at the eighth-grade dance.There are containers of Campbell’s Soup at Hand, which comes in a number of familiar flavors. Rumor has it, however, that the “Mexican Style Fiesta” is better for marinating meat than direct consumption.Men’s personal grooming products abound, like Edge shaving gel and the Schick Quattro razor. There’s also Right Guard Xtreme Cool Spray antiperspirant, for guys who need to jet-propel deodorant into their armpits in the morning.ESPN included its own plastic X Games toy of the snowboard superpipe so you can practice your “most radical moves,” sort of. It hurts a lot less than actually navigating the icy pipe, and doesn’t even cost a lift ticket.The bottom line here might be that if you’re wearing a burrito on your head, or managed to out-pull-up the Navy guys enough to win a snowboard, you’re probably better off than people cruising through the press tent.Naomi Havlen’s e-mail address is email@example.com
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