Let me tell you a story about a young boy. A young boy who loved tacos, specifically, Taco Bell. That young boy would’ve eaten tacos for every meal, if his parents would’ve allowed it. Tacos for breakfast, tacos for lunch, and tacos for dinner. He even worked in the kitchen at a taco restaurant in high school, and would’ve made a career of it if he hadn’t gained 20 pounds in his six months on the job.
Then when that young boy grew into a young man at the University of Kentucky, his love for Taco Bell grew even more. He lived on Chicken Quesadillas and Cheesy Fiesta Potatoes during his college years, all five of them; and when he wasn’t eating Taco Bell, he was craving his next order, which always included a combo meal plus two add-ons, sometimes three. If you were to cut him open, he would bleed Fire Sauce and nacho cheese.
Ladies and gentlemen, that young boy was me, and I love Taco Bell more than ever today as an adult. I haven’t gone a week in the last decade without eating at least one Fourth Meal, and I would argue there isn’t another person on God’s green earth who has spent more money on Taco Bell in my lifetime. I love it so much, if Kentucky law would allow it, I would marry a Cheesy Gordita Crunch right now and you would all be invited to the wedding. We would serve a Nachos Bell Grande wedding cake as guests dance the night away around a nacho cheese fountain. I’ll spare you the honeymoon fantasies, but I feel a tear coming on just thinking about it.
So with that said, you can imagine my excitement when my beloved Kentucky Wildcats were shipped out to Boise, Idaho in this year’s NCAA Tournament, played at Taco Bell Arena. A Taco Bell Arena, I thought? That’s a thing? Sign. Me. Up. I’ll walk the 2,000 miles if I have to. It’s a trip I never imagined, and it was finally here.
The days leading up to Boise were some of the most exciting days of my life. Remember that feeling you got as a kid when you crawled into bed on Christmas Eve, knowing Santa Claus was on his way? The stockings were hung by the chimney with care, in hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there? I was the children in that poem, nestled all snug in my bed, but with visions of Beefy 5-Layer Burritos, not sugar plums, dancing in my head. This past week was Christmas Eve on heroin for me. I even tweeted Taco Bell Arena to share my excitement, but Taco Bell Arena never responded.
. @TacoBellArena Please tell me you serve the same delicious Taco Bell menu items in the arena. Can’t wait to see you. ?
— Drew Franklin (@DrewFranklinKSR) March 13, 2018
Turns out, Taco Bell Arena didn’t respond because Taco Bell Arena is a coward and didn’t have the heart to tell me the devastating news: Taco Bell Arena does not serve Taco Bell.
I learned the hard way, by walking around the concourse on an empty stomach, eager to eat my favorite food in its own arena. My heart instantly sank to the floor. I grew nauseous. Dizziness set in. I felt faint. Sweat rolled down my forehead as I reached for something, anything, to keep me from collapsing. I grabbed ahold of a window ledge and looked out over the Taco Bell Arena parking lot, wondering how I could reach the highest of highs, only to fall to the lowest of lows, in an instance. Imagine the sun shining bright over your whole world, then that world imploding beneath you into the fiery depths of hell. That’s where I was Wednesday afternoon, when I came to the realization that Taco Bell Arena is farce and a sham.
You see, Taco Bell Arena was built on a foundation of lies. At its core it is nothing more than cheap Idaho concrete and disappointment. It will pick you up and place you on a mountaintop, only to push you off the edge into a downward spiral of heartbreak. And then it will offer you stale popcorn and a corn dog.
While we have a break in the action, I would like to say that it's complete bullshit that Taco Bell Arena doesn't have a Taco Bell inside and it should be called Stupid Arena.
— Drew Franklin (@DrewFranklinKSR) March 16, 2018
I’m a broken man right now as I sit here in Boise, trying to piece myself back together. I will not let this destroy my love for all things Taco Bell, but I felt it was my duty to tell the world what I learned, and what lies have been told here. Maybe, just maybe, I will save someone else from the emptiness and agony I feel inside.
Go Cats, I guess.