The contest was set up like the Sweet Sixteen bracket. To enter, you had to pick a team from a list that included such names as: Noodleheads, Ciabatta Buns, Crunchy Salads, Team Pesto, The Pennes, MMMeatballs, Team Cheesy, The Currys, etc. I tried not to think too much about it because my thought was that it would be better not to pick a name that sounded too clever because everyone would pick that team then. So I picked team "Hot Soups," generic enough and not too appealing, I thought to myself.
Turns out the method behind my madness didn't really matter because shortly thereafter I received an email informing me that each Noodles team name was actually associated with the colleges in the real Sweet Sixteen (Men's) tournament. I looked at the bracket to discover that "Hot Soups" was UConn.
I was mildly disappointed because I found out that "The Currys" was BYU and because I was not at the time thinking UConn was going to advance much more in the tourney, let alone win the whole thing. (In my original bracket, I had picked Ohio State which we all know that didn't fair so well.)
Anyway, I completely forgot about all of this contest stuff during the actual tourney games, being too consumed with the excitement and disappointment of the BYU Florida game and then the craziness that ensued with teams like Butler and VCU.
So then, Thursday, April 7th, 2011 rolls around and just before the close of the work day, I checked my email before heading off to teach yoga. From Noodles & Company, in the subject line it read, "Congratulations are in order for you..." And then I read this:
You have been chosen as one of the 255 winners* of the Noodles & Company "Take It To The Bowl!" Savory 16 Tournament / Mac Bar Contest! There were nearly 20,000 entries so you should feel very special.What? I ask myself. Oh yeah, wasn't the team that I picked in that contest linked to UConn. And didn't I just watch that atrocious UConn Butler game on Monday where Kemba and UConn came out on top? And then I clicked on a link that showed me this:
This is awesome. What the heck did I just win? Umm, dang it, it's 4:59 and I need to get out of here. "Hey, I think I just won something," I exclaimed to my coworkers and then left in a haste, forgetting my gym bag under my desk because I was consumed by my phone trying to read the contest's fine print.
What did I win? Well, a Mac & Cheese party, of course! Some day before April 30th, I will call up my local Noodles and Company and arrange to pick up a tray of each of the three flavors of their promotional Macroni and Cheese which includes: "Bacon, Mac and Cheeseburger," "Southwestern Chili Mac," and "Truffle Mac with Baby Portabellas." Noodles & Company will also supply my party with a large bowl of salad. In all, it's about $100 worth of food and should feed 20 people.
So, thanks UConn and Noodles and Company for giving me a reason to invite some people over for some delicious macaroni "on the house." Who are my friends now?
Sheesh! Last year at this time I was in O-town for the Pillsbury Bake-Off! What a lucky foodie life I live.