I walked into Byrd Stadium on Saturday with one thing on my mind, and it wasn’t getting to my seat as fast as I could to see C.J. Brown and the Terps steamroll James Madison in the season opener. No, I was in search of the Chessie, a monster-sized 1.5-pound soft pretzel topped with back fin crab dip and melted cheese that retails for nearly three times as much ($17.50) as what I paid for my end zone ticket ($6).
It didn’t take me long to spot the long line that had formed beneath the “Chessie Monster Crab Pretzels” sign behind sections 20-21, the only place Chessies are sold. I considered coming back later in hopes that the line would die down, but ultimately decided to wait it out while the two friends with me headed to our seats. It was a fortuitous decision.
I ordered my Chessie at 3:48 and was issued a number. My number was called at 4:03 and I was handed a small pizza box, the contents of which felt a lot heavier than 1.5 pounds. Behold the Chessie…
When I met my friends at our seats and opened the box, several people around us couldn’t help but stare in amazement at the Chessie. “What?” “Where did you get that?” “That looks incredible.” “OH MY GOODNESS.”
The Chessie was good. I should’ve sprinkled more Old Bay on top and the crab dip could use more crab, but I think that’s true of most crab dips. The three of us polished it off in about 15 minutes.
I obviously wasn’t the only one interested in trying the Chessie on Saturday. When I returned to the concession stand at halftime to see how business was, there was a sad, handwritten sign where the description of the Chessie had previously hung: “Sold Out.” The woman working behind the counter told me that she saw a fan who was in line when the delicacies sold out offer another fan $50 for his Chessie, which is a deal that I probably would’ve made. The other fan’s reaction? “No way.”
There were 88 Chessies sold on Saturday, according to Maryland senior associate director of dining Joe Mullineaux. Many more could be sold on Sept. 13 when West Virginia plays at Maryland.
“We plan to have the ingredients to make 450 Chessies,” Mullineaux said in an e-mail. “Fans were very excited. We received tremendous, positive feedback.”