Yesterday afternoon, I think I may have got a sense of just how big this whole chicken sandwich craze has become.

I learned of this, of all places, at a track meet concession stand.

Now as a father of three past and present student-athletes, an occasional sports journalist, a sports fan, and once upon a time, a student-athlete myself, I’ve been to a lot of sporting event concession stands. But it wasn’t until my youngest child’s track meet yesterday that I ever saw a chicken sandwich on the menu at a school sporting event concession stand.

It may be different where you live, but here in cattle country, it’s pretty much hamburgers and hot dogs, with the occasional sloppy joe or pizza slice. Chicken sandwiches just haven’t been done.

So after I watched my son finish his first two events, and with probably a couple of hours remaining before his third and final event of the day, he said he wanted to go to the concession stand.

The chicken sandwich caught his attention. It is worth noting that there are few things in life he loves more than a Popeyes chicken sandwich. So he ordered one, and after his first bite, you could tell he was pleasantly surprised by how good it was.

I asked him if it was on par with the Popeyes sandwich. He didn’t go that far, but he actually paused long enough for me to know that it was at least close. He asked if he could have a second, but I told him not until he was finished with his relay. We both knew that relay was the last event of the day, but maybe the concession stand would still be open at the conclusion of the meet, as they often are.

Well, their turn eventually came. He ran, he handed off the baton, the anchorman crossed the finish line, and the concession stand was in fact still open. But the line was insanely long.

Hmm. Something’s going on here. Chicken sandwiches are being served, and based on what I saw and heard, are in high demand somewhere you would have never expected to even see them.

As it turns out, that same school is hosting the upcoming league championship meet. I guess I know what we’re eating that day!