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MCCULLOUGH: Have a Pepsi and a smile

Nate McCullough

Nate McCullough

Today I’m going to make a stunning revelation about myself.

I like Pepsi.

Yes, I grew up and have lived my whole life in the Atlanta area. Yes, my parents raised me right. No, I'm not insane.

I know as a good Southern boy I'm supposed to bow down before the Coke altar, but I like Pepsi. I don't love it. It's not even my favorite. I like Mountain Dew and Dr. Pepper much better. And a good, cold Coke from a fountain is hard to beat. But I don't see anything wrong with Pepsi, and I certainly don't understand the anger it brings out in people.

And boy does it bring it out, to the point of red-faced, vein-bulging diatribes. I had a roommate in college who was so anti-Pepsi he called it "the Drink of Northern Aggression."

The first reporter to come back to the newsroom from covering something at the Arena after learning about the switch from Coke to Pepsi products went on about the tragedy for five minutes. When I mentioned that I liked Pepsi you'd have thought I said I liked al-Qaida. My newsroom brethren descended on me like angry bees, letting me know in no uncertain terms what a traitor and an idiot I was for liking Pepsi.

Our website commenters echoed the sentiment:

-- "Horrible idea, this makes me want to avoid the arena and I'm a Gwinnett born and raised native. I (am) really speechless that they would even consider Pepsi. The deal should be broken and (the) person that made the decision should be fired."

-- "What a STUPID move. I'll still go to the arena, but I won't buy a drink....I'll just smuggle my own Coke products in."

-- "What do you mean '...terms of the agreement were not disclosed...'? Is this not a public facility provided for with public funds? We the people have every right and expectation to see the terms of this agreement with Pepsi. If it's all legit, then fine. Why all the secrecy?"

Seriously, people? Fire someone? Smuggle Coke in your pants or boot like a teenager sneaking liquor into a concert? Conspiracies? And is it really that horrible? What you should be complaining about is the price. Oh wait, someone did:

" ... if I am going to have to pay those prices, I at least want a drink that doesn't taste like crap!"

They're just soft drinks, people. Sugar water. Neither Coke nor Pepsi can claim to be the nectar of the gods. And it certainly shouldn't be a deal-breaker for going to the Arena for a concert or a sporting event.

If you're so distraught over this, then drink water. Have a beer. Order some coffee. Whatever you have, try enjoying it. And lighten up a little.

You don't have to have a Coke to have a smile.

Email Nate McCullough at nate.mccullough@gwinnettdailypost.com. His column appears on Fridays. For archived columns, go to www.gwinnettdailypost.com/natemccullough.

Comments

NewsReader 2 years, 11 months ago

"What do you mean '...terms of the agreement were not disclosed...'? Is this not a public facility provided for with public funds? We the people have every right and expectation to see the terms of this agreement with Pepsi. If it's all legit, then fine. Why all the secrecy?"

This was my comment. I want to set the record straight. My comment isn’t/wasn’t about liking Coke and/or hating Pepsi. My comment strictly addressed the issue that the “terms of the agreement were not disclosed.” Why not? That very fact alone, in and of itself, arouses suspicion. My point is simply this. This is a government owned facility paid for with my tax dollars. We have every right and expectation, and especially given the most recent unethical climate of our local politicians, to know the terms of this agreement. Like I said, if it’s all legit, then fine. I want to make certain that the individual responsible for this decision is completely on the up-and-up and that there was absolutely no indication of preferential treatment or conflict of interest in this agreement with Pepsi. In other words, did he, his friends, or his family benefit directly or indirectly in any way from this agreement? Why isn’t somebody asking this question in lieu of writing about taste preferences in light of the non-disclosure? As far as Pepsi or Coke, I don’t particularly like either one of them, and prefer good old fashioned sweet tea. As far as quoting me on it, I really don’t appreciate using my comments out of the context of which it was intended, and I’m just going to assume that was oversight on your part.

Have a good day

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nmccullough 2 years, 11 months ago

How in the world did I take you "out of context?" I printed your whole comment verbatim.

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NewsReader 2 years, 11 months ago

Yeah you did. And you did so to support your argument about how ridiculous people were being. The only problem is; my comment doesn't support your supposition because that is not the context in which it was written. Why don’t you demonstrate to me how my comment supports your argument? It doesn’t. You, like so many others, are reading between the lines that which isn't there. My comment would still be applicable if Coke products were chosen for this agreement. And for the record, I would feel much the same way if this was the situation in this case. Just because you printed it verbatim doesn't mean it supports your argument, and if you cannot recognize it as such, then there is not much I can do for you. It absolutely doesn't, so quit trying to make it appear as though it does. At the very least, now we all know that it wasn’t an oversight on your part, but ignorance of the distinction of what I said versus what you think I said. But since it is all in writing, everyone can read it, break it down and analyze it, and decide for themselves if what I said is an endorsement of the opinions of the others that commented or is a challenge to the authorities who feel so compelled to hide the terms of this agreement from the public view of those who happen to pay for this facility. And that’s “…how in the world…” you took me out of context. I’ll tell you what…just don’t quote me anymore. Problem solved!

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SC_DAWG 2 years, 11 months ago

Don't quote you anymore? Didn't YOU send the comment in? What in the world...

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R 2 years, 11 months ago

I think the conspiracy thing may have resulted in a little unexpected extra fizz.... Don't you just hate it when the cup runs over?

But In a county where full disclosure has been in short supply in the eye of many residents over the past 6 years or so, perhaps it should be considered a backhanded plea of sorts to the media to help dig a bit more.

The flavor is not the issue as you summarize, but how it was chosen as the winner sure is. Kinda like the Harts-field concession flap down the road.

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Michael Buckelew 2 years, 11 months ago

I like Pepsi as well, but Coke Zero is way better than Pepsi Max.

Still, your points are right on. It's a soft drink. The anger some people get about this Coke v. Pepsi thing is ironic when they're probably walking in shoes made in Vietnam -- my Timberlands are -- and a shirt and pants made in China. It's a drink. Enjoy it.

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jack 2 years, 11 months ago

I'm just surprised a multi-million dollar study wasn't conducted before reaching this decision.

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R 2 years, 11 months ago

Is there any documentation that a study WASN'T done?

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jack 2 years, 11 months ago

That possibility is under further study.

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GetFactsStraight 2 years, 11 months ago

Pepsi is horrible but it doesn't matter to me because I don't go to the arena very often and in the event that I return, I'm sure I can find something else to drink.

BTW the most shocking part of this article is that you actually wrote it. I hope this is just online and not in the print edition. What a waste of space!

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Suwaneesince1991 2 years, 11 months ago

As a wise man once told me and I will share will all the Coke-a-holics, "Please get a real problem."

The intolerance of the "Springer" generation is ridiculous. The individual is no more important than the greater good and if Pepsi gave the Arena a better business deal than Coke, well shame on Coke for thinking they could get a home town discount.

Now find something to complain about like the HOT lanes, your taxes, whether you like the President/Congress/Govenor/Commissioners or local post office.

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R 2 years, 11 months ago

I believe Coke tried for the "Hometown INCREASE" not a local discount, have you seen Coke store prices lately?

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SteveA 2 years, 11 months ago

...trust me...dealing with Coke on corporate deals is almost impossible and their service is horrible when it comes to coming to different venues and helping out their customers. Pepsi is a very service driven company and I'm sure they probably made a price concession too. Coke can be a little "too big for their britches". Way to GCCC

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