Jim Gaffigan is going to have a field day with this.
More than a decade ago, the comedian poked fun at the idea of Americans paying for bottled water. "I know you can get water free from any faucet," he said, "but I want to pay for it."
Now a company called Brooklyn Water Enterprises has signed a deal to sell bottled water and bagels at the Barclays Center, which will open in September and soon be home to the New Jersey Nets.
The kicker is that the water is made more than a thousand miles away in Florida. It's incredible fuel for critics of the arena, especially since developer (and Nets minority owner) Bruce Ratner has called for the food and concessions to be "quintessentially Brooklyn." It's hard to imagine that includes water put through a 14-step process in another state.
Brooklyn Councilwoman Letitia James hits the nail on the head: "There's nothing Brooklyn about this water." A Boca Raton businessman who bought franchising rights to a subsidiary, the Original Brooklyn Water Bagel Company, agrees.
"The water filtration system is not unique and does not render water equivalent to Brooklyn water," Andrew Greenbaum's lawyer argues. "You want Brooklyn water, go to Brooklyn. You want a Brooklyn bagel, go to Brooklyn."
But with Larry King on board as spokesman for the company, many people have bought in, and there are now Original Brooklyn Water Bagel Company franchises as far as Los Angeles. The Barclays Center is the latest to strike a deal, and it couldn't come at a worse time considering the number of opponents in the community the project has. A nonprofit called Develop Don't Destroy Brooklyn has been particularly outspoken.
After this public relations snafu, it will be interesting to see if Ratner dares to sign any deals with companies whose zip codes don't start with 112.
Adam Watson is the food czar at ThePostGame. You can follow him on Twitter @AdamKWatson.
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