“Oh, what is the world coming to?”

That was one of the reader responses from a news story I read recently about a Maryland man who was killed over a Popeyes fried chicken sandwich.

According to an NBC News story, a Maryland man was killed at an Oxon Hill, Maryland, Popeyes after a fight broke out after someone attempted to cut in line to purchase one of the fast food restaurant’s popular chicken sandwiches.

The other responses touched a similar vein:

“This is depressing that our country has devolved into this.”

“Hard to believe we’ve sunk this low.”

While it is indeed sad a man lost his life, before we start making wholesale judgments about society based on this one incident (too late), let’s consider a couple of things. First, it could have happened anywhere — at someone’s home, a bowling alley, Walmart, or a girls’ soccer game. Unfortunately, disagreements slip into violence all the time. And secondly, the sandwich is really darn good.

Is it good enough to kill for? That’s the question I’ll answer here today.

Popeyes introduced their new chicken sandwiches (classic and spicy) months ago, then “ran out.” Two months later, they reintroduced them, prompting a frenzy that has spurred long lines and bouts of violence as described.

I was one of the few Americans to sample the sandwiches before their disappearance, and after, this past week. Based on that, and the fact that I have eaten literally hundreds of fast-food chicken sandwiches over the years (actually, year), I am a self-proclaimed expert on fast-food chicken sandwiches and can deliver the indisputable and definitive opinion on whether the hype surround the Popeyes chicken sandwich is warranted.

I will do so by ranking the top five fast-food chicken sandwiches in the market today. Here are the top five:

5. Wendy’s Spicy Chicken Sandwich: This would be ranked higher if not for the inconsistency from restaurant to restaurant. When hot, it could rank as high as third-best. Because of that uncertainty, it’s fifth.

4. Chick-fil-A Chicken Sandwich: This is their regular chicken sandwich. Not a fan of the pickle, but the sandwich is guaranteed consistently good, bordering on great.

3. Popeyes Classic Chicken Sandwich: First, the Popeyes chicken sandwiches are much larger than Chick-fil-A’s and have a better bun. They are also much crunchier than other fast-food chicken sandwiches. The only reason this sandwich isn’t ranked higher is consistency. Quality varies from restaurant to restaurant, as does potential for being stabbed. Again, served with a pickle. Why? I don’t know. Apparently, to make me sick. Why not slice a lemon or put peanut butter on it?

2. Chick-fil-A Spicy Chicken Sandwich: My youngest son and I both love these sandwiches (without pickle, of course). Consistently superb, wherever you go. A very close second to ...

1. Popeyes Spicy Chicken Sandwich: Bigger and crispier than its competitors, then you add the Popeyes’ spices, which I’ve always loved. It could fall to second, based on consistency, but every one I’ve had (thus far) has been just spectacular. This sandwich, not its non-spicy brother, is the best chicken sandwich on the fast-food market.

Worth killing for? Absolutely not. Worth the hype? Yes.

Email Len Robbins at lrobbins@theclinchcountynews.com.

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