Do you ever have the paranoid thought that corporations that don’t even know your name are doing things to personally irritate you?

That’s how I felt about reports — confirmed this morning — that, after kicking Aramark to the curb, the Ravens have chosen Levy Restaurants to run concessions at M&T Bank Stadium, one morning after the Chicago-based firm also was awarded the contract to do the food at the city’s Convention Center.

Because, Baltimore sports fans might ask rhetorically and with a salty mound of sarcasm, They did such a good job with the food at Oriole Park at Camden Yards?

Last year, Levy’s inaugural season at Oriole Park, the vendor offered food that was ostensibly more creative and appealing than in the past. In reality, it was abysmal and extremely expensive. I wrote about it. Three times.

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I encountered ill-advised “triple yard dogs” and normal-size hot dogs that were just plain bad. (How do you screw up a hot dog?)

The ordering process seemed to be automated almost everywhere I looked, cashiers replaced with electronic kiosks. Nearly every item looked as if it had been sitting out long enough to enter the “iffy” zone. Things got only marginally better as the season wore on.

Lest you think it’s just me, here’s a sampling of the reader emails I got on the topic over the course of the year:

“The food has been overpriced and generally horrible at Camden Yards this year.”

“Leaves much to be desired, well unless you’re looking for soggy fries and cold chicken tenders.”

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“At this point we just bring our own food or eat before the game.”

And then, with the start of football season, I moseyed over to M&T Bank Stadium. Where the grub at OPACY had been overthought and overpriced, the fare at the Bank was simple, reasonably priced and served by actual humans. A pit beef sandwich cost $12.59 at the Ravens’ stadium; the same sandwich with chips from Boog’s at Camden Yards was $20.99. Several dishes were made to order and handed to me by actual people. Imagine!

So why on earth did the Ravens break up with Aramark — four years before the team’s contract was set to expire — and replace it with Levy?

Levy’s selection comes as the Ravens are renovating the stadium facilities with the help of $430 million from state taxpayers. (You’re welcome.) The team this month announced “exciting upgrades to our food and hospitality program.”

In a statement, Ravens Senior Vice President of Stadium Operations Rich Tamayo spoke of “a new era of experience, innovation and excitement at M&T Bank Stadium” and said, “we’re confident Levy will provide fresh opportunities that deliver best-in-class service for all fans.”

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Levy’s CEO said his company will “create an elevated game day experience.”

Translation: Ravens fans should get ready for more automation and to spend a lot more money.

Just ask Orioles fans. Or me.

Christina Tkacik is the food reporter for The Baltimore Banner.

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