Being an athlete is a wonderful thing for those lucky enough to be afforded the opportunity to get paid to play the sport they love. While we have seen recently that being in the public eye has not been a good thing for some athletes, over the years, we have seen numerous players have amazing opportunities on and off their field of play. Many athletes get to enjoy endorsement deals, meeting with the president, and in some cases, having a food product named after them.
For baseball fans in their early thirties, you’ll remember that the Montreal Expos had a player named Henry Rodriguez that was such a fan favorite, those in attendance at Olympic Stadium would throw O’Henry candy bars to the field when he would hit the ball out of the park. The candy bar wasn’t named after him, but for many fans of the sport, those memories have stuck.
It isn’t just packaged foods that have been named after players of all the major sports in the United States and abroad. It is also food being prepared at the stadiums or local bars that use the top players in the sport as inspiration. Some of the foods named after professional athletes are larger than life – much like the players they are named after – and in many cases, may be too difficult to eat in one sitting. Despite that, these food choices are much desired by the fans.
What are 15 of the best food choices named after professional athletes?
15. The Moose Bar
Mike Mussina made a name for himself as a starting pitcher in Major League Baseball. This is one of those rare food items named after an athlete that tasted good. With a milk chocolate and peanut butter taste, the creators of this candy bar knew what they were doing. From an awesome looking label to proceeds going to the Mike Mussina foundation and of course its great taste, this was a bar that had everything for the then-pitcher for the New York Yankees.
14. Chipper Bar
In 1997, Larry “Chipper” Jones was just 25-years-old. Now two full seasons since he retired from MLB and the Atlanta Braves, it is hard to imagine Jones ever being that young. He was already a World Series champion at this time and finished second in the National League Rookie of the Year voting, so why not get his very own candy bar? Being compared to a Nestle Crunch bar, the Chipper Bar was introduced and was a hit in the south as this is when the Atlanta sports fan actually cared about their teams.
13. Earl Campbell’s Hot Links
In college, Earl Campbell was a Heisman Trophy winner and turned out to be a remarkable pro in the National Football League. He played nine years as a running back and rushed for more than 9,400 yards. He wasn’t happy just being a former professional athlete, so in 1990, he and two businessmen set out on their future plans, Earl Campbell Foods. The company grew instantly and at one point, was selling more than 600,000 pounds of meat per month. Talk about a solid business investment.
12. The Melo Sandwich
The world famous Carnegie Deli doesn’t just name a sandwich after anyone. You have to be a star to have that honor bestowed on you. In early 2011, Carmelo Anthony was awarded this honor by the now 77-year-old deli, who wasted little time in naming a sandwich after Anthony after he was traded to the team. The sandwich, which sells for $21.95, features a whole lot of pastrami, salami, bacon, corned beef, tomato, and Russian dressing, served on rye bread. This huge sandwich will provide you with enough food to hold you up for the entire day in the city.
11. Ed McCaffrey’s Rocky Mountain Horseradish
Ed McCaffrey spent 13 years of his life playing in the NFL with the Denver Broncos, New York Giants, and San Francisco 49ers. He spent most of his career in Denver and because of that, was the face of the Rocky Mountain line of products including mustard and horseradish. We don’t know how much input McCaffrey had in the making of these products, but it is still one of the top food choices that a professional athlete has gotten behind.
10. SMACK Energy Bar
Fred Smoot played nine years in the NFL with the Washington Redskins and Minnesota Vikings as a defensive back. He had a decent NFL career and is likely remembered more for his role in the Vikings “Cruise” scandal, but in 2007, following the infamous incident, launched his own line of chocolate bars called SMACK Energy. His product wasn’t even known in his Washington locker room, but that doesn’t hurt its standing on this list. The product, which is no longer available, tasted great, but like most other products here, didn’t have a long shelf-life.
T8. TO’s Honey Toasted Oats
Breakfast cereal is a popular endeavor for many professional athletes. Over the years, players like Rob Gronkowski, Brett Hull, and Steve Yzerman have all had cereals named after them. In the football world, few men were as charismatic as wide receiver Terrell Owens, so it was only fitting that he had a cereal named after him. TO’s Honey Toasted Oats was produced by PLB Sports, the same company that also released a cereal product named after another member of this list. This cereal tasted much like Cheerios and was a hot commodity in Buffalo when he was on their roster.
The popular former Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver was a character on and off the field during his 11 year NFL career. The man who officially changed his name to Ochocinco during his NFL career had this brand of cereal released as a way to raise money for his favorite charity. It is hard to fight the desire to want to raise money for a good cause, but having a phone number printed on the box that was actually to a phone sex line might have hurt his case a bit. Despite the phone number mix up, it is hard to argue against Johnson having one of the best foods named after him.
7. DangeRuss Dog
With the 12th Man cheering the Seattle Seahawks on during the NFC Championship game in January 2014, the Seahawks won on their way to the Super Bowl title. Those fans that weren’t cheering at the stadium likely had their mouth stuffed with the DangeRuss Dog. This hot dog was inspired by some of Wilson’s favorite foods. Not only would you get a foot-long hot dog for $12, you would also get it topped with mac ‘n’ cheese and caramelized onions. Also on the hot dog are sliced jalapeno pepper, Sriracha hot sauce, fried blue and green tortilla chips.
6. Flutie Flakes
During his time with the Buffalo Bills and New England Patriots, Doug Flutie was a beloved quarterback. There are many things he is remembered for being the last player to drop-kick an extra point and for his miraculous Hail Mary in college. Another thing he is often remembered for is Flutie Flakes. Tasting much like Frosted Flakes, the inspiration behind the cereal was to raise money for autism, and was also a part of some controversy when Miami Dolphins coach Jimmy Johnson poured them on the ground following a playoff game and had his team stomp on them.
5. J.R.’s Bar-B-Q Sauce
When you look at Jim Ross, WWW Hall of Fame announcer, he doesn’t appear to be an athlete. Despite that, he has stepped into a WWE ring multiple times to compete and aside from his memorable calls of some of the biggest moments in wrestling, he is also known for his line of food products. What originally began as a personal recipe for barbeque sauce has grown into a business that includes mustard, ketchup, spices, beef jerky, and more. Ross is a legend in the sport of wrestling and anyone that has ever tried his food products will say he is doing pretty well for himself.
As the website of this product states, Sugarpova is “fun and delicious candy brought to you by international tennis sensation, Maria Sharapova.” Sharapova, the Russian tennis champion is a lover of candy which is why this product just made sense for her to get behind. A portion of all proceeds for sales of Sugarpova goes to the Maria Sharapova Foundation. People who are fans of sour candy like Sour Patch Kids will certainly enjoy this candy treat.
3. The 7
The Pittsburgh Steelers have one of the greatest legacies in all of sports, especially at the quarterback position. With Ben Roethlisberger, not only do they have a player that has led the team to two Super Bowl titles, but they also have a guy who had a burger named after him. The 7 is named after his jersey number and combines sausage with a burger and is topped with American cheese and egg. The 7 is something that tastes great and will leave you wanting more.
2. Arnold Palmer Tee
The Golden Bear, Arnold Palmer, was one of the greatest professional golfers of all time. He has won golf titles around the world and now, even in his retirement from the sport, is still adding to his legend status each day with his line of Arnold Palmer juices, lemonades, and green teas. Palmer takes the credit for coming up with these drinks himself and grocery stores have had their shelves stocked to the brim at all times because of their popularity.
1. The Beast
Several years ago, Marshawn Lynch made waves across the country with his “Beast Mode” running style. The tough-to-tackle running back was a major factor in their Super Bowl win. One thing Lynch is known for is his love of Skittles. The Seahawks offered The Beast, which features two hamburger patties, bacon, cheddar cheese, onion rings, lettuce, red onion, and tomato for $15. Oh yeah, and not only would you get fries with your order, but you would also get a package of Skittles.
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