When I think about feeding a football player, thoughts of Flintstone sized steaks and baked potatoes bursting with bacon bits come to mind. But Seahawks Chef Mac McNabb, who has been feeding the team for 15 years, says although the players do eat steak, most of them eat mega healthy and clean.
“I think its changed quite a bit. Organic is huge. Just smarter meals, leaner, higher in protein.”
Mac is back east with the team right now, making sure the boys are properly fed leading up to Sunday’s big game.
“Yesterday was Romano chicken and turkey spaghetti. Then chicken breasts, roasted potatoes, marinara sauce. We have a smoothie bar set up that our nutritionist Michelle mans everyday and she’s very busy at that station.”
Chicken breasts and spaghetti? I mean, I’m sure it was delicious but I want to hear about Marshawn Lynch special-ordering plates of Skittle crusted pork chops! I want to hear about carb-loading players who guzzle down bathtub sized bowls of pasta.
Former Seahawks guard John Moffit told me that when he had to keep his weight about 315 pounds, he bulked up on his own time.
“Anything I wanted, I would just eat it. Go to dinner, get two dinners, one or two appetizers, two entrees and maybe my mom’s or my sister’s. Then have a dessert. Then went home and was like, I might have to eat some more. You get hungry, you’re giant.”
He says he would play around in his kitchen, concocting fatty snacks more fit for a stoner than a sportsman.
“The big one for us was fried cheese. So you take a pan and you get it really hot and then you just throw shredded cheese in there and just let it burn and then flip it over. Bacon was a big one so I would do all kinds of stuff with bacon. My favorite was bacon and chocolate. So I took bacon, fried it, and then I put a little chocolate square on top of it and would eat it like a little bite.”
A recent Seattle Times article says that Guard JR Sweezy has been known to eat a nine egg white omelet for breakfast, but they also caught Russell Wilson eating a simple, small bowl of oatmeal with fruit. Mac says he goes through 60 dozen eggs a week, cooking breakfast for the team, and quite a bit of meat.
“One hundred pounds of beef, 80 pounds of chicken, 60 pounds of fish.”
That’s just for a single day, feeding the team and a staff totaling 150 people.
The players do have a favorite meal, and they have only eaten it once during training camp. But Mac treated the team to a fancy dinner the other night.
“King crab and New York strip loin that we carve out there.”
In New Jersey, Mac has been cooking breakfast, lunch and dinner for the team, with the exception of a few nights where they’re free to find their own dinners, but when they’re eating at Mac’s table there is no junk food.
“They can do whatever they want when they’re not here but I try to keep the sugar and pop, and stuff like that, away from them.”
Which means Marshawn has to smuggle in his own Skittles, or perhaps grab a bag from his mom, who spoke to ESPN about her son’s candy habit.
“I remember giving him those Skittles and saying, ‘These are your power pellets! They are gonna make you run faster. They’re gonna make you run real fast! You’re gonna run faster than anybody out there! And he would eat em up!” said Delisa Lynch.