Today, we’re going to take a look at athletes caught snacking during a game. And I’m not talking endurance athletes eating bananas to stave off cramps, or little kid soccer players eating orange slices at halftime. I’m talking about athletes caught snacking on foods you do not associate with people in peak physical condition at times that are questionable if not flat out inappropriate.
Of course, it’s probably unfair to single these people out. There are surely more instances of athletes eating during games than we could possibly count—especially in the olden days, before every fan on earth had a high-definition video camera in his or her pocket. But the athletes on this list were noticed, and in some cases made the butt of many jokes.
Take a look. And, as always, if there’s anybody we left off, by all means let us hear about it in the comment section.
I couldn't really include this one in the main list. While Eagles LeSean McCoy is indeed eating on the field, by most standard definitions, boogers are not food, nor does eating them constitute "snacking."
However, I couldn't just not mention this one. It's too good. So instead I did what I always do in cases like these: I included McCoy on the list as an honorable (or in this case, dishonorable) mention.
Dishonorable Mention: LeSean McCoy Eats…Boogers
Who could forget the case of the 2011 Boston Red Sox starting pitchers? The team imploded in September that year, going 7-20 for the month, squandering a nine-game lead, and missing the playoffs entirely. Then, a few weeks later, the Boston Globe ran a story about the dysfunctional Red Sox clubhouse, headlined by accusations that pitchers Josh Beckett, Jon Lester, and John Lackey would eat chicken, drink bear, and play video games in the clubhouse during games. Which is pretty bad.
Lackey and Lester managed to redeem themselves with fans and Red Sox management. But Lester? The next year he was seen playing golf before getting scratched from a start. So the Sox shipped his toxic work ethic off to the Dodgers midway through the season.
9. Boston Chicken & Beer Club
Everybody knows about Marshawn Lynch's famous "beast mode." But did you know the Seahawks running back's "beast mode" is fueled by Skittles?
He started eating Skittles during games all the way back in high school. In 2008, when cameras caught him eating them after a touchdown, Seattle fans started bringing them to games and throwing them on the field when he scored. In 2011, Skittles gave Lynch a year's supply of Skittles and a custom Skittles dispenser for his locker. And, finally, in 2014, right before the Seahawks won Super Bowl XLVIII, Skittles signed the running back to an official endorsement deal.
This might be the most lucrative instance of an athlete getting caught snacking on the field in sports history.
8. Marshawn Lynch Eatin’ Skittles
Back in 2010, before Kyle Lowry had blossomed into one of the best point guards in the NBA with the Toronto Raptors, when the former 24th overall pick was just a so-so point guard for the Rockets, an attractive Rockets fan offered him some of her popcorn after he had chased a ball into the stands. And Kyle Lowry accepted the offer.
He was hardly the first player to share a snack with a fan during a game. However, he might be the first to whom a snack was actually offered...
7. Kyle Lowry Steals Some Popcorn
Most of the time Prince Fielder defies stereotypes. In case you haven't noticed, he's a larger-than-average man...which is a nice way of saying he's a fat guy. But he's an incredibly muscular fat guy who, like his dad before him, is really good at hitting baseballs. So he's defied the odds and become an elite fat guy pro athlete with a $200 million contract.
Not too shabby.
However, Prince doesn't always defy stereotypes. And one of those times when he didn't defy the fat guy stereotype was September 19, 2013, when Prince went over to field a ball in foul territory and, while there, decided to steal a nacho from a fan.
6. Prince Grabs Some Nachos
Of course, Prince Fielder was not the first MLB first baseman to help himself to a snack while on the job. Former Yankees star and current Dodgers coach Don Mattingly. On September 19, 1992, Mattingly and his glorious mustache jogged over to foul territory to see about a foul ball, saw a little kid with a bucket of popcorn and, while that little kid was facing the other way, helped himself to a handful.
The best part is the kid's reaction—totally unfazed. He looks over, see a Yankees legend with his hand in his popcorn, and is like, meh, whatev.
The kid is a boss.
5. Mattingly Snatches Some Popcorn
It's not uncommon for soccer players to eat bananas during games to avoid cramps. However, that's not why Barcelona defender Dani Alves ate a banana during a game against Villarreal on April 27, 2014. He ate it as an act of defiance after some racist sh*thead had thrown it at him during the game.
Alves was cool as a cucumber. It was the absolute perfect response. And it sparked an anti-racism internet meme to boot.
4. Dani Alves Snacks on Racism
For some people the highlight of the 2014 NFL season is the Odell Beckham catch. For others it's the Daren Bates hurdling field goal block.
But for me? For me it's Eagles backup quarter Mark Sanchez, still chewing his mid-game snack, telling Eagles starting quarterback Nick Foles he has to try the Lincoln Financial Field chicken fingers. It was the Mark Sancheziest thing ever.
3. Mark Sanchez Snacks on Chicken Fingers
Last week at an Australian Open tuneup in Perth, Serena Williams was feeling jetlagged and tired during the first set of her match against Flavia Pennetta, and it was showing on the scoreboard. The top-ranked player in the world lost the first set 6-0.
What did Serena do to turn things around? She ordered an espresso and drank it right there on the court...after asking the chair umpire if it was okay, of course.
"I was just feeling it, so I just had to get some coffee into me,” Serena explained afterward. “I just asked them to get me a shot of espresso—I asked them if it was legal, because I’ve never done it before. I needed to wake up.”
She did wake up. Williams went on to win the match 0-6, 6-3, 6-0.
2. Serena’s Espresso Break
The chicken finger incident of 2014 was not the first time Mark Sanchez was caught snacking on the sidelines. Back in 2009, when Sanchez was the starting quarterback for the New York Jets, he tried to sneak a hot dog during a road game against the Raiders.
Now, it was the Raiders, who are always terrible, and in 2009 the Jets were actually good. But still, if you need to eat food on the sidelines during a game, for Chrissakes eat a Power Bar.
Then again, the hot dog incident is probably what endeared Sanchez to pre-lap-band Rex Ryan. You know old Rex liked to chow down on hot dogs.