What’s in a Professional Football Player’s Fridge: At Left, The Jets Calvin Pace, Shown Here With His Daughter’s Organic Baby Food, Also Stocks Mixed-Pickle Chutney and Truffle Oil. Photo by Michael Harlan Turkell. Below, Pace Shows Off Those Valuable Muscles.
Whether you’re a Jets fan or not–heck, whether you care about football or not–you have to be just a little excited that a local team is edging ever closer to the Big Game. Which would be Super Bowl XLIV, for those of you who don’t care about football. (And for those of you who don’t care about Roman numerals, that’s 44.)
We are of course even more excited because we got to meet Calvin Pace a few issues back, when he let us into his kitchen so we could poke around with our recorders and our cameras.
For those of you who don’t care about the Jets–or about football or Roman numerals–Pace is their starting linebacker. He’s a fine cook (he roasts his Brussels sprouts “with a little olive oil and balsamic”) and Nobu is his favorite city spot (lucky is the professional football player who can afford such a favorite, though the Southern-born Pace earned it: his grandfather raised pigs and traded them for peanuts). But he likes to eat breakfast foods before he plays. “Omelets or scrambled eggs, I don’t know why,” he told us, “even if it’s a late game.”
That means it’s eggs on the menu this Sunday, no doubt, when the Jets take on the Indianapolis Colts at 3 p.m.
Of course food folks have always partied with football folks this time of year, even if they literally don’t know a touchdown from a tackle. That’s because the Bowl itself is just as much about food as it is about what’s on screen. It’s about six-foot baloney and American cheese hoagies, pigs-n-blankets, seven-layer-dip, Oreos (Pace’s own snacky fave) and all the other foods that fall into the category of “things-I-wait-all-year-to-be-culturally-appropriate-on-this-Sunday-evening-so-I-can-eat-my-weight-in-them.”
And if the Jets win, we know those parties will be ever bigger here in Manhattan, meaning even more serious snackage for all us, um, diehard football fans. So we hope Pace takes the Jets all the way. If only because otherwise he won’t get to party at all: “As crazy as it sounds,” he told us, “I really won’t do Super Bowl parties. I feel like, if you’re not playing in it I don’t wanna say “hate,” but you’re like “I’m not there.” I’ll pay attention but I don’t wanna sit there and watch it. One of my teammates was in the Pro Bowl and I went and it just didn’t feel right. It was the craziest feeling. I was like, “What am I doing?”