Is it not enough that we name our children after professional athletes? It’s become fashion-forward these days to name foods after them too. This practice may seem rather gimmicky — and it is — but there’s probably no better way to promote your T-bone steak than by slapping Tim Tebow’s name and picture on the packaging. Calling it the Tim T-Bone can’t help but boost sales. All that’s left is to sit back, relax and watch as NFL fans eat it up, literally.
Here’s a look at some of the biggest, best and, frankly, most original foods named after pro athletes. Belly up to the table, strap on that adult-size bib and dig in. We hope you’re hungry.
Photo Credit: Nestle
Yes, this is the classic example: a chocolate candy bar named after arguably the greatest baseball player of all time. Nothing more to see here, except… The truth behind the actual name Baby Ruth has nothing to do with Babe Ruth, the baseball legend. The candy was first named after President Glover Cleveland’s daughter Ruth Cleveland. Only later did the legend trend toward the baseball player, when he started to be recognized as the world’s most famous athlete some 15 years later.
Photo Credit: Rick Stewart/Allsport
While Major League Baseball player Coco Crisp has the greatest non-cereal, cereal name in pro sports, former NFL quarterback Doug Flutie has the top-grossing sports-branded cereal. Flutie Flakes — essentially, Frosted Flakes for the NFL fan — sold over 3 million boxes in all. The cereal debuted back in 1998 and, amazingly, you can still buy both unopened and empty boxes of Flutie Flakes on eBay. However, it’s recommended that you don’t eat them, as the cereal has been out of production for over a decade.
The Melo Sandwich
Named after Knicks superstar Carmelo Anthony, the Melo Sandwich is a creation from the famed Carnegie Deli in New York City. It was a giant sandwich, piled high with 3.5 pounds of pastrami, corned beef, salami, bacon, tomato and lettuce. This thing was huge, explaining the $21.95 selling price. And here’s the best part: When the Jets traded for Tim Tebow this summer, the deli changed the name of the sandwich to the Jetbow. We have still more proof that Tebow may be the most marketable pro athlete on the planet today.
Photo Credit: Pepp’s Old Tyme Sandwich Shop
This one seems only natural. Named after Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, the burger features 12 ounces of beef topped with 12 ounces of hot sausage, a grilled onion, a “chunk” of butter, two eggs, cheese, lettuce, tomato, hot peppers, pickles and mayonnaise. This beast has been around since 2004, Ben’s rookie season, and continues to be among the most popular items at Peppi’s Old Tyme Sandwich Shop in Pittsburgh.
OK, now we’re getting a little ridiculous. Washington Nationals ace, Stephen Strasburg, also has a burger named after him because, well, his last name is Strasburg. OK, that’s not the whole story. It’s also because he’s really, really good at baseball. The StrasBurger, sold at Nationals Park in DC, is the biggest burger in Major League Baseball history. The burger weighs eight pounds and, if you must know, consists of ground brisket, chuck and short ribs, along with your standard toppings. However, the key to this burger is, you guessed it, the “secret sauce.”
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Tom Lorenzo is a freelance sports, entertainment and pop culture writer from New York City. You can follow him on Twitter at @TomLorenzo.