25 Athletes Who Love Fast Food

Eric NewmanCorrespondent IIIMarch 12, 2013

25 Athletes Who Love Fast Food

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    With sheer and blatant disregard for anti-oxidant levels, with a pffft! in the face of the LDL/HDL ratio, with reckless abandonment of all that is wholesome and unprocessed and muscle-building and circulation-promoting and colon-cleansing and stamina-sustaining...some professional athletes on occasion—or on multiple occasions—get their full Ronald McDonald on. 

    Do we chastise them for pushing aside that plain breast of boiled, organic vegetarian-fed, hormone-free chicken and instead dipping their fingers into a greasy package of fritters made from chicken mush and chemicals?

    Why would we?

    We all like our heroes to be human. And having a weakness for salty, greasy, quick, cheap eats is as human as you can get in this day and age.

    Click on to see 25 athletes who hunger for fast food.

Honorable Mentions: Jean-Francois Jomphe and Richard Costello

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    Many people know that the quickest way to get trampled is to get between a hippo and the water. Not so many know that the second quickest way is to tick off a hockey player in the drive-through line.

    Jomphe and Costello, both ex-NHL players, allegedly didn't take too well to an obscene gesture directed at them during a Jack In The Box drive-through altercation. They reportedly exited the cab they were sharing. Some glass was shattered. Some punches thrown. The police were called.

    Perhaps the hockey pals were just "hangry" (hungry+angry), as the dispute took place in the wee hours of the morning and before either of the gentleman could be served up his Jumbo Jack.

25. Brandon Graham

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    Eagles defensive end Graham tore his ACL in December 2010 and underwent rehab. He reportedly gained 20 pounds during his two months on crutches. The culprit?

    Philly cheesesteaks.

    Unfortunately, Graham lived a little too close to a dangerous temptress that goes by the name Jim's Steaks

    Once off his crutches, Graham cut his cheesesteak portions in half. That, along with other changes in his diet, helped him shed the excess poundage by training camp.

    A little word of advice, Brandon: If you ever get traded to Buffalo, don't get a pad near Duff's. If you wind up with the Steelers, live far from Primanti Brothers. Cincinnati bound? Keep your distance from Skyline Chili.

24. Lolo Jones

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    America's (former?) sweetheart reportedly eats a balanced and healthy diet fit for an athlete. But there are times when this runner just wants to indulge. 

    Her fast food of choice? Hot wings.

    Popsugar reports that Jones once ate 70 wings in a sitting. 

23. Tim Lincecum

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    Big Time Timmy Jim has a big time tummy crush on In-N-Out Burger. Once upon a time, his standard order reportedly was: three Double-Doubles, two orders of fries, and a chocolate-strawberry shake.

    But Tim decided to call it quits on his hard-core burgering before the 2012 season. Could this be part of the reason he dropped 30 pounds and lost his game?

    If that's the case, then burger up, Tim. Burger up!

22. Ryan Lochte

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    According to a Wall Street Journal article, "Lochte ate McDonald's food for nearly every meal at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing and won four medals, including gold in the 200-meter backstroke."

    But since then Lochte, like Tim Lincecum, has undergone burger detox. But why? Burgers brought the gold, right?

    Seems a healthier diet was the key to even more of the shiny stuff. Lochte brought home five medals from the 2012 London Games. That included snatching a gold medal in the 400-meter individual medley away from the singular Michael Phelps.

21. Nemanja Vidic

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    Manchester United's captain might miss a heaping plate of pljeskavica from his native Serbia, but he has discovered a new comfort food: 

    "I really like the fish and chips," Nemanja has said. "Not so much the peas, but I like the fish and chips."

20. Justin Durant

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    You know that silly grade school cafeteria chiding that goes something like this:

    Kid 1: "I love (insert food item here)."

    Kid 2: "So then why don't you marry it?"

    Well Justin Durant loves Chik-Fil-A ("the best chicken sammich and lemonade on the planet") so much that he might just ponder the logistics of that retort.

19. Chad Johnson

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    Chad Johnso-cinco (not sure what's official these days, so I went with the hybrid) reportedly, "practically survives on" McDonald's.

    Well hey, with the dwindling slices of limelight available to him, the guy needs something to round out his diet. Right?

18. Babe Ruth

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    According to Babe Ruth biographer Robert W. Creamer, the Sultan of Swat's pregame meal consisted of not one, not two but three hot dogs.

    Could it be then, that when the at-bat Ruth gestured to center field, allegedly calling the home run he was about to nail, he was actually just hailing the hot dog vendor?

17. Usain Bolt

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    While the fastest dragsters in the world are fueled by nitromethane, it seems the fastest man in the world is fueled by...chicken nuggets.

    That's right, before setting the 100-meter world record in the London Games, Bolt popped "a few nuggets" down the ol' hatch.

    Mr. Bolt, might we suggest you scarf down a couple of large orders of the chicken treats, then try to break the two-hour marathon barrier?

16. Georges St-Pierre

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    According to Cagewriter Maggie Hendricks, GSP is another dabbler in the cuisine of the Golden Arches.

    What makes the Superman Punch fly? What gives that spinning back kick its oomph?

    Could it be his Mickey D's usual: three cheeseburgers, french fries, Chicken McNuggets (with poutine of course) and a big Coca-Cola?

15. Magic Johnson

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    If this photo were hanging in a gallery, it would be titled thusly:

    Young Magic Johnson Woos Pretty Girl At Roast Beef Eatery, 1979 

14. Olympic Athletes

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    What happens right after the closing ceremonies of the Olympic Games come to an end? Do athletes rush home to pack? Go out and party at swanky nightclubs? Sleep off their exhaustion?

    None of the above. Not when the Olympic Village Mickey D's is reportedly offering up free grub.

    US cyclist Bobby Lea described the athlete hordes at McDonald's as a "mob scene."

    Team Great Britain rower Cameron Nichol wrote, "Every athlete in the (world) wants a maccy d's."

    The NY Daily News reported that, "swarms of Olympians made a beeline for the golden arches..."

    Complex City Guide called the scene, "post celebration madness" and noted that the "lines were crazy." 

13. Justin Verlander

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    Quite possibly the greatest athlete/talk show host exchange ever:

    Justin: “The night before (each start)—as you can tell by my amazing physique—I eat Taco Bell, every night at home, every start,” Verlander said. “You’re welcome, Taco Bell.” 

    Conan: “Which then also results in your game-day diarrhea tradition. You’re welcome, Taco Bell.” 

12. Wolverhampton Wanderers Football Club

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    It's not entirely clear just how many Big Mac's the Wolves were scarfing down, but it was apparently enough of an issue that coach Saunders instituted a McDonald's ban for all players on the team.

    "I don’t think Jessica Ennis stops off at McDonald’s on the way home," the coach reportedly said. "I don’t think so looking at her. That’s disciplineto be able to say 'No' to things that don’t make you play very well."

11. Joe D'Amico

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    This is everything that Joe D'Amico, a.k.a McRunner, consumed for the 30 days leading up to the 2011 Los Angeles Marathon:

    91 McDonald's hotcakes, 24 orders of McDonald's oatmeal, 23 McDonald's hamburgers, 24 McDonald's chicken "Snack Wraps" and lots of McDonald's cookies.

    Then he ran the marathon.

    And didn't drop dead from a heart attack at mile nine.

    And didn't run 14-minute miles.

    In fact, he averaged less than six minutes per mile and broke a personal record.

    So why did he do it? This is McRunner's reported answer:

    "Why…do you ask? Why not!…I answer. I love running and I love (fast food)—might as well combine the two."

10. Michael Phelps

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    Phelps' immense caloric intake during training has been widely publicized.  And The Examiner reports that Phelps has claimed to "eat McDonald's all the time."

    No judgements here. As the winningest Olympic Athlete of all time, nothing to say but keep doing what it is you do, Mikey.'

9. Osi Umenyiora

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    As one of the few British-born NFL-ers, it's only logical that Umenyiora would retain a powerful fondness for fish and chips.

    According to The Sun, when the NY Giants headed to Wembley in 2007 to face the Dolphins in the first ever NFL game played outside North America, Umenyiora had plans to "demolish a huge portion of fish ’n chips."

8. Jeremy Lin

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    Only a true fast food junkie measures finances in quantities of McSnacks.

    Got my first ever technical last night and lost $2000...makes me angry when i realize thats 2000 mcchickens or 4000 jack in the box tacos

    — Jeremy Lin (@JLin7) February 21, 2013

7. Anderson Silva

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    Before Silva was "The Spider," he was a proud colleague of a red-haired gent that goes by the name, Mr. Ronald McDonald.

    Apparently the gig led to an affection for Big Macs. According to B/R columnist Jeffrey McKinney, "Silva even once said he ate a couple of the famous burgers before and after every weigh in."   

    So GSP and the Spider?

    Could it be that MMA also stands for McDonald's Meal Aficionados? UFC for Unrestrained French-fry Chompers?

6. Michael Johnson

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    Johnson was considered a soccer prodigy. He was compared to soccer titans Paul Gascoigne and Steven Gerrard. 

    But injuries, a reported penchant for partying and a reported hankering for fast food sank his career fast.

    Johnson's "bloating" and subsequent release from his Manchester City contract became a hot topic on the Internet in the early weeks of 2013.

5. Joe Flacco

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    Jackpot! Your bank balance suddenly boasts nine digits before the decimal point. What should you run out and buy first? A Ferrari 250 GTO? A summer house overlooking Lake Como? A party yacht?

    Or you could go the Joe Flacco route and splurge on some Chicken McNuggets.

4. Robert Falkenburg

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    This guy loved U.S. style fast food (or at least its earning potential) so much that in the 1950s, he introduced the concept to South America. Falkenburg, a tennis sensation in his era, moved to Rio and started up a new career as a burger tycoon.

    Today, there are more than 700 Bob's burger joints located in Brazil, Chile and Angola.

    Next time you're around the Copacabana area, stop by for a Gran Picanha (burger with chimichurri sauce and fried onions), an Ovomaltine (a milkshake with undertones of Ovaltine) and toasted cheese and banana sandwich.

3. Phil Mickelson

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    Phil Mickelson loves In-N-Out burgers so much that he looked into buying one of the west coast burger joints. To Mickelson's chagrin, they are all family owned and not for sale.

    "I would have put one in my backyard if I could have bought one," Mickelson said in an interview with Golf Digest. 

    Still, Mickelson would not be thwarted. If there is an east coast equivalent to In-N-Out, it's Five Guys. The Five Guys franchise plans to expand in Southern California. A group of investors has purchased the rights to Orange County, and what do you know, one of them just happens to be Mr. Phil Mickelson.

2. Floyd Mayweather Jr.

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    Watch the video all the way through, and this is the shopping list you'll come up with:

    1. soda and plenty of it

    2. hot dogs

    3. candy

    4. Pop Tarts

    5. Burger King meals

    6. McDonald's meals

    Being the champ's personal chef has got to be the easiest gig on the planet.

1. Takeru Kobayashi

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    Well folks, it wasn't for a love of broccoli that Kobayashi became arguably the greatest competitive eater of all times.