Culture Features The Katchup

Six Odd Ways Food Has Shaped The Modern NBA

“I’m always looking for a good story and am always looking for a way to build connections with readers and athletes. The culinary world and food, it’s one of the few things that makes us all human,” shared ESPN Senior NBA Writer, Baxter Holmes, on a recent visit to Foodbeast’s The Katchup podcast.

Holmes has been the writer behind some of the most intriguing stories in the NBA that just so happen to be food-related, uncovering fascinating anecdotes the likes of the NBA’s obsession with peanut butter & jelly sandwiches and even how San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich used extravagant dinners to build the team’s enviable camaraderie.

A hot-button discussion that strikes a chord with foodies and basketball fans alike, the following are a quick rundown of some of these compelling NBA food tales as told by Baxter Holmes.



According to Holmes, the very first food-related NBA story he wrote was on Kobe Bryant’s special bone broth that he would have before games in the latter stages of his legendary career. “I remember talking to [the Lakers’] strength and conditioning coach about everything it takes to get Kobe up and running, because he was older in his career and had a lot of injuries.” That coach mentioned that they made sure the Black Mamba got his soup of specially made bone broth before games, since the collagen in it was optimal for joint health. “They would contact hotels ahead of time to make sure hey had all the right ingredients, and [Kobe] liked it in different ways.” Father Time stays undefeated, folks.



“He was consuming so much sugar everyday. His hands were tingling because of it and he was having a hard time catching a ball.” In 2013, Dwight Howard was dealing with a serious addiction to sugar, as Holmes revealed in one story that the big man was consuming 24 chocolate bars’ worth of sugar every day — for more than a decade. It all came to a freighting head when Howard started experiencing pre-diabetic symptoms, which thankfully was a wake up call to change his diet immediately.



“I would see peanut butter & jelly sandwiches in every locker room before games and I would see them in training facilities.” This James Beard-Award winning Holmes article was a fascinating glimpse into the NBA’s secret addiction to the classic and humble sandwich. Why? Well, simply put, it’s comfort food. No hidden benefits to recovery, no special potency to aid in performance — all they wanted was a soothing memory from childhood. Kevin Garnett had to have strawberry jelly, while Damian Lillard preferred his toasted.



“He’s been into wine and food for a long time, like 50 years. And he’s been doing this with the Spurs for like 20 years.” One of Holmes’ more recent stories was an extensive revelation on how San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich, with the help of his extensive knowledge of wine and food, used extravagant, Michelin-star caliber wining and dining to build camaraderie within the organization. The close-knit team culture created as a result of these dinners has translated to multiple championships and an organization-wide togetherness that’s become the envy of the entire sports world, and not just the NBA exclusively. Holmes explains, “The amount of people who were involved with the Spurs, still involved with the Spurs, they described these experiences as the backbone of the camaraderie that you would see on the court.”



“Using cranberries and Marcona almonds, Kerr was like ‘Here’s how we want to function.'” When Steve Kerr first came on board as the head coach of the Golden State Warriors, he envisioned a potent offense, but hadn’t really constructed and schemed it out yet. At an airport bar, a bartender asked the new coach how the offense would run. Kerr, working with what was immediately available to him, used elements of the charcuterie board he had ordered to illustrate how players would function within his system. Four years and three championships later, the Golden State Warriors have cemented the capability of their high-octane offense predicated on ball and player movement and three-pointers galore — all of which have shaped how the modern NBA game is played today.



I think it’s safe to say that the Portland Trailblazers are coffee snobs. Nevermind the Portlandian factor, but the team’s penchant for quality coffee was documented by Holmes as a way to keep the players fresh and alert. We’re talking the team’s training and performance staff grinding beans and brewing fancy French press coffee right before the start of the game. And with the Blazers having to travel more miles over the course of a season than any other team in American professional sports, it’s understandable that their sports performance specialists become baristas right before tip-off. “They’re traveling 250 miles a day. Imagine if every single day you flew from New York to Pittsburgh — for eight months,” illustrated Holmes.

Alcohol Beer News Toasty

Dos Equis To Induct “Most Interesting Fan of College Football” Into Hall of Fame

There’s a slight chill in the air (in the East Coast at least), Labor Day is this weekend, and that can only mean one thing… college football season will soon be upon us. Dos Equis returns as the Official Beer Sponsor of the College Football Playoff and is on a mission to find those football fanatics who choose “Game Day Over Everything.”

At the end of the season, one lucky fan will be crowned “The Most Interesting Fan of College Football” and will be honored by being immortalized in the College Football Hall of Fame with a life-sized statue. “It’s incredible to be a part of this ‘Most Interesting Fan’ campaign because it highlights the spirit and passion college football fans share every Saturday during the season,” says Rob Riggle, campaign spokesperson and ‘Most Interesting Fan’ candidate. “I’ve been a huge fan of college football all my life, displaying fandom literally on my sleeves and chest, so I’m excited to represent all those other diehards that put ‘Game Day Over Everything’ as they showcase their most interesting traditions for their teams.”

Starting Saturday (September 2) through November 14, 2017, fans of legal drinking age can use #MostInterestingFanSearch to enter the contest on Twitter, Instagram, and at by sharing photos, videos, or a simple tweet stating why they should be considered. Two finalists will be chosen in November and one winner will then be inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta at an exclusive Dos Equis event on January 7, 2018. Both finalists will receive roundtrip travel for two and will attend the 2018 College Football Playoff National Championship on January 8, 2018.

Additionally, Dos Equis is also taking its ESPN College Football Playoffs partnership to another level during Week 7 this college football season with its “ESPN Tailgate Week presented by Dos Equis,” which will highlight some of the best, most interesting tailgates around the nation and encourage fans to submit why they belong in the College Football Hall of Fame.

Alcohol Beer Drinks News Toasty

Show Your NFL Team Pride With Bud Light’s Team-Themed Packaging

Ever been tailgating, wearing your lucky jersey and facepaint is perfectly done, but you’re still not feeling the team spirit? Well, you can once again drink your team pride thanks to the NFL and the fine folks at Bud Light.

Just in time for the return of the season, Bud Light announced it will continue its tradition of NFL team-themed packaging.  This season, the team beers will be available in both cans and aluminum bottles, and will not only feature your team’s logo but also its catch phrase or rallying cry (think: “Fly Eagles Fly” or “Keep Pounding”).

Each can will also feature Snapchat “Snapcodes” that will unlock a chance to win Super Bowl LII tickets, an interactive Bud Bowl-style game, and team-specific Snapchat filters.

What die-hard football fan wouldn’t want a sixer representing their fave team? Yes, even you, Browns fans.

Celebrity Grub Fast Food Restaurants

Shaq Loved Krispy Kreme So Much, He Bought His Own Franchise


We all know Shaq loves his donuts. The basketball legend has made his affection for the fried breakfast cakes quite clear over the years.

Krispy Kreme just announced that the star of Kazaam and former Laker has become an owner of the the brand’s downtown Atlanta location. The 60-year-old location can be found on Ponce de Leon Avenue in the Georgia city.

Here’s what he had to say about the purchase:

Krispy Kreme prides itself on spreading joy and supporting local communities, and that’s a cause that I am thrilled to be a part of. Our goal is to help people find their happy place, and what better way than with a box of delicious Krispy Kreme doughnuts.”

If you’re still not buying Shaq’s love for donuts, take a quick peek at this sensual video of him enjoying some Krispy Kreme glazed.

Deals News Restaurants

Ruth’s Chris Steak House’s Special Promotion For Michigan Vs. Rutgers Game Is The Epitome Of An Epic Backfire


Over the weekend, the Ruth’s Chris Steak House in Ann Arbor, MI, thought they were pretty fresh coming up with a promotion for the Michigan vs. Rutgers football game this past weekend. The promotion was customers would get a one percent discount for every point Michigan is ahead of Rutgers by the end of the game. That deal would last for an entire week.

What the steak house chain didn’t count on, reports For The Win, was how much Michigan dominated Rutgers by.

The 78 to 0 final score meant that the restaurant would be giving out 78 percent discounts on all their checks through the next week. For a steak house of that caliber, you bet your sweet ass that’s a loss.

Ruth’s Chris immediately took to social media, clarifying that they had capped their promotion at up to 50 percent along with a few conditions.


Still a solid discount, but not as great as what could have been.

Soon after, Ruth’s Chris posted that the restaurant had been fully booked with reservations throughout the week. Looks like folks were prepared to nab their discounted meals before the rush set in.


Chances are, Ruth’s Chris’ next big promotion will have quite a few more safeguards set before they start blasting promises on social media. At least Michigan had a great game though.

Deals Fast Food News Sweets

Wendy’s Iconic Frosty Is Selling For 50 Cents


Who: Wendy’s

What: The fast food chain will offer customers a small Wendy’s Frosty for 50 cents.

In a recent partnership with, Wendy’s customers can also win a free season-long subscription to MLB.TV Premium. Participants just have to take a photo of their Frosty, post it on Twitter or Instagram, and use the hashtag #50centFrostyMLB.

Where: All participating Wendy’s locations.

When: The 50-cent Frosty deal will be available beginning August 15 for a limited time.


Packaged Food

Meet Kellogg’s Team USA Featuring Only Olympic Hopefuls

Kellogg's Team USA 2016

It’s not unusual to see Team USA Olympic athletes lining cereal boxes in the weeks following the Olympics, but this year, Kellogg’s Team USA will feature Olympic hopefuls on their limited edition boxes.

The boxes, which are now available nationwide, feature five Team USA Olympic and Paralympic hopefuls. According to Kellogg’s, first-time Olympian in the past four Olympic Games, over 55% of Team USA have been first time competitors, but this is the first time a brand will feature only Olympic hopeful athletes.

The boxes are meant to celebrate the daily motivations of the athletes with the idea and hashtag #GetsMeStarted. Team Kellogg’s athletes will be started and driven each day through videos and socia media.

The first time hopefuls include 19-year-old gymnastics star Simone Biles, 24-year-old soccer defender Julie Johnston, 24-year-old swimmer Tom Shields, 22-year-old middle distance runner Ajee Wilson and 33-year-old Paralympics discus thrower Natalie Bieule. Kellogg’s Team USA will also feature team captain and swimming legend Dara Torres.

Natalie Bieule_Cereal Box

In addition to supporting Team USA, Kellogg’s also encouraged people to use #GetsMeStarted and share what drives them to get up and be extraordinary.

Fast Food

Taco Bell Will Give Away Free Food During The NBA Finals If This Happens


UPDATE: The Golden State Warriors beat the Cleveland Cavaliers in Cleveland, June 10, so per Taco Bell’s rules, we all get free tacos Tuesday, June 21 from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.



Working with the NBA, Taco Bell is doing a steal a “Steal a Game, Steal a Taco” promotion. This means we’ll be getting free Taco Bell for watching basketball, which is pretty much the dream.

Here’s how it works:

If the away team wins during Games One, Two, or Three of the NBA Finals then fans get a free Doritos Locos Taco on Wednesday, June 15 from 2-6pm at all participating Taco Bell locations.

If the visiting team loses the first three games but wins a game during Games Four through Seven then fans will get a free DLT on Tuesday, June 21 from 2-6pm at all participating Taco Bell locations.

The chain did a similar promotion a while back during the world series called “Steal a Base, Steal a Breakfast” where fans received free A.M. Crunchwraps.