What will Packers eat, drink before wildcard game vs. Vikings?

CREATED Jan 3, 2013

  • Print

GREEN BAY - What fuels today's athlete?  Not figuratively or metaphorically speaking, but actual human fuel?  (Read: food.)

Today's NFL athlete has the benefit of a team dietitian and nutritionist who can design a custom built program that carefully measures out the caloric intake of each athlete and is optimized for peak performance.

What will the finely tuned athletic specimens on the Green Bay Packers roster be feeding their system before Saturday's NFC wildcard game?

"I love mashed potatoes before a game.  I add a chicken breast, a salad.  I kind of always eat the same stuff before a game, have a bit of little pasta," explained kicker Mason Crosby to Newsradio 620 WTMJ's Greg Matzek.

Seems kind of heavy, no?

"You've got a night game, eat at 3:30 p.m., and you're not going to get another meal in you until about 9:00, so you'd be surprised how many guys go pretty heavy on the meal before the game," admitted center Evan Dietrich-Smith.

So if the kicker eats meat, potatoes, pasta and salad, is there enough food left for 6'4", 295 pound defensive lineman Mike Neal?

"If I eat a lot, I get real sick...just because I get so emotional before the game, and I get so excited, and all that food in my stomach doesn't do me any good," said Neal.

Color me surprised.

Neal doesn't play on an empty stomach.  However he does make sure to have a highly concentrated organic beverage specifically designed to increase his level of alertness.

"I usually have a big old cup of coffee, about 32 ounces.  I love coffee."

If you think dietary habits change based upon game time, guess again.

"The day of the game, I usually eat spaghetti," said backup quarterback B.J. Coleman.

"Doesn't matter if it's a 12:00 p.m. game.  I eat spaghetti at 9:00 a.m."

When it comes down to it, athletes are really no different from you and me .

When they get hungry, they eat. They might just burn a few more calories.