Did you know that NFL teams have been placing a greater emphasis on nutrition and fitness in recent years? Gone are the days of pre-game beers and junk food. Former NFL player Pat McAfee recently highlighted a post from Eagles Nation that revealed how the team’s traditions shifted when Chip Kelly took over as head coach.
However, the former punter pointed out that some of the old traditions, like having talks on Tuesdays and fast food on Fridays, are still alive and well under current Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid.
McAfee shares stories of nachos and beers before NFL games
McAfee also reminisced about his experience with the tradition when he used to have teammates who would “hammer a beer or five on a Saturday night before a game on Sunday while eating some nachos with actual cheese on it.” Pat McAfee claims that his former team had a tradition of drinking beer on Saturdays before the game on Sunday, but had to stop because of the NFL’s changing norms on nutrition and wellness.
While nutritionists, like Chip Kelly, have brought a new aspect to the NFL, McAfee is happy to hear that Andy Reid has not given up on the old-school mentality, back when Andy Reid was coaching the Eagles, they had a routine of having meetings and eating fast food, with the facility stocked up on pizza, chicken wings, fried food. It suggests that there may still be room for a balance between tradition and innovation in the NFL.
Later McAfee expressed a change that occurred in the Philadelphia Eagles team when Chip Kelly became the coach. The team began testing their hydration levels every morning by analyzing their urine samples. This was a departure from the previous tradition of having group meals with generic snacks and drinks.
Finding the right nutrition approach in the NFL
McAfee and AJ Hawk also revealed that there used to be Saturday meetings where the team would have giant 60-ounce milkshakes and ice cream, which the players looked forward to. However, Chip Kelly later transformed everything by making specific meals for each player based on their allergies, weight, and goals.
“It was their protein shake that was made specifically for them with their allergies and their weight and their goals every single morning.” McAfee talking about Chip Kelly implemented personalized protein shakes for each player, with their name on a cup. Although nutritionists have brought significant changes to the NFL, the conversation suggests that old-school traditions may still hold value. The NFL may benefit from finding a balance between the two approaches.