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Steak and Football


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I have a steak, football, and bicycling story!

I was doing RAGBRAI with my son in 1996. One morning we got our Pancake Man pancakes and looked for a place to sit. There were empty seats on a picnic table across from this huge man. He was at least 6'5" but not fat. As I'm eating I recognize the guy. Holy crap! It's Ben Davidson who was a football player for the Raiders, Packers, and Redskins in the 60s. All told he rode RAGBRAI 10 times.

As we were eating, he told a story of how little they knew about nutrition back in those days. The pre-game meal was steak and eggs. Imagine eating that before playing football! Anyway Ben said that at one pre-game meal a player asked for some pancakes. The place went quiet as this guy was breaking one of the unwritten football rules. They did get him some pancakes and fortunately the Raiders won the game. Had they lost, it would have been blamed on the pancakes. Before the next game some other players asked for pancakes and they won again. Even more players ate pancakes before the next game and they won again. Ben said that in retrospect, they may have won some games during the next couple of years because of the pancakes being a superior pre-game food.

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