Bills legend Bruce Smith used to keep a two-liter of Diet Coke on the floor next to him for easy access as he wolfed down Thanksgiving turkey with Darryl Talley and their families. Bills center Eric Wood hosts a Thanksgiving Day "Weight Gain Challenge" to see which player can stuff himself the fullest.
The holiday is a magical day of eating for many Americans, and that's especially true for football players.
But what food do Bills players look forward to the most? Their answers may surprise you – especially if you don't consider macaroni and cheese a Thanksgiving food. Here's a rundown:
Cornerback Stephon Gilmore: “For me, mac and cheese. I love mac and cheese. I try not to eat too much of it.”
Right tackle Seantrel Henderson: “Ham and macaroni and cheese.”
Quarterback Tyrod Taylor: “Mac and cheese.” Follow up: That’s a Thanksgiving food? “It’s crazy that you say that, a lot of people out here don’t think that that’s a Thanksgiving food. I gotta have mac and cheese. Ever since I was little, mac and cheese was always on the table. ... My mom’s coming up, they’ll drive up and she’ll cook all day tomorrow so by the time we’re off the field, it’s time to get in my belly.”
Coach Rex Ryan: “A lot of green bean casserole. That’s the most underrated dish there is. You definitely have to go with the turkey. My wife has gotten lazier, as the years – we have been married 30 years. She just gets it from one of these stores … I’m not going to say Popeyes out loud. You have to get the store-bought cranberry and stuffing. That’s the way to go. You don’t make it by scratch. My taste buds aren’t good with that. Get the store-bought. Make it easy. The green bean casserole – that has to be the main thing.”
Linebacker Lorenzo Alexander: “My wife’s yummy potatoes. It’s like hash browns with sour cream, cheese, chives are in there, and then it’s covered with like Frosted Flakes, and then you bake it. It’s ridiculous.”
Linebacker Preston Brown: “Macaroni and cheese. That’s all I’m going to eat. Macaroni and cheese the whole time.” That’s it? “Maybe throw in a little turkey I guess, just because you have to.”
Quarterback Cardale Jones: “Whatever’s cooked, pretty much. I can’t wait. Probably macaroni and cheese.”
Center Ryan Groy: “Stuffing, hands down.”
Right tackle Cyrus Kouandjio: “Turkey wing.”
Cornerback Nickell Robey-Coleman: “I’m real traditional when it comes to Thanksgiving. I like whatever Grandma puts on the plate. If Grandma puts it on the plate, I’m eating it. That’s my favorite meal. Everything on Thanksgiving is like the favorite of everything, but you put it all together like an all-star game, that’s how it is on Thanksgiving.”
Punter Colton Schmidt: “Pecan pie. I just really like pecan pie.”
Long snapper Garrison Sanborn: “Fried turkey."
Left guard Richie Incognito: “I like turkey.”
Linebacker Zach Brown: “Chitterlings. You know, hog intestines. The intestines of a pig. It’s great.” How do you cook that? “You gotta clean ‘em, then you boil ‘em, then you gotta clean ‘em again, then you gotta boil ‘em again, then you clean ‘em, then you gotta boil them again, then you’re good after that. Put some pig feet in there, the gravy’s real good. Chop up some onions and stuff. It’s real good. Some collard greens, some mashed potatoes with macaroni and cheese some fried chicken, can’t beat it.”
Receiver Justin Hunter: “Sweet potato pie. That and dressing.”
Receiver Sammy Watkins: “Ribs, turkey, ham.”
Defensive end Jerel Worthy: “Baked mac and cheese, if it’s made right. And sweet potato pie.”
Defensive tackle Corbin Bryant: “If you ain’t got sweet potato pie, you just wrong.”
Worthy: “You just wrong! A lot of people will settle for pumpkin, but I don’t like that. It’s awful!”
Bryant: “Pumpkin pie is disgusting! It’s terrible. If you can’t tell the difference (from sweet potato pie) then you ain’t got no taste buds.”
Worthy: “They try to make them taste the same, and they ain’t the same.”
Defensive tackle Adolphus Washington: “If I got to somebody’s house and they ain’t got sweet potato pie, I’m just going to tell ‘em I’m (leaving).”
Worthy: “You just gotta walk out! You gotta leave! You just gotta tell them like look, you invited me over, I appreciate you. I brought my dish, my bottle of liquor, but I noticed you had a lack of sweet potato pie and I gotta run."