What Do Football Players Eat?

Our guests today are Geoff and Mitch Schwartz, both NFL offensive linemen and co-authors of Eat My Schwartz: Our Story of NFL Football, Food, Family, and Faith. They join the Clever Cookstr to talk about how they got into cooking, favorite game day snacks, and how food has played a role in some of the most important moments of their lives and careers.

Kara Rota
2-minute read
Episode #120

Mitch's signature dish is homemade pizza, and his brother Geoff's is shrimp pasta. When they tried to combine the two to make shrimp pizza, they ended up with a disappointing result—dry, stringy, overcooked shrimp atop a fairly sauceless pizza crust. But since the two NFL players became interested in cooking, they've come a long way. In their book Eat My Schwartz, Mitch and Geoff, the first Jewish brothers in the NFL since 1923, spill the beans on their progress through football, cooking, and life.

Whether it's bagels and lox on the morning of Geoff's wedding, a deep-fried turkey for Thanksgiving, or peanut butter on matzoh for Passover, food memories play a big role in the brothers' memoir. And what do they recommend for game day eats? Nachos. They're customizable and best when layered, so each bite is a balance of chips, cheese, and toppings. And baking your chicken wings with a bit of cornstarch to make the skin crispy is the brothers' tip for making game day wings a bit healthier. 

Check out the book, Eat My Schwartz: Our Story of NFL Football, Food, Family, and Faith, available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Indiebound, or Books-a-million.


There is something about this combination that is a perfect union for me. I think the core ingredients—shrimp, garlic, but- ter, white wine, pasta—just mesh into one glorious explosion of taste. The ingredients are kind of like a perfect offensive line— each one doing its part for the meal. Okay, enough with questionable metaphors. Here’s the game plan:

Yields 2 servings

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2.5 tablespoons butter Salt 2 large garlic cloves, minced

2 shallots, chopped

1 pound large raw shrimp, shelled and deveined

1⁄2 cup dry white wine, such as Sauvignon blanc

2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley Black pepper 1 pound fresh spaghetti or linguine

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.

  2. In a large sauté pan, heat the butter and olive oil over medium-high heat, until the butter is melted. Stir in the garlic and shallots and sauté the garlic for about a minute, until the garlic starts to brown.

  3. Add the shrimp and the wine to the sauté pan. Stir, fully coating the shrimp in butter, oil, and wine.

  4. Put the fresh pasta into the pot of boiling water.

  1. Turn the heat up to high. Bring the sauce to a boil and keep it bubbling for 2 to 3 minutes.

  2. Stir the shrimp, turning the shrimps over, and continue to cook on high heat for 1 more minute.

  3. Drain the pasta.

  4. Remove the pan from the heat. Sprinkle the shrimp with parsley, black pepper, and toss to combine, then plate over pasta. 

Recipe reprinted with permission from Eat My Schwartz: Our Story of NFL Football, Food, Family, and Faith, by Geoff and Mitch Schwartz (St. Martin's Press, 2016).

Listen to our interview with Geoff and Mitch Schwartz in the top right hand player, or on iTunesStitcher, and Spotify.  Don't forget to sign up for the forthcoming Clever Cookstr newsletter, full of tips and tricks from the kitchens of the world's best chefs.

About the Author

Kara Rota

Kara Rota headed children’s programming at Chicago’s Green City Market and studied food politics at Sarah Lawrence College. Kara has been a featured speaker at numerous venues including Food Book Fair, the Roger Smith Food Conference, and the Brooklyn Food Conference. She has written about food for Irish America Magazine, West Side Rag, Recipe Relay, and Food + Tech Connect, and is the former Director of Editorial & Partnerships at Cookstr.com.