SAINTS DEFENSIVE end Charles Grant doesn't only get into a quarterback's kitchen—he averages better than seven sacks a season—the 6'3" 290-pounder also gets busy in his own. An avid cook since his days at the University of Georgia, the 29-year-old Grant befriended chef Emeril Lagasse at his New Orleans' restaurant in 2003 and has since been gathering culinary tips. "I didn't know anything about Creole food before then," says the native of Colquitt, Ga., who is also a part owner of Bonefish Grill, a seafood restaurant in Baton Rogue. Grant's signature dish? The rice-based jambalaya, a traditional Creole pleasure that he tweaks. "I love the flavor," says Grant, who signed a seven-year, $63 million contract last April, "and you can make it healthy with fish, shellfish and turkey sausage instead of regular sausage." His recipe is to the right.
GRANT'S "RAGIN' CAJUN JAMBALAYA"
One cup enriched long grain rice; 2 precooked turkey sausage links, sliced; 3 cups extra large Louisiana shrimp, peeled and cleaned; 2 precooked skinless chicken breasts, sliced; 2 tbsp. unsalted butter; 1/2 cup diced red onion; 1 cup diced bell pepper; 1 cup diced celery; 1 cup diced tomatoes; 2 tbsp. minced garlic; 3 tbsp. finely sliced green onions; 1 tbsp. creole seasoning; 1 tsp. salt; 1 tsp. black pepper Boil 2 cups of water in a large saucepan. Stir in rice. Cover, reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes. Melt the butter in large skillet, then add the bell pepper, celery, garlic and red and green onions. Sauté 10 minutes. Add tomatoes, shrimp, chicken and sausage and simmer for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to low and add the cooked rice, salt, black pepper and seasoning. Cook for five minutes more, stirring constantly. Serves four.
IT'S ONE of the most pressing questions in the history of American sports: Why did Dave Kingman (below) strike out so much? We may now have an answer.
Next month two professors—one from UC San Diego, one from Yale—will publish a paper in the journal Psychological Science that proves the existence of what they call "moniker maladies." The idea is that your name defines your destiny. Kids whose names start with A or B were found to be more likely to make good grades than those whose names start with C or D. The researchers also looked at baseball players and their penchant for striking out. Sure enough, they found that hitters whose names began with K fanned 18.8% of the time, compared with 17.2% for everyone else—a difference that is large enough to be statistically significant. The study didn't examine hitters who walk, but surely it's no coincidence that the alltime leader in bases on balls is none other than Barry Bonds.
Meanwhile, the Brits have been looking into an equally important question: Who ate all the pies? For years fans have been chanting this from the terraces in the direction of any portly player, ref or coach in their sights: Who ate all the pies? Who ate all the pies? You fat bastard! You fat bastard! You ate all the pies!
Now historians at Oxford say they have identified the first alleged serial pie hoarder: William (Fatty) Foulke (right), who played in goal at the turn of the 20th century. Foulke weighed 24 stone, or 336 pounds. (He once brought a game to a halt when he decided to hang from the crossbar, snapping it in half.) According to the newly published Penguin Book of Clichés, in 1894 Foulke became the first victim of the chant, which was delivered—lovingly, one assumes—by fans of his own team, Sheffield United.
HOT STOVE LEAGUE Grant, who has been cooking since his college days, got turned on to Creole cuisine by Emeril.
[See caption above]
JOHN PYLE/CAL SPORT MEDIA (GRANT IN UNIFORM)
TOM GRILL/CORBIS (SCIENTIST)
EMPICS SPORT/PA PHOTOS (FOULKE)
TONY TRIOLO (KINGMAN)
RICHARD RANSIER/CORBIS (PROFESSOR)