Could a cupcake really give a team a winning edge?

Sara Ross thinks so.

The owner of Kickass Cupcakes in Boston is all about supporting the local teams and even sends her confections into the locker rooms.

"We recently created a special cupcake for the Bruins called the Bear Claw inspired by a fan who won our 'Create a Bruins Cupcake Contest' we held on Facebook, and the first day we sent cupcakes over to the Garden was the day they won 8-1 in the Stanley Cup playoffs," Ross says.

After losing the first two games of the Stanley Cup Final to the Canucks, the Bruins fought back taking the series to a Game 7. Ross says she sent over the Bear Claw cupcakes twice more including the night they won the Stanley Cup.

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"Lucky cupcake maybe?" Ross asks. "We like to think so!"

Ross moved to Boston and started the bakery after the boom of boutique cupcake stores in Los Angeles. Her artisanal approach of small batches baked fresh daily was an instant hit. Coming up with the name was the easy part. The website explains: "That's what you say when you eat the cupcakes, 'damn, these cupcakes kickass!'"

They don't just cater to Bruins fans either. They've done promotions for the Patriots and Celtics as well. They also have a Green Monster cupcake for the Red Sox faithful.

"My favorite part of owning a cupcake bakery is coming up with new cupcake flavors," Ross says. "I thought the combination of Sam Adams Cream Stout and the Red Sox was a winner, and we decided to tint the frosting green in honor of the Green Monster."

Will they be enough to get the Red Sox to another World Series? That remains to be seen. But as superstitious as baseball players are, I'd keep sending those cupcakes to Fenway.

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By Jamie Tredwell
TheDailyMeal.com

What do barbecue sauce, vineyards and candy bars have in common? Athletes. That's right, they're things
that sports figures and personalities endorse, own or pitch. And why not? Why should celebrities like
Paul Newman or reality TV stars corner food endorsements?

After years of tackling, slugging or racing at extreme speeds, and putting their bodies on the line, you can't
really blame athletes for using their fame and success to sell a few candy bars, or for packing on the pounds
by eating ribs drenched in a barbecue sauce they're peddling. Why shouldn't they nurture grapes and make
wines they can sip, feet kicked up, admiring their name on the label?

Click here for more from TheDailyMeal.com
Slideshow: Ten athlete food brands

So here's a list of 10 professional athletes, past and present, who have used developed food brands. Of
course, there are famous ones, like Reggie bars, named for the "Straw That Stirs The Drink," and another
baseball legend's chocolate treat namesake, Babe Ruth's Home Run Bar, not to be confused with Baby Ruth
bars, named after President Cleveland's daughter.

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Like these two candy bars, many have been discontinued though avid collectors have kept them in
circulation, so their packages, ads, and wrappers can still be found online. But plenty are sold in stores today, like Fred Smoot's energy bar, and a few like Peggy Fleming's wines and Andre Reed's barbecue sauce even donate a part of their profits to local charities.

Reggie Jackson's
Reggie! Bar

Mr. October allegedly said before joining the Yanks that if he were to play in New York he would have a candy bar named after him. Sure enough, the Reggie! bar was made by the Standard Brands Company to celebrate the '77 World Series.

William Perry's
The Fridge BBQ Sauce

Certainly not the only NFL player to make his way into the barbeque world, William "The Refrigerator" Perry also created his own line of finger-licking barbecue sauce. The defensive lineman shocked the crowd in Super Bowl XX when he played offense and actually scored a touchdown! "The Fridge" is trying to garner that same excitement with his sauce. He might start by hiring someone to take better pictures than the ones on his site picturing it laying on sod.

Andre Reed's
Over The Middle All Purpose Sauce

If there's anyone to trust with barbecue sauce, you'd think it would be an NFL player. Former Buffalo Bills and Washington Redskins wide receiver Andre Reed's "Over The Middle" All Purpose Sauce was developed because of his reputation as a receiver. The company is currently working on releasing an OTM Wing Sauce, but that has yet to hit stores. The original sauce can be found in select stores, or online here. Portions of the proceeds go to Second Mile, a children's foundation in Philadelphia, the Boys & Girls Club of Allentown, and the Kids Escaping Drugs Campaign -- not bad reasons to sauce up your next meal.

Fred Smoot's
SMACK Energy Bars

You may remember NFL player Fred Smoot from his Love Boat scandal back in 2005 when he and 17 other Minnesota Vikings teammates allegedly hired prostitutes to perform sex acts on a cruise. He has moved on to a new team, the Redskins, and left the Love Boat days behind for a new business enterprise: Candy. Smoot developed a line of SMACK energy chocolate bars that incorporate more than 10 vitamins in a heap of dark chocolate and honey. Find them in select stores in Washington D.C., Virginia, Maryland, and Mississippi, or order online here.

Peggy Fleming's
Fleming & Jenkins Wines

Three-time world champion figure skater Peggy Fleming, who won Olympic gold for ladies' singles in the '68 Olympics, opened her own vineyard and winery in California's Santa Cruz Mountains. Her wines include the 2007 Choreography (a mix of five Bordeaux varieties), the 2010 Victories Rosé, and the 2009 Jenkins Vineyard Chardonnay. Fleming, who was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1998, donates a portion of the profits from each bottle of Victories Rosé to breast cancer research, and has raised more $45,000. That's drinking for a cause!

For Complete List And Slideshow Of Athlete Food Brands, Go To TheDailyMeal.com

More from TheDailyMeal.com:
-- 20 Sports-Crazy Restaurants
-- Best Stadium Luxury Box Food Spreads
-- Extravagant Athlete Birthday Cakes

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Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert is not the only Clevelander to take a bite out of LeBron James since the Heat lost in the NBA Finals. Now, a well-known area deli is doing the same, and it comes with a traditional bowl of homemade pickles.

The owners of Corky and Lenny's, a New York-style Jewish deli serving Cleveland for 55 years, have changed the name of their "King" corned beef sandwich to the "Dirk Nowitzki" in honor of the Finals MVP.

"People love it," says Kenny Kurland, son of Corky and co-owner of the restaurant with Earl Stein. "Everyone was just so mad at LeBron, not because he left, but because of how he handled it. He didn't act like a gentleman."

Over the years, the restaurant, which has been in its current location since 1973 and serves an estimated 1,500–1,700 daily customers, has seen many pro athletes including the likes of retired Cavalier Eric Snow, as well as former Cavs head coach Mike Brown, who was previously a monthly patron. Kurland does not recall ever seeing LeBron come through the restaurant's doors, and odds are probably not very good that will happen anytime soon.

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But the rationale for renaming one of the bustling local institution's most famous menu items?

"Ever since we learned LeBron is a choke, we decided to name it for Dirk," Kurland says. "He won the ring, he’s the real king. So we put a cute spin on it."

Though the sandwich itself has nothing German on it -- customers will still have to order the Reuben if they want something with sauerkraut to go along with their matzo ball soup -- Kurland says he has seen a noticeable uptick in sales of the one-pound behemoth on a French roll because of the change. He says typically the restaurant sells 10,000 pounds of corned beef per week, and that the new name will stay for at least the rest of the month, but possibly July as well if sales of the $10.50 sandwich -- "Not New York prices" -- hold.

"It's been fun,” says Kurland, noting seeing several 'Cavs for Mavs' T-shirts through the restaurant. "We've been contacted by a couple of the local channels and TMZ. LeBron is pretty disliked for his behavior. Everyone's just happy he lost."

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Dodger Stadium might be better referred to as the crumbling house of McCourt these days, an iconic facility buckling under the weight of ownership mismanagement and fan indifference about a losing team and off-the-field crises.

On most evenings, the 49-year-old home of the Dodgers is no longer the Blue Heaven that Tommy Lasorda loves to call it, a sacred L.A. institution where fathers and sons and grandsons fostered multi-generational love affairs with their favorite team.

But magic can still be found in Chavez Ravine. Dodger Stadium is at its best these days when the team that bears its name is either not in town or has not yet shown up for work.

For decades, a handful of in-the-know locals have used the upper deck of the stadium as a lunch retreat, a peaceful haven in which to meet friends and rejuvenate with the pastoral green field below and the San Gabriel Mountains above. So often associated with loud and raucous ballgames, Dodger Stadium is a monastery at noon.

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Although the Dodgers do not publicize the access for picnickers, they are believed to be the only major league team that allows patrons to enter the stadium on any day there is not an afternoon game, and settle down in the bleacher seats for a snack or something more substantial.

It is incredibly simple: The lunch folks drive through the main gates at Elysian Park, tell the guard they are headed to the gift shop on the upper deck, then just walk on through and take their seats. ThePostGame had heard rumors of the informal arrangement, something which the club offers as a goodwill gesture to its followers and turns a blind eye to, but wanted to see for ourselves.

A couple of sandwiches from the legendary French-dip pit stop of Philippe's on Alameda were perfect fuel and at 2 p.m. on a recent weekday the urban myth was indeed as promised. It is an oasis of calm amid the most hectic of cities, and for some Dodgers fans, a reminder of what they love about the team and its home.

"I come here to get away from it all," says fan Chantal Kang, who brought a friend, takeout from nearby Chinatown, and had an entire section to themselves. "It is a sweet place to be, and if you love baseball there is no better place to eat lunch.

"It is a pretty cool thing that the Dodgers allow us to do this because let's face it, there hasn't been much else to get excited about this season."

Indeed, perhaps for the first time in its history, Dodger Stadium on game night is not such a cool place to be. With owner Frank McCourt seemingly in the final days of a turbulent reign, fans are staying away, loath to support the unpopular owner who squandered tens of millions of dollars on his family's extravagant lifestyle instead of improving the team.

Crowds at the most recent homestand were dismal, and while McCourt was able to make the May payroll after being unable to do so in April, his every move is scrutinized by Major League Baseball bean counters.

This season has conjured nothing but negativity. The ugliest scene came on opening day, when a San Francisco Giants fan was critically beaten, an attack for which there is still no conviction. Stadium regulars say the romance is gone, and bad went to worse last week when a fire broke out in a storage area during a game.

The team has struggled with a losing record, and despite claims of the players to the contrary, morale has surely been impacted by the off-field shenanigans.

"You just have to be professional and get on with it," first baseman James Loney says. "We spend a lot of time at the ballpark and you try to distance yourself from what is going on and do your job.

"But as players we accept the responsibility we have to the city and our fans and we want to turn the corner for them and give them reasons to be proud of being fans of the Dodgers."

The upper deck is a very different place in the ninth inning of a night game than it is at lunch. Crystal Kang remains on this night, surrounded by restless locals as the Dodgers creep toward another defeat. Boos begin to rain down as the men in blue are retired in order.

"Lunchtime was the best part of my day," she says. "Right now, it is the best the Dodgers have to offer."

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