Darren Clarke is going on a diet. Maybe.

The British Open champion has had a running joke for years with his even stouter agent, Chubby Chandler, about counting calories. Clarke, who arrived at a post-victory press conference with a pint of Guinness, laid out his post-Open plan.

"I'm on Weight Watchers tomorrow morning," he said Monday. "I'm at Chubby's apartment, so I'm going to eat and drink as much as I want tonight and he's going to help me on it tomorrow morning."

But when pressed for goals, it became clear that the newly-crowned Open champion was a little bit low on commitment.

"I'll probably get bored with it in a week and give up," he said. "I think this could probably be a bad week for me to try and start. I think there are five points in a pint of Guinness."

Four, actually.

The truth is that Clarke's been very regimented about his fitness for nearly a decade. He dropped somewhere in the neighborhood of 30 to 40 pounds back in 2003-2004. Clarke knew he needed to get in better shape to accomplish his goals in golf. The needling he got about his weight from his fellow competitors probably added motivation.

Tiger Woods playfully calls him "fat." It started in 2000 after Clarke defeated Woods at the Andersen Consulting Match Play final.

"He left a note in my locker," Clarke said. "Congratulations, be proud. P.S.: You're still [fat]. Tiger."

Clarke isn't anymore, though, and with some help he's been able to keep the weight off. According to his website, the first-time major winner has a personal trainer and exercises about six times a week, even during tournaments.

So maybe Weight Watchers is indeed on the horizon after all. As long as friends and well-wishers stop buying him beers.

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By Yasmin Fahr

We all fall prey to superstitions like not walking under a ladder or opening an umbrella indoors. But they
are probably not as exacting as the ones professional athletes abide by -- especially when it comes to
food on game days. If you ate a peanut butter and jelly sandwich before playing the best game of your life,
you had better eat that same sandwich before every single game. Perhaps that's what Paul Pierce is thinking
every time he eats a PB&J exactly 55 minutes before he jumps on court.

It makes sense because food is what fuels our body and gives athletes the energy they need to dominate
their opponents. These athletes know what works for them and what doesn’t -- and they stick to it.
For instance, 13-time All-Star Alex Rodriguez starts his day with a bowl of fresh fruit, while Peyton Manning's
multi-course meal filled with lean protein and a variety of starches likely keeps his energy up throughout the

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Slideshow: Pregame superstitions of pro athletes

Sometimes, however, the line between performance-enhancing eats and pure superstition becomes a little
fuzzy. Some of the kookier rituals? Wade Boggs had to have chicken in any form, even fried, before playing,
and Lamar Odom credits a sugar rush from all the candy he eats for his on-court endurance.

What's also interesting is the shift from somewhat unhealthy choices in the past (like Michael Jordan's steak
and potato dinners) to relatively healthy and nutritious meals like LeBron James' choice of salmon and grilled
pineapple prepared by his personal chef. From baked potatoes to Cinnamon Toast Crunch, these 12 athletes
have developed their own extraordinary recipes for success.

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What's also interesting is the shift from somewhat unhealthy choices in the past (like Michael Jordan's steak
and potato dinners) to relatively healthy and nutritious meals like LeBron James' choice of salmon and grilled
pineapple prepared by his personal chef. From baked potatoes to Cinnamon Toast Crunch, these 12 athletes
have developed their own extraordinary recipes for success.

The list:

Derrick Rose
The 2011 NBA MVP, Rose played one year in college for Memphis and is a tenacious defender known for his lightning quick moves off the dribble. He will be a perennial all-star in the league for years to come as long as he keeps eating his sweets -- his publicly known and acknowledged addiction. Though his personal chef has made him swear off fast food, sugar is something that he will not give up, which is fine by us as long as he keeps up the good work.

Peyton Manning
This Super Bowl Champion eats two pieces of grilled chicken, a bowl of pasta with marinara sauce, a plain baked potato, a side of broccoli, and Gatorade before every game. No matter what time of day.

Paul Pierce
An All-Star veteran for the Boston Celtics, Pierce won an NBA championship with fellow superstitious eater Ray Allen in 2008. How'd he do it? By eating a peanut butter and jelly sandwich 55 minutes before every game.

Lamar Odom
Named NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year this past season, he now stars in his own reality show together with his wife Khloe Kardashian and chows down on as much candy as he can -- even in the middle of the night.

Derek Jeter
You have to wonder how Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter has managed to be a five-time World Series champion who recently recorded his 3,000th hit by a smashing home run. Maybe it's due to his requisite meal of pancakes and an omelette before each game.

Brian Urlacher
A modern day Monster of the Midway for the Chicago Bears, Urlacher is a physically intimidating Pro Bowl middle linebacker known for his crushing hits on opposing players. How does he find the energy and endurance? By eating two chocolate chip cookies before every game.

For complete list of athletes and their pre-game meals, go to

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If you thought paying $7 for a hot dog at the ballpark was outrageous, you might want to get out the defibrillator.

The Brockton Rox hope to break the Guinness World Record for most expensive dog by serving an $80, half-pound behemoth, covered in decadent toppings you won't even find at some Michelin-starred restaurants. The Massachusetts-based member of the Canadian-American Association of Professional Baseball will roll out the extravagant frankfurter on July 23 -- National Hot Dog Day.

The foot-long wiener will get the royal treatment. After deep frying, it will be rolled in truffle oil, then coated in porcini dust. The dog is to be topped with white truffle shavings and crème fraiche. If that doesn't gild the lily enough, the frank will be finished with caviar and fresh roe.

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This offering will certainly put the Rox on the map. For those outside of the Boston area, the team name is a tribute to the Red Sox. And although you probably aren't familiar with anyone on the roster, the Rox are managed by famed Red Sox first baseman Bill Buckner.

"What better way to celebrate National Hot Dog Day than with a new twist on a ballpark favorite," says club CEO Chris Carminucci.

No pictures of the frank are available yet, because the caviar isn't due in until next week. (Hate it when that happens!) But if you're anywhere in the Brockton area when the Rox take on the Newark Bears next Saturday, this ballpark frank is not to be missed.

Now let's see if Joey Chestnut shows up and drops $5000 for 62 of these bad boys.

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By Molly Aronica

They're the coveted moments in sports highlights reels -- the truly outlandish moments caught on film that become viral videos, making sports fanatics double-over in hysterics. Whether it's a foul ball crushing a fan's expensive stadium meal, teammates celebrating with a pie to the face, or a cooler full of Gatorade, we've rounded up some of the most outrageous clips in sports history featuring food and drink.

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Slideshow: Origins of iconic sports foods

1. New York Jets Coach Rex Ryan gets even when he showers his players with Gatorade after a victory over the Miami Dolphins.

2. Boston Celtics forward Gerald Green's iconic slam dunk featuring a cupcake with a lit candle.

3. New York Yankees pitcher A.J. Burnett throws a pie in Mark Teixeira's face.

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Videos: More outrageous food moments in sports

4. A hungry fan catches a foul ball in a popcorn bucket.

5. One lucky fan catches a foul ball in one hand while holding a tray of food.

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Forget peanuts and Cracker Jack. Chef Michael Snoke has something better in store for the 2011 MLB All-Star Game in Phoenix.

Snoke has been working with Levy Restaurants, the official restaurant partner at Chase Field, since 2004. He's in charge of the ballpark fare all season long, but has been looking forward to Tuesday's game for almost a year.

"I began writing the menu right after last season ended, and we've been trying samples and doing a lot of tasting," he says. "It's been a lot of fun, but also kind of fattening."

Snoke says they're using a lot of local and organic ingredients and he's eager to showcase food with some Southwest regional flair. He's serving habanero chicken and pepperjack cheese taquitos with ancho-lime dipping sauce, loaded tamales and a sandwich that will feed the whole family.

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"I am super excited about the All-Star Summer Heater," Snoke says. "It's almost two feet long and loaded with mortadella, smoked ham, salami, and topped with a jalapeño-olive relish and pepperjack cheese. It's basically a giant panini. And it's served on a mound of fried onion rings and topped with fried pickles. It's enough to feed four."

The various All-Star events will bring roughly 150,000 people through Chase Field and the quantity of food it takes to feed them all is off the charts. They'll go through 5,000 pounds of cheese, 7,500 tomatoes and 35,000 pounds of French fries.

Then there's the 350,000 pounds of ice that will help all the fans beat the heat, as will the Absolut All-Star Cocktail made with Absolut Mandarin, pomegranate, cranberry and pineapple juice.

"The numbers are staggering and they're pretty much staggering across the board," Snoke says. "When you talk about 80,000 hot dogs, that’s a huge number to me. That will be the biggest seller. You break that
down over the three days and that's more than 25,000 hot dogs a day. That’s crazy."

But don't expect your standard ketchup and mustard. Snoke has gone outside the box for some very creative topping combos. There's the Big Kid Dog, topped with mac and cheese and fritos. And keeping with the Southwest theme, the Taco Dog, topped with seasoned ground beef, lettuce, pico de gallo, cheese, sour cream and jalapeños.

"I don't just think the people flying in are going to be excited," he says. "I think the locals that are coming out are going to enjoy it too."

The only person who won't be able to enjoy the All-Star festivities is Chef Snoke. He's been living in Arizona since he was 7 and is a big Diamondbacks fan.

But he'll be pulled in too many directions come Tuesday to take in any baseball.

"The guest is more important than watching the game," he says. "And I've got to keep my focus where it
needs to be."

No doubt the guests will be focused on the food as well.

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By Arthur Bovino

You've heard the story before. An assistant coach of a struggling team at the University of Florida sits down with university physicians and together they devise a drink that turns around its season. From being sipped in dugouts and by NBA hardwood royalty to being doused over winning Super Bowl coaches, Gatorade has gone on to become inextricably linked with all sports forevermore. So as you're watching this year's MLB All-Star Game and hankering for some roasted peanuts, remember how this and other iconic sports food got their starts.

Some of these foods and drinks, like Gatorade, were originally conceived with sports in mind. For example, Big League Chew was actually the brainchild of actual athletes -- two pitchers talking in a bullpen in the minors no less. Other iconic foods associated with sports, like Wheaties, weren't invented with any athletic endeavors in mind, but are so linked to them that it's almost impossible to think about them in any other way.

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Slideshow: Origins of iconic sports foods

Then there are the legendary food and drinks that are associated with very specific sports locations and special events -- like Gilroy garlic fries at AT&T Park in San Francisco; Dodger Dogs in Los Angeles; mint juleps, hot browns, and burgoo at the Kentucky Derby.

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These legendary foods are so iconic that some, like garlic fries have even spawned imitators. At Yankee Stadium they've become so synonymous with the experience in the Bronx that young fans might not know they weren't invented there. (There's a whole generation of Long Island Mets fans who likely think Shake Shack is the only good thing their team "invented.") Some food and drinks, like juleps, are so loved, and iconic that they spill out of the confines of the stands and onto menus everywhere.

Whether it's between moments on the field, at stadiums, on television, or on the breakfast table, here are some of the most iconic sports foods and how they found their place.

The list:

Wimbledon: Strawberries and Cream
During Wimbledon more than 20 tons of fruit (more than two million berries) and 1,820 gallons of cream are consumed as the event's signature dish, strawberries and cream, is consumed. Tennis and strawberries ... why this bizarre combination? Legend dictates that King George V is responsible, but as The New York Times reported, the tradition dates to the era of the first Wimbledon tournament in 1877. Strawberries and cream were fashionable to eat and the seasonality coincided with the event.

Wimbledon's other iconic culinary icon, while its association is younger, is certainly more spirited. Champagne was Wimbledon's original beverage of choice, but the Pimm's Cup is better known now. The first Pimm's bar at Wimbledon opened in 1971. Its popularity grew and today more than 80,000 pints of Pimm's and lemonade are sold there annually.

Cracker Jacks
F.W. Rueckheim introduced Cracker Jack at the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1893. His brother supposedly gave the snack to a salesman, who proclaimed, "That's a Cracker Jack!" But Cracker Jack's link to baseball has a lot to do with two other men -- Jack Norworth and Albert Von Tilzer -- the writer and composer of "Take Me Out To The Ballgame." The free publicity has been helping sales ever since. Ironic considering they supposedly didn't make it to a game until about 20 years after writing the song.

Big League Chew
While trying to make a comeback in 1977 with the Portland Mavericks, pitcher Jim Bouton was sitting in the bullpen with teammate Rob Nelson who noted it was too bad someone didn't make gum that looked like chewing tobacco. When the season was over Bouton put money behind the idea, designed a pouch, and made some gum that they chopped up. Amurol Products, a novelty gum company in Illinois, launched Big League Chew in 1980 and sold $18 million at wholesale. As Bouton's site notes, the gum still sells today, having (thankfully) replaced chewing tobacco at many high schools and colleges.

Buffalo Wings
Think of every Super Bowl party you've ever hosted or attended. Consider any bar fare you've ever consumed while watching a game. What's the most iconic? If you said "beer," it would be difficult to argue. But with that you'd probably identify Buffalo wings as one of the most iconic sports foods ever.

Buffalo wings were invented by Teressa Bellissimo in 1964 and were first served at a family-owned spot in Buffalo called Anchor Bar. Bellissimo covered wings in a special sauce and served them with blue cheese and celery because she had them on hand. As Time noted, there are at least two origin stories. The first has Teressa coming up with the idea after receiving an accidental shipment of wings. The second, from her son Dominic, claims they were a midnight snack she created at his request. The Bellissimos have since passed away, but the dish isn't going anywhere.

Gilroy Garlic Fries
They're one of the best and most iconic stadium foods in America, the Gilroy garlic fries at AT&T Park in San Francisco. Their invention is credited to Dan Gordon of Gordon Biersch who created the garlic and fry combination as a late night snack during finals in grad school. The concession stands in the ballpark are infamous for the marvelous smell of stinking rose that wafts from them.

There are quality imitators, like at Yankee Stadium, but they haven't caught on to a smart garlic fry concession move in San Francisco: multiple locations. At AT&T the fries are on Promenade Level Sec. 103, 118, 130; View Level Sec. 311, 323, 331; Field Level; and Lower Center Field. There's just one crowded stand with long lines in the Bronx.

For complete list and slideshow of iconic sports food, go to

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Joey Chestnut could teach us all a thing or two about consistency, not to mention the most absurd kind of gluttony.

Chestnut, 27, from San Jose, Calif., won his fifth consecutive Nathan's Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest Monday by plowing through 62 hot dogs in 10 minutes. That was good enough to win by nine franks over second-place chow artist Patrick Bertoletti.

Asked how he was doing afterward, Chestnut remarked that he felt "great!"

Who wouldn't after ingesting 20,000 calories?

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More significantly, for the first year ever, we have a women's contest wiener -- er, winner. Sonya "Black Widow" Thomas put away 40 hot dogs, which had to come as little surprise to competitive eating fans. (Yes, they exist.) The Black Widow downed a personal best of 41 in 2009.

Thomas won by a larger margin than Chestnut, with her closest competitor, Juliet Lee, finishing with 29 1/2 hot dogs consumed.

Chestnut and Thomas each walked away with $10,000 and a championship belt.

Of course the purists will argue that the event wasn't the same without Takeru Kobayashi, who won the event six consecutive years (2001-2006) before finishing second to Chestnut three times.

Kobayashi was ineligible to compete at Nathan's for the second year in a row because he refuses to sign a contract with Major League Eating, the governing body of competitive eating. Last year he showed up in a "Free Kobi" T-shirt and rushed the stage after Chestnut won. He was then dragged away and issued a handful of charges that were later dropped.

This year, Kobayashi staged a one-man event at a Manhattan restaurant at the same time flanked by TV screens showing the Nathan's contest in Brooklyn and ate 69.

Chestnut set the official Nathan's record of 68 in 2009. Major League Eating has said it will not recognize Kobayashi's 69 because it did not occur in a competition.

Chestnut had a similar sentiment, telling CNN: "It was no different than what I do at practice on my own and I'm able to break a record at my house."

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Joey Chestnut had barely begun celebrating his fourth consecutive Nathan's hot dog eating championship last July 4th when the commotion broke out.

Takeru Kobayashi, the man who put competitive eating on the map, was rushing the stage. After refusing to sign a contract with Major League Eating, he was banned from the event, but that didn't stop him from getting his name in the headlines. As a result of the outburst, Kobayashi was charged with trespassing and resisting arrest.

"It is unfortunate that he had to pull a stunt like last year," says Renee Herlocker, who will serve as the ESPN sideline reporter for Monday's hot dog eating contest.

Still without an MLE contract, Kobayashi will not be part of the field at Coney Island in Brooklyn this year. He will be eating hot dogs, though. The six-time winner will compete on his own from the rooftop of a Manhattan restaurant, flanked by large-screen TVs showing the ESPN telecast of the event, which starts at noon ET.

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Despite the act of defiance, Kobayashi is receiving support from many around the competitive eating world.

"I believe this year's (event) is just him trying to still make waves in the competitive eating world," Herlocker says. "He is such a great eater, and like I said, it is unfortunate that he can't compete alongside Joey. Watching the two of them is special."

Pat "Deep Dish" Bertoletti, the No. 2 ranked eater in the world, says the absence of Kobayashi casts a shadow on the contest, which pays $20,000 each to the top male and female contestant.

"It's kind of a shame that he's not in the Nathan's event because he built competitive eating," Bertoletti says. "Without Kobayashi there would never be a Major League Eating. Kobayashi's arrival in 2001 was certainly the tipping point of competitive eating. I don't think it's much of an event without him. He's the only eater that's ever challenged Joey. It means I need to step up and challenge him this year.”

The absence of Kobayashi doesn't mean that the 10 minutes of hot dog gorging won't be exciting. Herlocker says she'll take fans right into the heart of the action. She will be reporting from the "Splash Zone" mere steps from the contestants. It will require a poncho and a strong stomach of her own.

"I think it will be disgustingly awesome!" she says.

Herlocker has been a fan of the contest since 2007, the last year that the time limit was 12 minutes, when Chestnut went head to head against Kobayashi with the American prevailing. Chestnut broke Kobayashi's record of 54 by downing 66.

In 2008, the first year with the 10-minute time limit, Chestnut and Kobayashi each finished 59. Chestnut then won the first-to-five-dogs eatoff to retain his title. In 2009, Chestnut beat Kobayashi 68-64.5. Without Kobayashi to push him, Chestnut won last year with 54.

Herlocker got her first taste of competitive eating up close when she served as sideline reporter for a Pizza Hut P'Zone duel between Chestnut and Sonya "Black Widow" Thomas recently.

Interestingly enough, Herlocker hasn't had a hot dog since she became vegetarian two years ago. Still she couldn't be more excited to be a part of such a summer tradition. And Kobayashi or not, she believes fans will be in for a great time.

"The entertainment value of the sport is priceless," she says. "And I think, 'what better way to celebrate our country's independence other than watching grown men and women stuff their faces for the pride of winning the yellow mustard belt!'"

-- Follow Renee Herlocker on Twitter .

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