By Matt McCue
TheDailyMeal.com

If there's no such thing as easy money, the closest thing has to be free-flowing cash from celebrity endorsements. All notables seem to have to do is lend their pearly whites to products, attend media events, and tell the masses they, "Better eat their Wheaties." Yet many top athletes have done a spectacular job of blowing multimillion-dollar deals.

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Slideshow: 15 athlete food endorsement fails

The sins are usually not poor performances, but off-the-field scandals in their many forms: Criminal activity, drug abuse, and the big one that (at least temporarily) has bit Kobe and Tiger -- fraternizing with women who were not their wife.

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Standards about what's acceptable vary from company to company. It was a no-brainer for family-friendly Kellogg's to drop Michael Phelps as pitchman when he was caught smoking pot. But Subway stayed with him, and built a munchies-themed campaign around him and $5 foot-longs. OK, the last part is a lie, but you get the idea. Some things are forgivable. Here are 15 athlete endorsements that didn't work.

[SLIDESHOW]

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Food trucks have come to The Linc.

Well, food trailers. Carts actually. But that's not the point. Aramark, which runs the concessions at Lincoln Financial Field, is welcoming some new options for the Philly faithful. Starting last Sunday for the Eagles home opener, The Dapper Dog, operated by Seth Russell and his business partner, served up their trademark franks outside the stadium.

But that's not the point either. Not the coolest point, anyway.

The Dapper Dog will offer just two dogs each game -- one for the Eagles and one for their opponent. That's right. Philly is being hospitable to visitors. This past weekend the Giants dog had sauerkraut, brown mustard, raw onions, banana peppers and pickles.

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"New York is known for so many different types of food it was hard to choose," says Russell, who normally has the mobile meal machine parked in Northern Liberties on Friday and Saturday nights.

The Giants dogs sold a few, but of course the Eagles dog ruled the day. It's essentially a Philly cheesesteak and hot dog rolled into one. The frank gets topped with provolone cheese and smothered with thinly sliced beef. Can't beat that.

And maybe that's the point. The Philly dog can yell "Scoreboard!" even when the team can't.

"People just go crazy for cheesesteaks here," Russell says.

The Dapper Dog is no stranger to supporting local sports fans. It's been open for business for a year and a half, most notably feeding Flyers fanatics after getting invited to set up outside the Wells Fargo Center this past spring for the team's playoff run. Alas, they didn't make it past the Bruins in the conference semis. Now the city's championship chances rest with the Phillies and a battered 1-2 Eagles team.

"It's rough because it seems like the last two weeks the Eagles can't catch a break," says Russell, a Connecticut native who's been rooting for the team since he moved to Philly almost five years ago.

So while the Eagles prepare for their upcoming opponents, so does Russell. With the Bears coming to town in a few weeks, he plans on serving a traditional Chicago-style dog. No word yet on what the San Francisco option will be topped with when the 49ers come to town this Sunday. Sushi? Chinese? Seafood?

The only guarantee is a fired-up crowd and some fantastic frankfurters. And, doubtless, the home dog will win the day.

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By Molly Aronica
TheDailyMeal.com

These are not products for fair-weather sports fans. If you're one of those people who saunter into a stadium a couple of times a year to enjoy the game with a brew and a hot dog, turn away now. These are products for sports nuts that bleed their team's signature colors -- you know the type.

For the kind of friend that lives and dies for their team, how about showing up to their next viewing party with a dozen mascot-emblazoned cupcakes? Maybe your friend is moving into a new place -- a team logo toaster is surely the perfect housewarming gift.

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Slideshow: 10 items only sports fans would love

Hanging onto a promotional foam finger from a football game is one thing; even collecting team shot glasses has become pretty run-of-the-mill. How about starting a collection of NCAA-branded Pez dispensers? Or getting an edible version of your team’s logo printed onto for the big game? These are the kinds of products that are sure to get the hearts of die-hard fans racing.

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And this is just a small taste of the items available for true enthusiasts. Those people who are more into grilling, for instance, can deck out their abodes with custom grills, branding irons, and even propane tank covers.

[SLIDESHOW]

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The 2011 NFL season is underway, and that means more than just football. It means pigskin. Literally. Whether you order pizza and breadsticks to watch the game at home or throw a massive tailgate with a whole roasted pig, food is intertwined with our gridiron viewing. Each region celebrates its team with local specialties -- wings in Buffalo, cheesesteaks in Philly -- and now stadiums across the league are catching on.

No longer must we choose among a hamburger, hot dog and nachos to quell our halftime hunger. From Lambeau to Raymond James, concessions have stepped their games up. Today you can chow down on fried cheese curds if you can get a ticket to watch the Packers or a Cuban sandwich while cheering on the Bucs.

So you can spend more time enjoying the stadiums and less time scouring the concourses, ThePostGame presents a guide to the best NFL regional eats:

[SLIDESHOW]

Arrowhead Stadium, Kansas City Chiefs
Chiefs Brisket Stack: Texas toast piled high with smoked beef brisket, topped with tangy BBQ sauce, onion straws and pickle chips.
Foot Long KC Brisket Dog: All beef hot dog piled high with beef brisket and topped with onion straws.
Red and Gold Short Rib Melt: Pulled short ribs, grilled onions and white American and Havarti cheeses on Parmesan-crusted toast.

CenturyLink Field, Seattle Seahawks
Seattle Dog: Based off the street vendors outside the stadium, it's made with an Oberto sausage kielbasa topped with cream cheese and caramelized Washington sweet onions.
Salmon BLT: Made with wild Alaskan sockeye salmon, applewood smoked bacon, lettuce and tomato.

Cleveland Browns Stadium, Cleveland Browns
Lake Erie Walleye Sandwich: Lightly battered and fried Walleye served with lettuce and tomato on a hoagie roll.

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waffle fries.
Pierogi Dipper: Cleveland signature potato and cheese pierogies with classic sour cream.

Edward Jones Dome, St. Louis Rams
Toasted Ravioli: Beef ravioli fried and served with marinara and sprinkled with Parmesan.

EverBank Field, Jacksonville Jaguars
Steak and Wedge Sandwich: Tenderloin steak, applewood bacon, chopped iceberg, tomatoes and blue cheese.
Mayport Wild Peel and Eat Shrimp: It comes with crab shack mustard, cocktail sauce and remoulade.

Ford Field, Detroit Lion
Detroit Style Coney Island Hot Dog: That stadium favorite smothered in chili and covered in chopped onions.
Lamb and Chicken Gyros: The Greek favorite served on warm pita with Tzatziki sauce.

Georgia Dome, Atlanta Falcons
Georgia Dog: Foot long Hot Dog topped Vidalia Onion Relish
Sweet Heat Fried Chicken Nachos: Made with buttermilk fried chicken tenders, sweet heat peach BBQ sauce and chipotle jack cheese sauce.
Shrimp and Grits: Made with Logan Turnpike Mill Grits and Sweet Grass Dairy Cheese.
Fried Green Tomato PBLT Sandwich: Made with Niman Ranch pork and Niman Ranch Bacon.

Heinz Field, Pittsburgh Steelers
Primanti Bros. Sandwich: The Pittsburgh favorite with the fries stuffed in the sandwich.
"Bloomfield" Sausage Meatloaf Sandwich: Sweet and hot sausage loaf served on grilled thick cut Italian bread and topped with pepper and onion tomato ragout and fried provolone cheese.
"Northsider" Monster Chopped Ham Sandwich: Pittsburgh-style chopped ham piled high, topped with fire roasted peppers and onions, pepper jack cheese and fried egg, served on a monster roll.

Lambeau Field, Green Bay Packers
Bratwurst: You can get these famous sausages a half dozen ways
Fried Cheese Curds: Wisconsin dairy cheese curds hand breaded and fried until golden brown.
Beer Cheese Soup: An upper Midwest favorite made with local beer and creamy cheddar.
Beer Cheese Mac and Cheese: Beer boiled macaroni tossed with beer cheese sauce and topped with bread crumbs and Wisconsin cheddar cheese.

Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia Eagles
Tony Luke's Cheese Steak: A Philly classic with thinly sliced beef and cheese on fresh baked bread.
Chickie's & Pete's Crab Fries: French fries elevated with a sprinkling of crab boil seasoning.
Inside L.B.: Hot London Broil with a horseradish cheddar cheese and natural jus on a onion roll.
Chop Block: Chopped brisket with a jalapeno slaw and Linc BBQ sauce on a corn-dusted Kaiser roll.

M&T Bank Stadium, Baltimore Ravens
Homemade Baltimore Crab Cakes: A patty of sweet blue crab served either straight up or on a bun with tartar sauce.
The Pigskin: Slow roasted pork in a mango and jalapeno glaze, topped with red cabbage slaw, roasted garlic mojo and manchego cheese.
Baltimore Dip Sandwich: Shaved prime rib with aged cheddar cheese, roasted pepper relish, horseradish sauce, and Crab Dip "au jus."

O.co Coliseum, Oakland Raiders
Carnitas Bomber Sandwich: Pepper jack cheese, pico de gallo, shredded lettuce, sliced pickled jalapeno peppers, chipotle aioli, carnitas meat on a ciabatta roll.
Oakland Cheesesteak Sandwich: Smoked beef brisket, pimento cheese fondue, sliced pickled jalepeno peppers, Fresno chiles on a brioche bun.
Ultimate Nachos: A mound of tortilla chips, topped with cheese, pinto beans, salsa and sour cream.

Paul Brown Stadium, Cincinnati Bengals
Sauerbraten Stacker: Shredded sauerbraten of beef with braised cabbage, red onion, fennel slaw and a roasted garlic aioli served on a caraway seed salted rye Kaiser roll.
Porkopolis: Sliced pork loin, sliced Black Forest ham, split grilled mettwurst, Farmer's Longhorn cheese, slicked pickle and spicy mustard served on a panini hoagie bun.

Raymond James Stadium, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Lechon Asada: Havana-style shredded roast pork served with black beans and yellow rice.
Cuban Sandwich: Thinly sliced roast pork loin, Black Forest ham, Swiss cheese, tomato, pickle, salami, and dijonnaise served on Cuban bread.

Reliant Stadium, Houston Texans
Chop Baker: Jumbo baked potato stuffed with chopped beef brisket and BBQ sauce, topped with cheddar cheese, sour cream, bacon and chives.
Indian Mountain Pulled Pork Sandwich: Smoked and pulled red wattle pork butt, BBQ sauce, creamy cole slaw and pickled onions on a sourdough roll.
Gonzales Meatloaf Sandwich: Roasted green chili meatloaf sliced thick and topped with Monterey jack cheese, ancho BBQ sauce on a sweet mesquite bun.

Full Story >>

Sid Bream doesn't like coffee. During his dozen years in the Major Leagues, he was told repeatedly that he would inevitably turn to the caffeinated brew to get through the grueling span of 162 games in 180 days.

But he never did.

"I might have had a (soda) from time to time," Bream says, "but I didn't like the taste or even smell of coffee."

Now with all the pick-me-ups and supplements available, athletes have to pay careful attention to what they put in their bodies. Bream, perhaps best known for his famous slide in Game 7 of the 1992 NLCS that sent the Atlanta Braves to the World Series, has a suggestion: honey.

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"It's an all-natural energy booster," he says. "It's going to be better for your system than a candy bar or a coke or hopefully not greenies anymore."

September is National Honey Month and Bream has teamed up with Kansas City Royals nutritionist Mitzi Dulan to spread the word about the sweetener. Dulan, a registered dietician, says she's spoken with players and some are adding it to their game plan in Kansas City.

"I have seen players actually making a peanut butter, honey and banana sandwich prior to games," she says.

That's one of Bream's favorite ways to incorporate it into his diet as well. To stay in shape, he walks four to five miles several times a week, and he fuels up with a spoonful of the liquid gold, usually spread on whole grain flatbread with bananas.

"I have it almost every morning now," he says.

But could honey really catch on in MLB clubhouses? Will players give up their Red Bull for a squeeze from that little plastic bear?

Bream thinks so. He says the landscape of the sport has changed since his retirement in 1994.

"Back in my playing days, the topic of nutrition wasn't nearly as evolved as it is today," he says.

It's one of the subjects Bream broaches when he speaks to young baseball players, who are often bombarded with sometimes dangerous or illegal shortcuts that promise a pathway to the pros.

"Before I get into hitting or anything like that, I talk about the mental process first," he says, "learning about how to have the confidence to not let those outside pressures in."

So if you're a teen or a pro ballplayer who needs a pick-me-up during a long season, reach for the other, safer HGH: High Grade Honey.

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By Matt McCue
TheDailyMeal.com

There is no question that a hot dog is a great game day snack, but as college football fans become more food savvy, university athletic departments are giving their stadium menus a gourmet makeover.

Throughout the past five years, schools across the country have been adding locally-sourced and high-end delicacies to their concessions. However, as professional teams continue raise the bar on their stadium food many of them are taking care to appease to even the most casual fans by innovating the traditional dishes familiar to them.

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In Pictures: The best college football stadium food

The irony is that even with the new selections -- from sushi to maple donuts -- the fans have a fondness for the traditional staples. According to a recent survey the National Association of Collegiate Concessionaires found that soda, hot dogs, popcorn, nachos, and pretzels still rule the popularity hierarchy.

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However, if you've tired of the classics and are yearning for a new game-day treat, here are 10 stadiums where the food is worth checking out

[SLIDESHOW]

See more stadium foods

For a complete slideshow, go to TheDailyMeal.com.

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By Leora Novrick
TheDailyMeal.com

Over the past few years, watching Joey Chestnut devour 62 hot dogs in one go has attained a new level of utter fascination. The Travel Channel's not helping, what with "Man v. Food" and other competitive eating shows gaining traction (those marathons are difficult to turn off) and with the assistance of the Major League Eating Corporation, food competitions of all shapes, sizes and flavors have sprung up all across America. They're fine-tuning the art of eating just about anything for sport.

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Slideshow: America's Tastiest Food Eating Competitions

Nathan's Famous Hot Dog Eating Competition, held every year on July 4, is inarguably the most famous of the bunch. But there is quite literally a challenge for anyone.

Down south in Florida, food lovers can try to prepare themselves for the Nitally's Inferno Soup Challenge. Only fools would think you could slurp this challenge up, though. The soup's filled with Ghost Peppers, making this one of the spiciest competitions you can enter.

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A little further west, you'll find yourself at the Tamale Eating Championship in Texas. Last year's winner, Tim "Eater X" Janus, who boasts a record of 59 tamales in 12 minutes, took home both the coveted cash prize and tamale glory. Sounds too ambitious for just one person?

California's 30-inch Pizza Challenge at Luigi's at the Beach in San Diego grants you a partner to help out as you vie for a spot on the venerated Wall of Fame. Start there and work your way up to giving the oyster-eating champ (and record-setter) a run for her money at the Acme Oyster Eating Championship.

Each state across America has their own take on food competitions that showcase local flavors, spices and specialty dishes. Whether you try your luck and see how much you are able to down in mere minutes or watch in awe as competitive eating pros down more food than you thought you could shake a stick at, these food competitions are an extreme (and extremely fun) way to get to know our great states from coast to coast.

[SLIDESHOW]

For a complete slideshow, go to TheDailyMeal.com.

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"It'll be something big and something good."

That's how Jennie Finch describes her last meal -- the caloric monster she'll eat the night before the New York City marathon in November. The former softball pitcher and Olympic gold medalist is still finding outlets for her competitive side a year into retirement.

This spring Finch completed a half marathon while 20 weeks pregnant.

"I hurt for a week afterwards since I didn't train for it," she says. "But I ran the whole thing and that was my goal."

Now she's less than three months removed from the birth of her second son, Diesel, and has been hard core training for three weeks. At least the running part of it. Most first time marathoners would be on a strict diet, but not Finch.

"I'm all about balance," she says. "Never too much of anything, and a little of anything won't hurt."

She's the type of person who works out because she enjoys eating so much. Having grown up in California, Finch is a big fan of Mexican food. Her mom's lasagna is up there among her favorites. And then there are all the southern delights that come from living in her husband’s home state of Louisiana. She describes her self-control at a recent shrimp fry as "not that good."

But Finch isn't one to regret or dwell on anything. Her Twitter account is full of references to food. There are pictures of room service and a cake featuring her old uniform number made entirely of cupcakes. Even a tweet about the time her willpower was dominated by Oreos.

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"We all have our struggles, I guess," she says. "But nothing is off limits. There’s no time for limits."

Time, these days, is her motivation. Outside of her personal goal to run a full marathon, Finch will be raising money for charity. She will start last and Timex will donate $1 to the New York Road Runners Youth Program for every person she passes.

It's too early in her training to speculate how many people she’ll pass, but she has a rough idea.

"Amani Toomer had the same sponsorship from Timex last year and he passed over 25,000 people," she says. "I'm a little competitive, so I'll be going for that."

As for her last meal before the big race, she hasn't given it a ton of thought. Maybe pasta. Not knowing much about the New York restaurant scene she might outsource the decision entirely.

"Maybe I'll put up a poll on Twitter," she says.

And hopefully a picture too.

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Booyah!

Long before it was a sports-highlight catchphrase, it was a hearty soup native to the Upper Midwest. It's usually made for large gatherings and there's one place you can get it every Sunday in the fall -- Lambeau Field.

Booyah is just one of the dishes that make the home of the Packers stand out as the best NFL stadium for regional food. Lambeau executive chef Leo Dominguez goes way beyond burgers, dogs and French fries for the Green Bay faithful.

"We try to keep it regional," he says. "This is just a great area with so many food traditions."

The local soup made with tons of vegetables, chicken and sometimes other meats got its name from the large booya kettles it's slowly simmered in. (Somewhere along the way, the folks around Green Bay added the "h" to the end of the name.)

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Among the other half-dozen regional items on the Lambeau menu are plenty of brats. They'll sell roughly 38,000 pounds during the course of a season. Lambeau's signature dish, though, has to be that squeaky Wisconsin favorite.

"Our cheese curds are a big hit," says Dominguez, who's now in his fifth year as executive chef of the stadium for Levy Restaurants. "We get the raw cheese curds from a local dairy here in Wisconsin, and we hand bread them. They're just phenomenal."

Cheese plays a prominent role, and no item gets more love at Lambeau than the beer cheese soup. It's served straight-up, turned into a dip or smothered on top of a hamburger.

"The beer cheese burger with bacon served on a pretzel roll is one of our most popular dishes," says chef Dominguez.

His favorite dish, though, has to be the beer cheese mac and cheese. It's also a favorite of many of the 73,000 fans who swarm the stadium each game day. The biggest challenge, though, might not be in serving thousands of pounds of regional food every Sunday, but doing so in the Wisconsin winter.

"When it gets below zero here, which it does for a quarter of our season, everything starts freezing," Dominguez says. "A lot of days they're trying to light Sternos (portable burners) under the beer taps."

No wonder Lambeau has been sold out for every game since 1960. It has the best regional food of any stadium and the coldest beer in the NFL.

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Move over, Emeril Lagasse. You've got some new competition in New Orleans' adoptive son, Archie Manning.

The former Saints quarterback is returning to the spotlight, this time partnering with Harrah's to open "Mannings" -- a sports-themed restaurant on Fulton Street in the Big Easy.

"I know, it's a real original name for the restaurant," Manning jokes, taking time away from his duty as spokesman for the Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year Award.

The grand opening was supposed to be this month, but construction setbacks have postponed that until the new year. That gives Manning and his partners more time to focus on the details and develop the menu. They've just hired an executive chef and their plan is to do lunch big.

"We've talked about besides having the normal New Orleans dishes maybe more of a diner feel -- some plate lunches, a lot of vegetables and things like that," the football patriarch says.

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Don't worry, though: All the classics will be on the menu. Manning calls himself a "fried chicken guy", but having lived in the city for the past 40 years, he can't get enough po' boys and gumbo.

"I love crawfish. I didn't even know what they were growing up in Mississippi," he says. "We used to catch 'em and throw 'em back."

The restaurant will also be covered in sports memorabilia. Manning is a self-professed pack rat and has opened up a storage unit filled with relics from his and his sons' playing days to be displayed throughout the space.

"There's some of the boys' high school stuff," Manning says. "We have plenty of stuff when Peyton was at Tennessee and Eli was at Ole Miss. I was a rookie with the New Orleans Saints 40 years ago, so there’s some old stuff in there."

As for Emeril, Manning says he hasn't gotten a chance to run into the city's most famous chef to discuss his eponymous restaurant.

"You know Emeril, he may be the busiest guy," Manning says. "I feel like I stay on the go, but this guy gets around."

In any case, Manning says he'll be leaning on his friend and considers him more of an ally than a rival.

"That's one thing I've noticed about New Orleans restaurant people, they're competitors, but they're friends," he says. "Since the storm, we all want people to come back to New Orleans. We're all in this thing together."

And fans, tourists and locals alike will, no doubt, be lining Fulton Street whenever Mannings opens its doors.

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