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Jim Harbaugh Thinks Chicken Is Poison

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Here are some other coaches with weird food habits

NCAA Football: Big Ten Football Media Day Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports

Most of you have probably heard this tale by now, but just in case your Twitter was down yesterday I’ll give a quick recap:

Bleacher Report, in a puff piece about transfer QB Shea Patterson, highlighted some interesting beliefs held by Jim Harbaugh.

Former Michigan (and current UCLA) quarterback Wilton Speight tells a story to sum it up nicely. Early in his Michigan tenure, Harbaugh pulled Speight aside and told him not to eat chicken, a protein that is considered fairly safe by nutritionists. When Speight asked why, Harbaugh said, “because it’s a nervous bird. He thinks some type of sickness injected its way into the human population when people began eating white meats instead of beef and pork,” Speight says. “And he believes it, 100 percent.”

For anyone else this revelation would probably be cause for concern amongst his loved ones, but for the man who has a weird obsession with milk, occasionally has his offense cosplaying Human Centipede, bullied a 10 year old while playing laser tag, got hit by a truck driven by the father of a guy I went to high school with, and who once ate a booger on live television, unwarranted fear of poultry is pretty much par for the course at this point.

It did get us thinking about how being a head coach in college football requires a particular kind of crazy. If Jim Harbaugh thinks eating chicken will turn a grown man into Filburt from Rocko’s Modern Life, what weird ass dietary beliefs could be held by other coaches? [author’s note: none of the following is true. I mean it might be, but only by accident]

Mike Leach—Wazzu

Of course everybody’s favorite pirate-infatuated, suburban raccoon stalking coach was going to make this list. In 2015, Mike Leach once went an entire year eating nothing but raw potatoes just to prove that the Ridley Scott film The Martian was technically possible.

Kirk Ferentz—Iowa

Kirk is known for a diet that matches the intensity and excitement of his offensive play calling. For breakfast he eats plain oatmeal with cottage cheese and a glass of skim milk. Lunch usually consists of a cup of unflavored yogurt with celery and a piece of dry toast. For dinner he frequently eats steamed broccoli washed down with room temperature tap water and, if he’s feeling wild, buttered noodles.

Brian Kelly—Notre Dame

Brian Kelly loves going to a pricey steakhouse and ordering a nice juicy porterhouse “very well done”. After his meal he likes to blow off steam by screaming at the chef because his steak was too tough.

Pat Fitzgerald—Northwestern

Coach Fitz has a lot of Iowa beef.

Bret Bielema—Unemployed

Bert is terrified of environmental poisons in the food supply, so he sticks to a very strict diet of his own creation. He believes that since dirt is filthy, anything coming from the dirt, such as spinach, apples, carrots, oranges, broccoli, asparagus, and brussels sprouts, must be riddled with toxins. Instead, he sticks to the four major detoxifying food groups: Fried, barbecued, gravies, and syrups.

Mark Dantonio—Michigan State

The dude just eats a whole lot of chips.

Matt Campbell—Iowa State

Matt is a very hungry coach on the go, so he likes his food to fit his lifestyle. His favorite food is Pizza Lunchables, but he likes to save all the pepperoni for the last mini-pizza. He also gets a few Bugles in a Ziploc bag so he can put them on his fingers and pretend to be a witch. For a snack he usually gets celery prepared “ants on a log” style, but if he’s been real good sometimes he’s allowed to have a Fun Dip.

PJ Fleck—Minnesota

Peej loves to jump on whatever “superfood” is trendy at the time. On any given day you’ll find him trying to live forever by eating buckets of açaí, quinoa, kale, and bulletproof coffee, but every once in a while he’ll come back to some nice comfort food like the insecure teenager he secretly is.

Nick Saban—Alabama

Nick Saban hasn’t required food in years due to a handshake agreement he has with the dark lord.