Yes, there is life after the National Football League. Eddie Jackson, who we alerted you way back in May to the fact that he was going to be a contestant on The Next Food Network Star after retiring from football, took his dream all the way to the goal line and scored himself a show on the Food Network by winning the competition.
Sorry for the football pun, but I have a couple more for you: Jackson originally presented the hook of “cheat day” as his culinary POV. But he got some great advice from Bobby Flay which helped him get through the show as the champ. In other words, he called an audible.
I started out with the cheat day concept, which is something that I still stick by with my clients — they come to me and they talk about, “What can I eat on cheat day?” So it’s something that I really love talking about and experimenting with, with fun recipes. But at the end of the day, this is a competition and Bobby Flay told me at the very beginning of this competition, he was like, “Just forget the cheat day concept and just worry about cooking good food, and you’ll be alright.” One thing I learned at a very young age is when somebody of a certain stature tells you something — you have Iron Chef Bobby Flay giving you advice — you need to listen. So I listened. I got rid of the cheat day concept for the show and just worried about cooking good food, and it paid off for me, so you should always listen when your superiors are giving you advice.
In other words, he’s coachable. It’ll serve him well.
Jackson was emotional when it was announced that he was the winner, and cited the fact that he hadn’t achieved everything that he wanted to, presumably in his football career. It’s great to see him get a second chance at stardom in another field because not only does he seem to appreciate it, but the other contestants seemed genuinely happy for him, even doing a football style huddle break in his honor. Hell, even I got emotional seeing that.
Eddie’s new show … BBQ Blitz … debuts Friday, October 9th at 10:30 ET.
(Photo courtesy Food Network)