Q&A: Rachael Ray on Her Game Day Routine, Favorite Football Food and Life as a Jets Superfan
You may know Rachael Ray from her hugely successful daytime talk show, but on Sundays, she's just another Jets fan. We caught up with Ray on the set of her show to discuss her gameday routine, favorite football food and undying love for the woeful Jets.
Sports Illustrated: It's the start of another football season. How do you feel about your Jets?
Rachael Ray: I know my husband (musician John Cusimano) will be eating and drinking quite a bit while watching our team. So we'll see how it goes.
SI: What is your game day routine?
RR: I'm in the kitchen. Shocking, right? And John is the mixologist. We'll have maybe two people over at most. Well, I should first explain that I live on the side of a mountain in the middle of the Adirondacks and guests have to drive four hours each way to get here. So if we have people over, it's generally house guests for the weekend and there's usually just two people.
I will tell you that the hardest thing about the Jets when they're not doing great is that our dog Isaboo get scared. You know my husband is quite loud - we're volatile Italians and we're loud - and he can be very vocal in his feelings. So the dog gets nervous if John yells at the Jets too much. She starts shaking and her fur falls out. So we have to distract her. I give her treats or take her upstairs if the game is going really negative. But I try and get her up, bury her in pillows as far away from John as possible.
SI: Do you have a favorite all-time Jets player?
RR: I'd have to say Nick Mangold because he's like a family member. We've been friends with the Mangolds for a very long time and I love Nick.
SI: What's the best thing you've ever eaten at a sporting event?
RR: When I bring lasagna to the Jets if I go to a game. But they have great food at all the arenas now and you can get something really good.
SI: What's your go-to dish if you're entertaining guests on a Sunday?
RR: We always make our wings. They take an hour on the grill, whatever kind we make that day. We usually have fun food. I make a ton of different chilies during football season or things that people can participate in topping. We do all kinds of freaky twists on nachos. But basically, we're wings, skins and nachos, just like everybody else. We just try and dress them up a little bit.
SI: Where do you stand on the "is a hot dog a sandwich" debate?
RR: I think a hot dog is a hot dog. Unless I made a sandwich out of a bunch of chopped up hot dogs.
SI: Do you want to give us a prediction for the Jets this season?
RR: Let's be optimistic. I'm hoping for a good five wins. Let's say five.
SI: Do you hate the Patriots like most Jets supporters?
RR: I don't hate all the Patriots. I'm sure there are some lovely people on the team. That's all I'll say about that because many of the fans are big Patriots fans. I will say that my husband is very clear on his feelings toward the Patriots. But I'm actually a Red Sox fan. I'm a Red Sox/Jets fan.
SI: Any finals words for your fans?
RR: J-E-T-S. Jets Jets Jets, baby.