Breakfast of champions

Jason Cole

New England Patriots defensive tackle Richard Seymour is considered the best in the NFL at his position by many NFL personnel men. But when it comes to his off days, Seymour has lofty goals for his life, such as competing for the title of World's Best Pancake Chef for his growing brood.

Cole: You have a bye this week, what are the big plans?

Seymour: Me and my family are headed to South Carolina for the weekend to see the state fair. I haven't been to the fair since I was in high school. We haven't had a bye at the right time of the year to get to it for a few years, so this is a really good opportunity to go with the kids. Me and my wife [Tanya] are going to have a good time. Eat some elephant ears, some corn dogs and some of those big, huge Fred Flintstone Turkey Legs.

Cole: Your wife likes the Fred Flintstone Turkey Legs, too? That's awesome.

Seymour: Oh yeah, she eats them, too.

Cole: How many kids do you have?

Seymour: Three. My oldest is a 4-year-old daughter. Then I have a 3-year-old boy and a 1½-year-old daughter. We'll be over the kiddie side of the fair most of the time. Let them do the rides and stuff.

Cole: You've been part of three Super Bowl teams with New England. Is it easy for you to go out around South Carolina without getting hassled for autographs?

Seymour: I get a few people who ask, but mostly we get left alone. But it isn't as hectic as being up here. If you go to the grocery store here, you almost need a bodyguard to get out of there. They love their sports figures up here, which is understandable.

Cole: After six years in the league of playing defensive tackle, how does your body feel on Tuesday?

Seymour: Actually, I'm still feeling pretty good on Tuesday. Monday isn't good, but I'm not too beat up yet. Early in the morning, it's a little rough. This week was kind of tough because we had to practice Tuesday so we could take the rest of the week off. At practice, I had to fool my body that it wasn't really Tuesday.

Cole: How exactly do you "fool your body"?

Seymour: I just try to run around and tell my body, "it's Wednesday, you're OK." Do some moving and get warmed up. The coaches understand, but it isn't easy. I had to wake myself up to get through it. Basically, fake it till you make it.

Cole: I would assume that most Tuesdays your kids wake you up, correct?

Seymour: No question. They come in and want me to cook pancakes for them. I'm up right away, firing up them pancakes and doing the daycare thing for them. That's my big day.

Cole: You do the cooking?

Seymour: Oh yeah, I'm a good breakfast cook. That's my favorite meal of the day. I eat breakfast for dinner sometimes. I'll put my breakfast up against the best cooks in the world.

Cole: OK, so what's on the menu?

Seymour: I have the scrambled eggs and cheese. Some turkey bacon. A tall glass of ice cold orange juice. With the pancakes, I'll sometimes mix some buttermillk in there. Then I might do waffles, too.

Cole: You're cooking from scratch?

Seymour: It's all from scratch. My mom taught me. She made these good biscuits straight from scratch and I do vividly remember her making pancakes for breakfast. I had my pancakes while I watched the Smurfs.

Cole: Smurfs? Aren't quarterbacks like Smurfs to you now?

Seymour: I liked the Smurfs. I don't like quarterbacks, period.

Cole: OK, what's your secret with the waffles?

Seymour: You can't make the batter too thick, but it can't be runny. It has to be just right so that the waffles come out nice and crispy and flavorful. Then you have the warm syrup ready and a little powdered sugar. I put a little vanilla extract, some strawberry extract and a hint of cinnamon in them. Nothing too strong, but when it all comes together, it's all so good that it makes you want to go slap somebody.

(Seymour is laughing, we think).

Cole: What else do you have on the agenda for Tuesday?

Seymour: Me and my wife make sure that we spend time together. We'll go to the bookstore or a mid-day movie. If I have to catch up on business, I'll have my meetings that day. I catch up on what the market is doing and what I should be doing with my investments. Tuesdays are a big day. I try to get totally away from football because the rest of the week is all about the game. Football is something I do and I love, but it's not who I am.

Cole: Speaking of that, you had a TV spot once during an off week. You were standing next to [former teammate and nose tackle] Ted Washington. Ted made you look like a wide receiver.

Seymour (laughing): Yeah, Ted will make about 99 percent of the league look like wide receivers. But I think he knows that.

Cole: OK, so you have your businesses and you have three kids who are four or younger. Sounds like a busy life.

Seymour: Actually, my wife is pregnant again, so we have No. 4 on the way. She's two months along.

Cole: Dude, you could have three kids in diapers at the same time. You're helping out, right? You change a diaper once in a while?

Seymour: I try to help out. But that's why I tell my wife all the time her job is harder than mine. That's why sometimes I'm glad I get to go out the front door and go to work. You have that many kids at home and they're all young, that can drive you crazy.

Cole: Fair enough, but are you done at four? You've kept your wife pretty busy here the last four or five years.

Seymour: Yeah, I think this is it. We got it done all at one time. Now, we go enjoy them.

Seymour recently started a charitable foundation called Richard Seymour's BGC Foundation. BGC stands for Blessing God's Children and the foundation's goal is to help empower children both spiritually and intellectually. He recently hosted 10 children from a local Boys & Girls Club at a Patriots game, giving them passes to the field, replicas of his jersey, food vouchers and a chance to meet with other Patriots players after the game. If you're interested in helping Seymour's foundation, contact the foundation through the Patriots at 508-543-8200.

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