Top 12 Failed Restaurants Named After Athletes: NFL Edition

Pro athletes are pretty much superhuman, which means that just about everything in their lives is bigger than yours. They're in better shape, have hotter wives, go on better vacations, and make a ton more money than you do. So much money, in fact, that they have the freedom to make really stupid investments, like opening up their own restaurants with little to no restaurant experience whatsoever. Never mind the fact that restaurants are a shaky investment in the first place – athletes just love having their name above the door.

Take Vince Young's Steakhouse in Austin, TX. It may have made a lot of sense to capitalize on Vince's notoriety as the former stud Longhorn quarterback, but now, just a week after being released by the Buffalo Bills (yikes), #10 may be wondering why he didn't put that money into a nice stable Money Market account. Vince is not alone, so as a public service to any pro football player reading this (I'm looking at you, RG3), here are the Top 12 Failed Restaurants Named After Athletes: NFL Edition*

1. Adrian Peterson's House of Lutefisk

Points for knowing your audience, but even the Scandinavians of Minnesota want nothing to do with this place. They serve all lutefisk, all the time. If you're unfamiliar with lutefisk, it's a dried whitefish soaked in lye. You can think of it as fish jelly. You know the look that's on your face right now? That's why this restaurant failed.

2. Cam Newton's

I have no idea what this restaurant served. All I know is that it had the most difficult ordering system in the country. If you wanted to eat at Cam Newton's, you had to approach his father with a paper bag full of cash. If the money was right, Cecil Newton would guarantee you the best meal of your life. What the meal was and where it would be served remains a mystery. The NCAA is investigating.

3. Joe Namath's Falafel Shop and Orgy Club

The falafel was actually good, but you can't put food anywhere near an orgy club. It just doesn't work. Namath was happy, though. He got his two favorite things in one place. It was always better to be with Broadway Joe when he hit the falafel shop after the orgy club. If he started with the falafel, it was never a good night at the orgy club.

4. Ochocinco: A Chad Johnson Taqueria

Located in a former McDonald's that Chad Johnson used to frequent, Ochocinco is a frustrating restaurant. In an effort to emulate their namesake, all of the employees end up dropping your order before they serve it. The Bengal Tacos feature no tiger meat, but oddly enough the Dolphin Tacos are full of real South Florida dolphin. Luckily for PETA, the Dolphin Tacos have been cut from the menu. As an added bonus, kids can order off the "Child, Please" menu but stay away from the Evelyn Quesadilla – it's made out of actual garbage.

5. LT's Food by the Sack

Lawrence Taylor was an amazing linebacker. As good as he was at football, he was equally bad as a restaurant owner. The commercials for Food by the Sack always ended with the same annoying jingle: "If you come here, LT's got your back/You can eat a lot at Food by the Sack." The emphasis was always on the quantity that you got in your sack but the quality was definitely missing. Diners could order a beef sack, pork sack, chicken sack, or the infamous mystery sack. Those adventurous enough to order the mystery sack were always disappointed. It was just chicken with about half a pound of mayo thrown on top.

6. Jerry Rice Bowls

There's rarely a simpler concept to execute than Jerry Rice-endorsed rice bowls. Especially in the Bay Area where the massive Asian population would appear to be a perfect target for a rice bowl franchise. There's only one problem: Jerry Rice hates rice. He refused to serve it. Instead, he decided that his bowls would be filled with his favorite pre-game snack. That snack happened to be steamed broccoli and grilled tilapia. That's all that Jerry Rice Bowls served. The whole operation went under in three weeks.

7. Mike Vick's Hot Dog Haven

Closed in early 2007.

8. HAMTOWN by Jack Ham

The oldest restaurant on the list, HAMTOWN failed in 1984, just two years after the retirement of Hall of Famer Jack Ham. Just as you might imagine, HAMTOWN was a pork-focused restaurant in Pittsburgh. During his career, the restaurant actually did pretty well with its mix of down-home barbeque and house-smoked ham sandwiches. Things got weird when Jack Ham tried to get HAMTOWN declared as an actual town in Pennsylvania. Despite repeated ballot measures, municipality status was never granted and HAMTOWN faded into porcine oblivion.

9. Kevin Butler's Kickin' Chicken

If you followed the Chicago Bears in the '80s and '90s, you know Kevin Butler. He's the guy that broke your heart with all those missed field goals. In a stroke of anti-genius, Butler opened a chain of rotisserie chicken restaurants in the Chicago suburbs that served incredibly spicy chicken. But what he failed to grasp is that not everyone likes incredibly spicy rotisserie chicken. What he also failed to grasp is that renting space for his franchises inside Sears Department Stores was not the best move. Butler and his sixteen restaurants closed for good in 1996 with most locations being replaced by spacious dressing rooms. If you visit any Sears in the Chicagoland area today, you can still smell a hint of spicy chicken in the air.

10. Bubba Franks

As you probably guessed, this was a hot dog stand in Green Bay, WI. Since Bubba spent his summers back home in Texas, he only kept the shop open during the winter. The problem is, nobody wants a hot dog when it's freezing outside. The business tried to come back several times, Favre-style, but it just couldn't make it.

11. The Fridge Buffet

Little known fact: William "The Refrigerator" Perry opened this restaurant to cut down on his own personal food costs. He figured if he could get food at wholesale prices, he'd save himself a lot of dough money. He was right. His food costs went down, but his overhead went way up. Even the attraction of watching Perry eat every meal in his own restaurant wasn't enough to keep folks coming back. An omelet station would have helped tremendously.

12. Neon Universe

Neon Universe was Deion Sanders' attempt to create a Planet Hollywood for the athlete set. It didn't work. Originally slated to open in Atlanta's Lenox Square Mall in Fall 1994, Sanders decided to stop the whole operation and move it to San Francisco when he signed with the 49ers as a free agent. After a year of construction, the new restaurant and entertainment complex was ready to open near Fisherman's Wharf when Prime Time signed with the Dallas Cowboys. Once again, Sanders uprooted the whole project and attempted to move the business to Dallas, but this time he was met with a legal injunction. As it turns out, Dallas already had a business called Neon Universe that supplied neon parts and service to most of the Dallas-Ft. Worth region. In interviews, Deion Sanders has said that he was upset the project never came to fruition, but "Neon Universe was never meant to be."

*None of these restaurants have ever actually existed outside of my own mind.

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