Back in the day, Vikings defensive end Jared Allen was a cattle-prodded Kenny Powers, a mulleted hunter of sissy quarterbacks and scary wildlife, a three-time All-Pro, an all-time maniac and the last person in the NFL you'd want to mess with.
But in May, Allen chopped his ubiquitous 'do, got married and, perhaps not so coincidentally, got to writing a cookbook. "The Quarterback Killers Cookbook," on sale now, is chalk full of hunting tales and mannish recipes ("Rattlesnake croquette" or "wild boar ragu," anyone?), and if we were to see the seven-year veteran in a dark alley today, the plan would remain the same: scream and run -- or run and scream, doesn't really matter -- and do not pause to ask him about the cooking thing, the marriage thing or if he's gone soft on us.
We did want answers to these questions, though, so we got him on the phone instead. Safer that way.
What do you say to those who say cooking isn't manly?
He's probably an offensive lineman. (Laughs) No, I learned how to barbeque from my old man, and my dad is the most manly dude on the face of the earth. A lot of people would agree with me -- real men cook. And this book was a great way to combine my passions of hunting and eating. I'm a big time hunter and an advocate of eating what you kill. If you're gonna kill it, you have to grill it.