Classic card of the week

Tommy Vardell, A1 Masters of the Grill series

When “Touchdown Tommy” Vardell was not not scoring touchdowns, he loved to grab several different varieties of A1 steak sauce, and cook himself up some savory stuffed turkey burgers. One time, while grilling up some savory stuffed turkey burgers, Vardell became so intoxicated by the emanating aroma of A1 Steak Sauce, that he went in close for a sniff, and the flames singed the middle of his unibrow, causing him to miss eight games. On his off-days, Tommy Vardell played fullback for the A1 Steak Sauce Team, which consisted of him and Howie Long. Vardell and Long would travel the globe, challenging the teams representing other brands of steak sauce to do-or-die, two-on-two football games without pads. During a particularly heated game in 1992 against the CEO of ShopRite -- whose generic steak sauce had outsold A1 that November -- and his son-in-law, Tommy Vardell “accidentally” decapitated the CEO with a fierce stiff-arm. That improved the A1 Steak Sauce’s record to 8-0, and no one has challenged them since.

Although his love for A1 Steak Sauce went unquestioned, Tommy Vardell was hesitant to pose for this particular photo when he discovered that it would promote a recipe for savory stuffed turkey burgers that called for “1/2 teaspoon of dried thyme leaves,” which went against Vardell’s strong support for the U.S. led boycott against several dried thyme leaf producing nations -- such as Iceland -- that tortured rabbits as a means of generating their product. (Vardell himself used wet thyme leaves for his turkey burgers, which, he claimed, “You can grow yourself if you have the right soil.”) A compromise was reached when the NFL, in combination with A1 Steak Sauce, allowed Tommy Vardell to wear a “F--- Iceland” t-shirt during a post game interview later that season.

Did you know?

Aerosmith’s Joe Perry claims that Tommy Vardell keeps leaving threatening messages on his voice mail.