FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. — Maybe Matthew Judon understood he’d begin an argument, ripping through macaroni and cheese like it was an opposing offensive take on. But the New England Patriots’ outdoors linebacker desires no part of it in his home or at his table.
And it’s definitely not part of his Thanksgiving.
“I’m going to tell you we got to get macaroni and cheese off the table,” Judon stated Tuesday. “All right, guys. It’s just cheese and noodles. I’m getting on my soapbox. It’s just cheese and noodles and it’s not that good.”
He considered it “one of the most overrated dishes,” which the method to have a great Thanksgiving is to prevent the magic of macaroni and cheese. That viewpoint, however, is not universal.
Fellow Patriots, Dont’a Hightower and Kyle Dugger, disagreed with Judon. Down in Atlanta, the viewpoint may even be thought about blasphemous.
Atlanta Falcons coach Arthur Smith, a huge fan of Thanksgiving food, defended the meal so popular it often ends up being the dedication of whole dining establishments.
“I think there’s something wrong with you,” Smith stated, “if you don’t like mac and cheese.”
Then, in the middle of his media schedule Wednesday, Smith took a fast survey of the little Falcons press corps about who likes and does not like mac and cheese. (Full disclosure: Big fan of mac and cheese).
Smith appeared perplexed about how anybody could not like macaroni and cheese — although he likewise understood there is somebody who does not — Judon.
“There’s very few things that everyone can agree on these days,” Smith stated. “I would think, I mean, there’s probably somebody that’s offended by that.
“But 90 percent of individuals most likely like mac and cheese.”
That would include his quarterback, Matt Ryan, although for Ryan it’s a bit different. In the Ryan family home, macaroni and cheese was not a Thanksgiving staple as he was growing up. Mashed potatoes were a big thing for him. As was stuffing.
“Don’t get me incorrect, I like mac and cheese,” Ryan said. “It simply never ever actually was a Thanksgiving staple in my household. I seem like it’s more a Southern thing than it is up North.
“But I like mac and cheese. It’s just not a big holiday dish for us.”