OWINGS MILLS, Md. — After capping the Baltimore Ravens’ 44-20 victory Sunday with a 45-yard interception return for a touchdown, safety Eric Weddle channeled his inner Kobe Bryant and used the football to shoot a jumper through linebacker Patrick Onwuasor’s arms, formed into a hoop.
That didn’t even come close to Weddle’s grandest celebration of the day.
Hours after his best performance of the season — one which earned him his first-ever AFC defensive player of the week award — he continued his tradition of crushing an unbelievable amount of ice cream with a concoction that included cinnamon-swirl ice cream, crumbled cinnamon-bun Oreos, pieces of mini crumb cake, Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal and caramel.
Weddle, who ranks second in the NFL with five interceptions, estimates that he eats about a gallon of ice cream throughout the evening following a victory. It’s a sugar-filled tradition that began when he joined the Ravens last season.
“I always used to eat ice cream throughout the week, in season, out of season, any season,” Weddle said. “So, I thought maybe I should start sacrificing something for my team and my play. I decided I wouldn’t eat ice cream throughout the week. If we win, I go to town. If I lose, I don’t get it. It’s extra incentive to play great.”
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Got a bigger bowl tonight. Cinnamon swirl ice cream, cruched up cinnabun oreos, pieces of mini crumb cake, cinnamon toast crunch cereal and caramel to top it off. Can u say amazing.
10:05 AM – Dec 4, 2017
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Weddle justifies receiving his just desserts by pointing out that he just played an entire NFL game and this is his entire dinner. He starts off by eating some ice cream when he gets home. He goes for Round 2 after the kids go to bed. Rounds 3 and 4 will come when he’s sitting with his wife, Chanel, while watching television.
How many calories does Weddle devour after a win?
“That’s a good question,” Weddle said, while putting another spoonful of ice cream in his mouth. “I would think for sure over 3,000 or 4,000.”
For those counting at home, the Ravens have won seven games this season. That’s close to 30,000 calories of ice cream.
His ice-cream celebrations have taken off with fans because he posts pics of his victory desserts on Twitter. His last snapshot drew more than 3,000 likes.
“The fans look forward to his ice cream,” Chanel Weddle said. “When we’re in the stands and he scores a touchdown, all the fans yell out ‘Ice cream!’ They don’t even say, ‘Eric’s doing a great job.’ They’re asking what kind of ice cream are we going to have.”
Apparently not everyone is as ecstatic about Weddle’s ice-cream euphoria. Steve Saunders, the Ravens’ director of performance, tweeted Weddle to stop earlier this season.
Weddle’s response: “Neverrrrrrrr”
Eating an unreal amount of ice cream hasn’t affected Weddle’s play. The 32-year-old appears to be on his way to a fifth Pro Bowl, leading the way for a defense that tops the NFL in takeaways.
Eric Weddle (32) gets his hoop on to celebrate his interception-return touchdown in the Ravens’ victory over Detroit. Patrick Smith/Getty Images
Weddle has totaled 52 tackles, five interceptions, two forced fumbles and a sack for Baltimore (7-5). He’s the only player in the league with at least five interceptions and a sack.
Last Sunday, Weddle’s game-changing forced fumble was the result of an audible. He checked into a blitz and came off the edge untouched before hitting Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford and dislodging the ball.
On Sunday night, he’ll try to be just as disruptive to quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers (10-2). If he’s successful, he will tear into some ice cream no matter what time of night (or morning) he gets back from Pittsburgh.
“You really have to know where he is all the time,” Roethlisberger said. “I have played against another safety there in Baltimore for many years in Ed Reed that was a lot the same way, all over the football field. If the ball touched his [Reed’s] hands, it was going to be intercepted, and every once in a while, he is going to blitz and try and get you down.”