Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Andre the Giant has a Jam

Andre the Giant was a Legendary Jammer. He stood almost 7 and a half feet tall and weighed in at approximately 530 pounds. His wrist was nearly a foot in circumference, far larger than most men's ankles. In "To the Giant Among Us", his December 1981 Sports Illustrated profile, author Terry Todd pegged the sweet-natured Mr. Rousimoff as a Jammer Beyond Compare, a man who, despite suffering from acromegaly for most of his adult life, thought nothing of consuming close to 7,000 calories a day from beer alone.

During the week or so I was with him, his average daily consumption was a case or so of beer; a total of two bottles of wine, generally French, with his meals; six or eight shots of brandy, usually Courvoisier or Napoléon, though sometimes Calvados; half a dozen standard mixed drinks, such as Bloody Marys or Screwdrivers; and the odd glass of Pernod. He drinks as many Frenchman drink - throughout the day - and he takes genuine comfort in his drinking, seemingly in agreement with the line from Housman that "Malt does more than Milton can / To justify God's ways to man." But during the time I was with Andre, never once did I see him give any indication that the alcohol was affecting him. Several friends who have known him over the years say that on the rare occasion when he feels the need to tie one on he avoids beer or wine and goes quickly through three fifths of vodka.

His eating was, by most accounts, equally formidable, though Todd suggests that Andre seemed to eat less than might be expected for a man of his bulk. Four eggs, bacon, hash browns, four pieces of whole wheat toast, a pint of orange juice and two iced coffees supposedly sufficed to break his nightly fast. A Minor Jam. On other occasions, he plowed through more absurd quantities. Reliable sources indicate that, once, at a Montreal eatery, he asked an irksome waitress to bring him the entire menu, one dish at a time. He completed the Jam in 4 hours.


At 4:59 PM, Blogger halflater said...

Beer jams... fair game.


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