NFL star Matthew Judon is used to playing defense — and now he's defending himself after sharing an unpopular opinion about America's most beloved comfort food, macaroni and cheese.
Judon, a linebacker for the New England Patriots, shocked both the culinary world and sports lovers last month when he described mac and cheese as “overrated.”
This week, Judon is catching heat for doubling down on his comments.
The 29-year-old athlete, who has been, until now at least, a fan favorite, first shared his surprising opinion last month during an appearance on teammate Kyle Van Noy's "Elite Eatz," a YouTube series that shows Van Noy taking fellow Patriots to Boston-area restaurants.
"So, I haven't liked macaroni and cheese since I was a wee tot," Judon said, calling the dish "overrated."
"It’s noodles with cheese," he added.
"We gotta get macaroni and cheese off the table. ... It's just cheese and noodles, it’s not that good," Judon told reporters, adding that the dish, when made with dairy-based cheeses, wreaks havoc on the digestive systems of those who are lactose intolerant.
The linebacker went on to say that he's given macaroni and cheese many chances over the years, and his opinion never wavers.
"I have never liked macaroni and cheese," he explained. "And you know how they say like, 'Oh, your taste buds change every seven years. You just got to …' Every time I try it, it’s the same thing. And it’s never gonna change. It's never gonna get better, all right? I’m almost 30 now. I’m pretty set in my ways. And it’s disgusting. Get it off the table. The bathrooms will be less busy, and everybody will have a better day."
However, Judon said his "whole family," including his mom and siblings, disagrees with him: They think mac and cheese is delicious. Still, they know to never serve him the stuff on Thanksgiving.
And, if they do the unthinkable and put a mound of mac and cheese on his plate anyway?
"I’m gonna have to fight everybody in the house, one by one,” Judon joked. "And I’m gonna wait until they eat their macaroni and cheese, get sluggish and then I’m gonna whoop them."
The athlete followed up on his press conference comments by joking on Twitter, "I said what I said."
Naturally, Judon's trashing of mac and cheese incited passionate responses from Twitter users. While a handful of fans agreed with Judon’s opinion, many more were outraged.
“Just lost my vote for DPOY,” one fan joked, referring to the Associated Press NFL Defensive Player of the Year award.
"This is blasphemous," wrote another.
"Homemade Mac N Cheese is delicious man," argued someone else.