JJ Watt Responds to Eli Manning’s Passion for Sloppy Joes: ‘What In the Name’

by Emily Morgan

It looks like former NFL player Eli Manning is coming out of retirement—but there’s a catch. Instead of coming back to play football, he wants to be a “professional sloppy joe taster.”

We had no idea that was even an option as a career path, but we’re intrigued. On Friday, Manning disclosed his plan to the world, writing on Twitter, “I am thinking about becoming a professional Sloppy Joe taster.”  

However, fans were less interested in Manning’s caption, instead they had some thoughts on Manning’s definition of sloppy joe.

For people down south, that’s clearly an interesting take on the classic sandwich we grew up with.

He continued, adding his appreciation for the South Orange, NJ deli that served up the sandwich, “Thanks to Town Hall Deli for sending some Sloppy Joe’s over the paddle tournament tonight. Very good.”

Not long after, Houston Texans football star JJ Watt was quick to comment on Manning’s peculiar post. 

He shared his utter bewilderment, writing, “what in the name of sloppy joe…”

While it was a thoughtful gesture to the restaurant, it seemed odd considering Manning wasn’t eating your “typical” sloppy joe. 

Eli Betrays Southern Roots for NJ-Style Sloppy Joe

Southerners who grew up with sloppy joes can recognize its hallmarks: ground meat, ketchup, served on a hamburger bun. It’s a classic American favorite. But for some delis, such as Town Hall Deli in New Jersey, their spin on the sandwich looks quite different. 

No longer the messy, meaty sandwich Adam Sandler ate in Billy Madison, the new version of the “manwich” is somewhere between a Reuben and a Cuban sandwich. 

This can be a touchy subject for sloppy joe connoisseurs. In contrast, the northeast prefers their sandwich to feature thinly sliced ​​rye bread with coleslaw, Swiss cheese, and Russian dressing with two types of meat. Many people incorporate a traditional take using ground beef, tangy sauce, and a classic hamburger bun down south.

It looks like New Orleans-born Manning has crossed the aisle when it comes to the sloppy joe debate.