Tight End University served flavorful conversation beyond the gridiron

Ja'Tavion Sanders, Isaiah Likely & Todd Graves enjoying hot, fresh Chicken Fingers at TEU
Ja'Tavion Sanders, Isaiah Likely & Todd Graves enjoying hot, fresh Chicken Fingers at TEU / Raising Cane's

Food and sports go hand in hand. Athletes understand how balanced food choices fuel their athletic success. Fans use that game food spread as a way to connect with each other. At the recent Tight End University event in Nashville, two food brands took to the field not just to offer some delicious meals but also to serve valuable lessons off the field.

A successful football team is reliant on its players coming together to achieve a single goal, win. While the tight end might make that game winning catch, that one play happens because those players dedicated themselves to the sport. That moment in the spotlight happens because the players fought out of the shadows of failures, criticisms, and moments of doubt.

Tight End University brought together some of the best and brightest NFL tight ends. In addition to hosts Greg Olson, Travis Kelce, and George Kittle, the event included other rising stars from various NFL teams. Beyond the football talk, the event showcased some food brands and drew parallels between the success stories.

To fuel all the athletic greatness, the official breakfast partner of TEU, Kodiak Cakes served a specialty curated menu from Dan Churchill. Kelce, a Kodiak investor, appreciates the flavorful and protein packed recipes. From The Epic Day to The Breakfast Renegade, everyone was prepared for that next round of end run plays.

Travis Kelce Kodiak Cakes
Travis Kelce enjoying some Kodiak Cakes breakfast at TEU / Kodiak Cakes

Additionally, Raising Canes owner and founder Todd Graves joined the event to share his business entrepreneur story, as well as offer some ONE LOVE Chicken Finger deliciousness with the players. As Graves discussed, his restaurant business success was earned through hard work, dedication, and proving someone wrong.

In a statement, Graves said, “I was honored to have the opportunity to speak to these great athletes about my journey and the values that have helped me be successful along the way. Whether it’s football or the restaurant business, dreaming big and being fanatical in your pursuit to be elite is the same. I was happy to hear from the players they appreciated getting a perspective from someone in a different industry.”

Having Graves speak is vital for TEU not just for another perspective but to give athletes an appreciation for opportunities beyond the gridiron. An athlete’s career has a finite duration, but the hard work that they fostered over the years can apply to their future endeavors. Just like Graves’ dismal business school grade fueled his future success, every opportunity is a chance to find a positive outcome.

While eating some Raising Canes Chicken Fingers or enjoying some Kodiak Cakes recipes might not be the secret ingredient to becoming the next Pro Bowl tight end, the lessons learned at TEU can help foster some success on and off the field.