Why did the chicken cross the road?

If recent reports concerning the Red Sox historical collapse are any indication, the chicken may have been fleeing from the Boston clubhouse.

Among other accusations, Red Sox captain Jason Varitek and starters Josh Beckett, Jon Lester, and John Lackey have been ousted for eating fried chicken and drinking beer in the clubhouse during games. This revelation, paired with the news that the trio decided to cut back on their training regimen, provides Red Sox Nation with an all too familiar feeling.

While the Curse of the Bambino may have had a more weighted mystique than the aura surrounding a bucket of Popeye’s chicken, it seems as though the end result is the same: overweight athletes are once again causing Boston’s problems.

However, rather than perpetuate the storm of negativity that has been raging since the Red Sox fell short of the playoffs, it seemed about time to take a glass half full perspective.

The following is a list of foods that could be deemed unhealthier than Popeye’s fried kryptonite that seemed to plague Fenway Park.

1. PB & C Milkshake – Cold Stone Creamery

This fun-filled beverage received the title of America’s Unhealthiest Drink in 2010. Weighing in at respectable 2000 calories, one of these shakes equals a days worth of calorie intake. Whether you like it, love it, or gotta have it, this is one desert that makes a fried chicken breast look like a mixed greens salad.

2. Fettuccine Alfredo – Olive Garden

The Fettuccine Alfredo dinner at Olive Garden contains 1,220 calories and 1,350 mg of sodium. If John Lackey had spent the seventh inning stretch digging into this delicious bowl of carbohydrates he might have shattered the Red Sox record for worst earned run average by a starting pitcher. Oh wait, he did that anyway.

3. Cheesy Breadsticks – Papa Gino’s

I’m not going to lie it stung a little to throw this particular menu item on the list. However, with a stat line of 1,300 calories and 3,730 mg of sodium in a small breadstick (2 servings), it couldn’t be avoided. The fact that this could be considered a precursor to a few slices of pizza makes for a scary combination.

4. – Large Tuna Melt – Quiznos

This large sub approaches the 2,000 calories club thanks to a generous serving of mayonnaise. The sub itself is big enough that it might’ve taken John Lester four whole innings to eat — which is pretty close to the length of his average start in September.

5. Chicken Carbonara Bread Bowl – Dominos

1,300+ calories and almost 200 carbohydrates are used in the construction of this fairly new addition to the Dominos menu. With Dominos uber-efficient online ordering system, the Red Sox rotation would’ve known exactly when it was time to go “stretch out” in the clubhouse.

6. Jalapeno Smokehouse Burger – Chilis

5,250 mg of sodium almost manages to overshadow the fact that this particular burger packs a whalloping 1,750 calories. Let’s just be thankful that it isn’t offered in bucket form.

7. Sausage, Egg, and Cheddar on Asiago Bagel – Au Bon Pain

You thought you were safe breakfast, but I couldn’t overlook your potential to ruin a John Lackey day-game start. This particular breakfast sandwich features 810 calories and 1,500 mg of sodium. If you’re going enjoy this breakfast item in bed, you may want to get comfortable.

8. Chicken and Spinach Salad – IHOP

That’s right, salad. Don’t let the leafy greens fool you. This IHOP menu item is making a run at the more traditional taboo foods with its 1,600 calorie count. It lures you in with the nutritional reputation of spinach, and next thing you know you paid $15 million for a salad that never meets your expectations, and spends every post game interview passing the blame to other salads. That got a little weird.

9. Crispy Calamari – Red Lobster

I cast my rod out into the Atlantic to find this seafood dish that boasts an impressive 1,500 calories and 3,060 mg of sodium. One time Marlin Josh Beckett may have met his match in terms of former sea creatures being detrimental to health of New Englanders (Clearly I’m still a little bitter).

10. Fried Chicken Breast – Popeyes

We have come full circle. It is time to put the star of the Red Sox dietary drama under the microscope. One fried chicken breast from Popeyes contains 440 calories and 1,330 mg of sodium. Okay, so maybe the guilty pleasure of Lackey and company can stand toe to toe with the rest of this list. However, I have to assume that if these three pitchers shared a bucket of chicken like they shared their inability to protect a 9 game wild card lead in September, then maybe it’s not so bad.

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