Most important meal of the day

I don't know anybody who has reaped more rewards from a bowl of cold cereal
By John Owen | Feb 14, 2013

It might have sounded like a dumb question.  But a lot of them have been asked, especially by sportswriters.

Several years ago I was a member of a PAC Sky Writers group, visiting football players and coaches at their schools before the start of the collegiate season.  I requested a luncheon seat next to a promising UCLA quarterback named Mark Harmon.

And I asked him whether he spent his teen years eating breakfast next to the swimming pool in a Beverly Hills estate.

I was recalling television commercial clips I had watched featuring the Harmon family.

There was father Tom, the former Heisman Trophy winner from Michigan, the actress mother, Elyse Knox, and a sister who was destined to marry Ricky Nelson.

My background covers years spent in Montana, North Dakota and Puget Sound where none of my neighbors ate breakfast next to the pool.

That is what the Harmon family seemed to do, summer and winter.

"Well, yeah," Mark Harmon said in answer to my dumb question.  "But it was just a tv commercial for cold cereal"

Actually, the cold cereal was made by Kellogg which happened to be Tom Harmon's sponsor.

I may buy a box next week.  Because it seems to have worked wonders for Mark Harmon.

Shortly after our chat he quarterbacked UCLA to a tremendous upset win over unbeaten Nebraska, he graduated from college cum laude and before long he had launched a TV career which featured starring roles in St. Elsewhere, West Wing and Chicago Hope.

And recently it was reported Mark Harmon would be back for an eleventh season playing lawman Leroy Jethro Gibbs in the blockbuster series NCIS.

I don't know anybody who has reaped more rewards from a bowl of cold cereal.  Since then I have checked a few sources at the University of Washington and learned that this is the breakfast of choice for a lot of athletic department staffers.


Husky Brunch Casserole


1 cup ham, diced

1/2 pound Swiss cheese, shredded

10 eggs

1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

1/2 teaspoon dry mustard

1 cup half and half


Butter the bottom of a  9 by 13 inch glass casserole.  Place the ham and cheese over the bottom.   Beat the eggs then add the worcestershire, mustard and the half and half.

Pour the mixture over the ham and cheese.

Bake in a 350 oven for 35 minutes or until the egg mixture is set and golden brown on top.

That will serve six to eight quarterbacks or one offensive tackle.


But in one final pitch to young college men setting their professional goals after graduation, I should point out that in 1986 Mark Harmon was named Sexiest Man in the World by People Magazine. Eat your cereal.

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