How do you watch your favorite team each week? Sports Illustrated is highlighting passionate sports fans all season long with its How I Watch series, where you’ll hear from athletes, celebrities and other superfans from across the country about their game-day traditions. routines and setup for the perfect day of watching sports.
Not many NFL fans can boast about their hometown team literally playing in their backyard, but Vikings faithful Mac Ideson has the luxury of living right across the street from U.S. Bank Stadium.
The Minnesota native, who played college football and now works as a collegiate athletic trainer, has amassed a following on TikTok for stuffing unique food combinations—from soup to spaghetti to KFC—into homemade burritos. He says he originally started throwing leftovers into tortillas back when he was still in college. Eventually, he realized people on TikTok were fascinated by seeing what bizarre foods could actually work with the dish.
Surprising no one, “Burrito Mac” also whips up something special for Vikings game day:
While his burrito concoctions are popular on social media, Ideson says there’s a lot more going on with his typical football-watching spread spread. Below, he discusses the pain—and joy—of Vikings fandom, how he “mooches” at tailgates and what he would do if he was asked to serve up something special to Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
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Sports Illustrated: Walk me through the origin of your Vikings fandom—did you grow up that way, or is it something that you came to yourself?
Mac Ideson: You know, it’s kind of a choice that we make. No one really tries to put themselves through what Vikings fans go through. Just growing up a Vikes fan … I’ve lived in Minnesota my whole life [and] played college football. So obviously just watching the next-level guys was always fun to watch and we would literally be told to watch the Vikes on Sunday. … It sounds cliché, but you’re born into it, and then [I] just went with it. Now I’m stuck with it, so hopefully something good comes out of it.
SI: What do you do to get yourself pumped up to go to the game or to watch a game?
MI: Honestly, in recent years, my wife has been pretty good for me. I usually would get way too into it, I think, and she’s from Oregon so she really doesn’t understand the whole NFL thing. So it was like a culture shock for her how much I was into it. … For the most part, it really doesn’t take that much for me to get behind it. You kind of buy in at the beginning of the season. We think they’re going to win the Super Bowl every year, and if it doesn’t happen, we’re just on to the next year and ready for it.
SI: Do you have any weird rituals you do?
MI: Yeah, I have a lot of jerseys. But I wear the same jersey every time we win. So, like, [Week 1] I wore my Kirk Cousins jersey, so I’m going to wear that [for Week 2]. Hopefully I have enough jerseys that, if there are to be losses, I’ll switch that next jersey. Other than that, I try not to get super superstitious. I work with sports and I work with athletics, and I’m very superstitious with those, so I try not to read too much into it and, like I said, my wife brings a level head to me. Like, it doesn’t really matter what I’m doing, I’m not part of the team. I think I am sometimes, but I try not to get too bad.
SI: So do you have a favorite jersey, then? Or another piece of memorabilia that you have in your place?
MI: I lived in Fargo [N.D.] for a little bit and just randomly went to a thrift store and there was a vintage Randy Moss jersey, that was, like, huge. It was $10, and it was unreal to find that. It’s getting pretty bad—when I wear it, the sleeves have started to fall off. … The logo and stuff has fallen off. It probably means the most to me. I try not to have too much memorabilia, but I have a lot of jerseys.
SI: What’s your favorite thing to snack on when you’re sitting down to watch the game?
MI: Go-to thing … obviously, some adult beverages would be nice. Those kind of depend on how the game goes. My thing with my TikTok presence is I try to make a burrito on game days, My wife is a really big fan of appetizers, so the whole spread is like an appetizer sampler: wings, jalapeño poppers, fried pickles, mozzarella sticks. We like to do those spreads, nothing too crazy.
SI: So then if you do need a drink, because of how the game is going, what’s going to be your go-to there?
MI: It’s just going to be beers. I love going to the games and I love tailgating, but I do love watching it at home, just because I get so into it and so stressed. … If we are at a bar, every bar has shot specials, and you can’t really not do those. That’s up to whether the Vikes are doing well or not.
SI: I have a friend who’s a big Chiefs fan, and he also doesn’t watch games with other people. He locks himself in his bedroom. He says, “You guys wouldn’t like me if you saw me watching the Chiefs play.”
MI: Yeah, I completely understand that. I went to the home opener … and I’m up and down. It was actually kind of bad. We had these seats right next to where people could walk in and out to get drinks and stuff. So there was this huge platform where I was literally running up and down … I was pretty much embarrassing my wife. So watching it at home is way better.
SI: Who do you usually watch with? You mentioned your friends from college and your wife.
MI: Yeah, my wife for sure. And then I have three buddies and their wives who will watch. And a couple of [my wife’s] friends, too. It’s cool, with us being so close to the stadium, it’s fun to be around that atmosphere.
SI: Are you the guy who is setting up the tailgate, or are you the guy who’s showing up to his friend’s tailgate? What’s an essential for you?
MI: Definitely the moocher. My buddy has been tailgating for years, so they have a spot. … Vikes tailgates are so bad because it’s right in the middle of the city, and there’s this super small lot where you can’t get in until a certain time in the morning. They get there super early and set up. There’s people who have been there for so many years that they know where to set up. So they kind of have an assigned spot, but you don’t actually have one. We usually try to bring as much food and drinks as we can. We grill a bunch of food. I’m definitely the mooch, for sure, but I try to help as much as I can when we’re tearing down, because no one wants to do it.
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SI: Do you have a favorite memory of watching the Vikings play?
MI: Unfortunately, you have a lot more worse memories … but, there was this really big game, everyone knows it as the Greg Lewis Game. So it was when [Brett] Favre was here, he threw this touchdown in the back of the end zone, with barely two feet in. It was a huge game and I was at that game, so that was really fun. The most recent was the Minneapolis Miracle with Stefon Diggs on the sideline, beating the Saints. I absolutely hate the Saints, so it was awesome for that. My wife and I share a car, and I had to bring her to work, and late in the game I was like, ‘Let them know that you’re going to be late, because I can’t drive while this is happening.’ She had left because she didn’t want to see me watch the rest of the game, and then I ran down to bring her to work and said, ‘They just won.’ It is unfortunate that we have a lot more painful memories, but there are some bright spots in there.
SI: What’s the craziest thing you would do if it would guarantee that the Vikings would win the Super Bowl this year?
MI: I was thinking that would be a question. … Outside of illegal activity, there’s really not much I wouldn’t do. They’ve had such a bad go of things, with how close they’ve been. Every year, when you think it’s good, it ends up being bad. There’s never anything I have thought of where I’ve said, ‘Oh, yeah, I would do that for a Super Bowl.’ But I think there’s a much smaller list of things I wouldn’t do for them to win a Super Bowl than things I would do.
SI: If you had to serve Aaron Rodgers a burrito, what would you put in it?
MI: Unfortunately, I think he’s actually a pretty chill dude. He doesn’t really care what people think about him, and you have to respect that. Obviously we hate him because we have to, when it’s on the field and what-not. I would definitely put together a great burrito that hopefully he wouldn’t like. I would be respectful about it, and hopefully he doesn’t like it, but I could say, Hey, I made it for you. I hope you do horrible. It would have to be respectful. … We just got super unlucky that he’s in our division.