When a Seattle sports team scores, the crowd goes wild—and the broccoli starts dancing. Jim Stewart Allen, a 33-year-old substitute teacher from Puyallup, has crafted himself into the city’s singular sports fanatic, Broccoli Guy. Grooving to stadium music with a floret in each hand, Allen spreads a gospel of good vibes and healthful eating. Perhaps the strangest element of Broccoli Guy’s shtick is that he didn’t start with broccoli at all; inspired by a grocery store display of russets on his way to 2018’s Famous Idaho Potato Bowl, he waved a spud in each hand and ended up on SportsCenter. He’s since moved on to his favorite vegetable—he eats about a Costco-size bag of raw broccoli per week—and cheers everyone from the Seahawks and Mariners to the Seawolves rugby team, all while clad in a signature romper that echoes a ’90s Solo cup. As an educator, mostly for kindergartners, Allen embodies what he calls positive masculinity. “There’s a lot of different ways that you can express yourself as a man,” he says. “And one of them is waving broccoli around with a romper on.”
It’s weirdly stressful buying broccoli because you’re looking at it, like, “You might be on Fox Sports 2.”
I do have trouble bringing in broccoli to some stadiums. They’re like, “You can’t bring food in,” and I was like, “Oh, I’m just dancing with them.’’
I hold it with a loose grip; I like to have loosey-goosey moves. It’s really weird how much the broccoli turns into a part of me when I dance.
Ichiro talked about taking care of his bat and his baseball glove, showing it respect because it was an extension of who he is. And I feel similar with my broccoli.
As much as I want it to be about me, the broccoli always grounds me. It’s a symbolization of joy and of kindness.
One of my signature moves is I’ll pluck a piece off, a little floret, and I’ll take my mask down and eat it. It inspires other people to maybe try it.
My dream as a kid was to be a relief pitcher for the Mariners. It never was a dream to be, like, a great pitcher—what I wanted was to be good enough that I could pick my own entrance song.
I would always imagine myself running out of the bullpen to Smash Mouth music. I wanted to do somersaults and high five the outfielders.
I kind of get to spread that joy—but I’m not responsible for a game, thank goodness. Broccoli dancing and holding down the sixth inning, that’s a little too much.
I want to be a professional broccoli dancer, and I think that’ll someday become true.
But I want to keep teaching no matter what. Kindergarten is my vibe.
I try to be a positive role model when I teach, patient and listening and caring. I think broccoli dancing is an extension of that.
I’m always scared. You never know. I’ve been on TV a bunch, but you never know what’s going to happen.
Before I went to Seahawks games, I saw videos of fistfights and stuff breaking out at NFL stadiums.
When you put it all on paper, it’s like, What am I doing? Wearing a romper and dancing with broccoli, all out? Is some dude going to come down and clock me for dancing?
I always made sure to be really respectful towards the game and the audience.
Pacific Northwest fans are pretty chill.
That’s one of the main things that makes this work. A lot of people think it’s dance moves; it partly is, but the kindness is really it.