January 29, 2011

"In 1970, only one N.F.L. player weighed as much as 300 pounds..." and today there are over 500.


What do you think of all these 300 pound football players?
Impressive! I love Raji and those other big guys.
Huge mass is one way to do well in football, not the most impressive way, but... whatever works.
Sports should be a display of athletic prowess and ideal bodies, so this is not good.
The NFL flaunts its disregard for the health of the players.
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Tank said...

Does not seem possible. That would be about 16 such players per team.

I don't think there are that many over 300 pounds.

KCFleming said...

Shortened lifespans and chronic disease for the sake of money and fame.

An age-old human curse. They're playing the short game, no long view, and the fans love it.

For much less love and money, this was the story of boxing in the 30s-50s, and on. Modern gladiators. But they're not victims, except of their own minds.

You're immortal, until you're not.

(Like in boxing, health codes could be established, say, that prohibited BMIs more than X, which would indicate a health risk.)

Meade said...

"...532 as training camps began in 2010."

As training camps ended in 2010, all but 53 were on life support.

Lincolntf said...

Guess what? Some people are just huge and powerful. Just like some people are just tiny and weak. There is not necessarily a "bad health" factor here. Back in the day they were circus strongmen, now they're offensive linemen.

The Dude said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Valley Buddha said...

"Back in the day they were circus strongmen, now they're offensive linemen."

There weren't that many circus troupes.

Having played the line in college, you would be amazed at the caloric intake that some people need to maintain that weight. But you would also be amazed at the natural size that some people have with scary speed.

My knees, ankles, wrists, and shoulders hurt every morning. I am in my late 30's and only played for 4 years in college. I pity how those who play for another 10 years will feel when they are 50.

Lincolntf said...

Per his bio, BJ Raji narrowed his choices down to just Boston College and Wisconsin when coming out of high school.
He chose chowder over cheddar.

Anonymous said...

How many Sumo wrestlers are there?

How many over 300 lb men who don't play football?

Anonymous said...

Even if it were established that these super-sized players had a death rate 100X in excess of the population average it wouldn't affect the NFL's popularity one iota. When you're the most important sport in the world, and when any man who does not worship you is regarded as a hippie weirdo at best and some sort of f*gg*t at worst, you can get away with anything.


Calypso Facto said...

We'll get Mayor Bloomberg right on these adults making health and career choices for themselves, Sixty. Certainly got to put an end to that.

I agree the size and sport are probably not healthy, but there are lots of 300 plus pound guys who don't play football, and there are lots of football players who weigh less than 300 pounds with adverse health effects to look forward to. No point in singling out these 500 guys.

Ambrose said...

I blame global warming.

Jan Koenig said...

I wonder how a comparison of Body Mass Indices of today's players would look compared to players in 1970. My guess is that today's players might have even lower BMI's than yesterday's players did. And what about height? How many of today's players are over 6'5", versus those in 1970? (Of course, height is a factor in BMI, so these measurements are likely to be correlated.)

Jan Koenig said...

Correction to that last comment. I meant Body Fat, not Body Mass.

The Crack Emcee said...


Shortened lifespans and chronic disease for the sake of money and fame.

Oh, bullshit. Go to Tonga and tell them how unhealthy they are.

People are people, and the sooner everybody gets off this NewAge Nazi eugenics kick the better, and happier, we'll all be.

The Crack Emcee said...

Also, it's been found that those who carry more weight into old age live longer.

Doesn't fit the (NewAge Nazi) narrative, though.

It amazes me how this stuff catches on and becomes the conformist mantra to keep others in line.

And did it ever occur to anybody that football coaches are just recruiting bigger guys?

ricpic said...

Baseball is the only team sport left for normal bodies. Catchers and pitchers in less than 3 weeks!

Michael said...

The thug sport of pro football is increasingly played to an obese market. It makes sense from a marketing point of view to have a lot of fat guys mascarading as atheletes giving the guy on the couch the impression that a couple of laps around the track could put him in the league and on the line. So these players will die fat and broke versus plain broke.
I rode out to california last week and sat next to a big fat shit that spilled into the seat I occupied and paid for. I have had it with fatsos.

Unknown said...

I think ironrails and TTTT may be closer to the truth than a lot may want to believe. This may be more sound than substance.

And let's not forget the fact that this is the Gray Lady saying all this. She glosses over the facts in other areas, so why not this one?

AllenS said...

Don't tell Michelle obama this.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Would these guys be the same size whether they were playing for the NFL or working as Carpenters or Truck Drivers?

If so. So what?

People are getting larger and have been for centuries. Just try to fit into some vintage clothing (hats, shoes, gloves etc) from the 1920's. Take a look at a suit of armor from the middle ages. People were little. Little feet, little hands,little heads. Little people.

If they are purposely bulking up, getting fat, instead of muscle, to play, maybe not such a good idea. However, they aren't geese being force fed for fois gras either. It is a choice. Possibly a bad one, but choice none the less.

We have a fried who's son is in the NFL. His mom is 6'2" and probably weighs in at 250 non fat flabby pounds. SHE could be a nose guard! So he comes by his bulk (which is huge!) naturally.

William said...

As men can train to exceed 300 lbs, so can they train to weigh considerably less. This has significance not just for them but for all the opponents they collide with. And lighter players would not impede the flow or excitement of the game.....I read the recent New Yorker article. These football players are playing a huge price for a brief moment of glory. And for me it hampers my enjoyment of the game to know that they are engaging in such wanton acts of self destruction and that, as an audience member, I am the point and purpose of this demolition derby for bodies. If pornography exacted a similar toll on its participants, I would, as a matter of conscience, stop watching pornography..... The NFL is about where the tobacco industry was in the sixties or seventies. The crippled and the demented will soon be filing suits against that organization....Whenever I watch Humphrey Bogart take a drag on a cigarette, I think of how young he died, and his smoking no longer looks cool--or, anyway, it looks less cool. In the fulness of time, we will be less thrilled by these bone jarring collisions.oo

LL said...

These guys aren't normal fat guys, they are incredible athletes who are quick and fast. The NFL just doesn't throw any fat guy out there.

More importantly, they are adults who can make their own decisions.

The Crack Emcee said...

You know what I say when I see a big football player? "Damn, that guy's BIG!" To criticize him would never enter my mind.

That's what veryone overlooks about this Nazi NewAge eugenics shit - it turns YOU into little Nazis - and usually over shit nothing can be done about or that you hold an advantage over - now.

Ain't nothing that comes out of NewAge ever "nice".

Michael said...

Nothing Nazi-like about naming fat fat.

Anonymous said...

And the unmentionable.

How can you not notice that the huge linemen on the offensive line are mostly white?

Football has developed a caste system. Offensive linemen and QBs are white, along with a few linebackers and defensive linemen.

All the speed positions are entirely black.

A white running back will struggle like hell to find a place to play in the NFL. Only Bill Bellichek of the Pats seems willing to take a chance and play white guys at running back and wide receiver. And, surprisingly, those white guys have been enormously successful.

aronamos said...

Ah geez, the handwringers are at it again. Yes, in the past 30 years, NFL players have gotten more massive. They're also TALLER. Conditioning is better now, too. And there's always the possibility of chemical enhancement. Some guys in the NFL are fat, but most are simply gigantic.

Eric said...

These guys aren't fat. Well, most of them anyway. The short lifespans are going to come from the steroids you need to put on hundreds of pounds of muscle, not from fat.

Known Unknown said...

How many are over 6 feet tall compared to the players in 1970?

WV: scram. Wow. Tell me, Blogger, how you really feel.

Freeman Hunt said...

Some guys are just big. They're the guys the general would have given the battle axes in centuries past.

Not everybody is an archer.

frak22 said...

I understand that when football went away from 2-way (same people on offense & defense) and so became more specialized, that this enabled the employment of the more extreme body types.

rcocean said...

Unless you know the percentage of Body Fat, the whole article is absurd.

I'd suspect a 300 Lbs Football still has a lower body fat percentage than the average man his age.

Case closed.

KCFleming said...

"Case closed."

True, at least, until they stop playing.

Then they're screwed. I have taken care of a few ex-athletes that were damned big. Only one I know of, a former NYGiant, lost weight after that. The inevitable chronic disease is tough on those guys.

The obesity rate among Paciļ¬c Islanders, like the Republic of Tonga is 60-75%, and the incidence of diabetes is 34%, with a peak prevalence of 79% (!) in females 50 to 58 years old.

Their obese live about 5 years less, on average. So what? I'm all for letting folks do what they want, and I want no gubmint oversight, but I ain't going to watch.

Seen too many of them when old and it's ugly and difficult.

rcocean said...

BMI is a crude measure. You need to know the percent of body fat. A pro football player can be 6" and weight 210 with 10 percent body fat. An average person with the same measurements might have 20 percent body fat. Big difference. But both will have the same BMI.

As for health, you need to look not only at the calories and body weight - but what people are tossing down their gullet.

DADvocate said...

My son will be playing small college football next season. He is a 6' 3.5" 285 lb offensive lineman. In 1970 he probably would have been the biggest, strongest player at nearly any college in the country. Now, he's simply a good, solid player.

His body fat has been measured at 20%, he can run 3 miles non-stop (he doesn't run distances much), and I call him "Sir". The big health problems start when they retire and get out of shape.