NFL games are 120-yard playgrounds lined with fearless, physically-chiseled schoolyard bullies. But five football players make their presence known and intimidate their opponents' sixth sense before the first whistle.
Pregame introductions are always chock-full of choreographed antics.
But a select group of NFL players take one step out of the tunnel, and their aura leads spectators to believe that the Grim Reaper is juggling machetes inside of their heads.
Pain makes the following five players' worlds go round.
LaRon Landry, more or less, looks like an oversized pit bull muscle dipped in an overachieving protein shake.
Landry tips the scales at 214 but reportedly benches 503 pounds (via the Washington Post). In other words, one of the "smaller" guys on an NFL field can complete at least one rep of a fully grown Mufasa.
The Jets safety looks like a crumpled sketch sky-hooked inside of a Disney Studios wastebasket after being deemed too cartoonish.
Fans often claim that football players are overpaid athletes playing a childhood game. The next time that you start to file that age-old complaint, picture an irritated LaRon Landry barreling toward your rib cage.
Since the dawning of the sport, football players have combatted a Neanderthal stereotype that depicts them as impulsive, thick-skulled meatheads.
However, Usain-like strides had been made in the subsequent decades—so much so that the misconception was nearly put to rest. But Owen Schmitt—then of the Seattle Seahawks—provided the flatline with a blip.
During pregame introductions, Schmitt bounced forward like House of Pain was blaring over the PA and started bashing his forehead with his own helmet like a theme actor rehearsing for an aspirin commercial. He was either trying to bleed out a demon or silence "the voices."
Eventually, a network of stitches took care of the Tarantino finale that was Schmitt's face.
Since then, the bulldozing fullback has traded in his razor-thin faux-hawk for a super-sized lumberjack beard because nothing screams "stable" like Duck Dynasty.
If you log in to Ancestry.com and type in Suh's name, you're bound to stumble across a listing for Conrad Dobler while sifting through his family tree.
Imagine a case of the Mondays being injected with a pulse; now surround it with a 6'4", 307-pound frame.
If that piques your interest, feed your curiosity by scouring YouTube for Ndamukong Suh clips.
Fresh out of college, Suh was painted as a happy-go-lucky gentle giant of a teddy bear. One violent shove, bull stomp and sterilizing groin kick later, and he looks more like Ted's (much) bigger brother.
A once-pristine reputation has regressed to something murkier than the Everglades.
Suh's fellow athletes have voted him as the NFL's dirtiest player the past two seasons (via Sporting News).
Ray Lewis leaves chills running down the back of your spine, whether they're caused by an inspirational, soul-tingling speech, or the fact that you feel cold after he thwacked you with 240 pounds of regret.
The future Hall of Famer has evolved into a level-headed ambassador that flips an emotional switch while walking off of the field. But when that switch is on, it's lights out for every player trapped within his wingspan.
Lewis owns a solar-powered gas tank that pumps out currents and masquerades as a heart—strap him to a stationary bike for 60 minutes on a Sunday afternoon, and he'll generate enough voltage to illuminate Zombieland's post-apocalyptic theme park while defibrillating its cast.
And now—as if he didn't personify knee-buckling intimidation already—he will debut his new helmet (via BaltimoreRavens.com) when returning from Week 6's torn triceps injury.
The new gear bares a facemask that could be mistaken for a cage restraining a wild animal, as well as his trademark visor: A shadowy precaution which veils a piercing stare that could burn a hole through Mona Lisa and turn Medusa to stone.
In 1983, a four-year-old James Harrison curiously chucked a floaty at an approaching fin in the water, provoking a great-white beeline toward the helpless child. The shark homed in on its prey, unclenched its starving jaws and was greeted with a thunderous uppercutting sledgehammer that James Harrison nicknamed "fist."
And that's how the punch-a-shark-in-the-snout myth originated.
Okay, that may have been a lie. But James Harrison is the last person you want to mess with on this side of the hemisphere (assuming Shaolin Monks still scoff at taking drills to the temple).
Harrison epitomizes fearlessness.
If you left him alone in the jungle, a week later you would come back to find a man untying cobra-head-knotted shoelaces and sweating acid after curling a redwood that moonlights as Paul Bunyan's toothpick. (Yes, redwoods grow in the jungle for this slide.)
If he moved into the neighborhood, Deebo's front lawn would have an ADT sign speared in it.
Google takes a smoke break when searching for a picture of him smiling.
In a four-year span (2007–2010), the tenacious undrafted linebacker forced 25 fumbles. Rest assured, the lion's share of those didn't stem from strips, but cannonball-meets-crash-dummy collisions.
James Harrison's unparalleled punishment traumatizes people long after it's handed out. Ask Ryan Fitzpatrick—one of his victims—who confessed, "He hit me so hard last year, every time I play golf, I think about him 'cause I can feel it every time I swing."
Stats provided by Pro-Football-Reference.com.