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Big Athletes, Small World

Nick DimengoFeatured ColumnistAugust 1, 2014

Big Athletes, Small World

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    Jerry Wachter/Getty Images

    As someone who is only 5'8", I've never had the feeling of being in a spot where I've felt like the biggest person in the room—even when among kids somewhere.

    But athletes, well, they're different.

    Typically massive in both height and weight, athletes sometimes find themselves in a world that is all too small for them.

    Need proof? Take a look at these photos.

Jockey Manute Bol

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    TOM STRATTMAN/Associated Press

    As one of the tallest athletes to ever play a professional sport, 7'7" Manute Bol was quite the lanky dude beneath any NBA hoop.

    And as awkward as he may have looked when wearing short shorts while in the league, he looked a hell of a lot weirder while trying to get helped up onto a horse.

    It's no wonder the horse looks pretty reluctant to let Bol sit atop him.

Shaq in the Pit

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    Tony Gutierrez/Associated Press

    Considering former NBA center Shaquille O'Neal wears a size-22 shoe, it's only natural to think that he has a tough time doing anything that fits his massive size.

    But when Shaq was in the pit during an IndyCar race, he showed that he chose the right sport on a court that could fit him—because that car would have never stood a chance with him behind the wheel.

Wladimir Klitschko

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    Alexandra Wyman/Associated Press

    Anyone who sees heavyweight boxing champ Wladimir Klitschko is probably a little frightened by his ridiculous 6'6" frame and natural intimidating look.

    But whenever Klitschko stands next to his fiancee—actress Hayden Panettiere—who stands just 5-feet tall, it's a little silly looking, as the foot-and-a-half difference makes Panettiere look like a puppet next to the boxer.

    Then again, as big as the dude is, he towers over nearly everyone.

Gator Fan Dwight Howard

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    Dwight Howard caught the University of Florida's NCAA tournament semifinals matchup along with former Houston Rockets teammate Chandler Parsons earlier this year. I'd really hate to be some of the kids standing behind Howard in the student section.

    As one of the players who came straight out of high school and into the pros, D12 never got the chance to experience college, so I guess he was just going to make sure he obstructed the view of those who did—because he was no doubt the biggest guy there.

Big Baby in Ireland

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    It's odd enough that L.A. Clippers forward Glen Davis' nickname is Big Baby—seeing as how he's 6'9" and 290 pounds.

    It's even stranger to see the guy try to cram himself into a tiny phone booth while on vacation about a month ago, no doubt happy that cellphones were invented—otherwise he would never be able to get in touch with anyone.

Jimmie Johnson

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    Typically the one steering the wheel of a car, NASCAR driver Jimmie Johnson found himself on the opposite side, riding in the passenger seat of his daughter Evie's toy car.

    Johnson might not be the biggest guy in sports, but traveling around in this pink convertible made him look a hell of a lot more massive than he really is.

    At least he didn't have to deal with any pit stops in this ride.

Al Jefferson

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    CHRIS KEANE/Associated Press

    I get it, any person who is 6'10" is a big dude.

    But after seeing the $23,000 bed that Charlotte Hornets Al Jefferson has in his home, it really proves just how out of place someone that size really looks.

    Just take a look at the picture that fellow baller Mo Williams posted on his Twitter a few years ago, with the 6'1" Williams being dwarfed in the darn thing.

    I wonder what Jefferson would look like in a twin bed?

Shaun Rogers

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    TED S. WARREN/Associated Press

    What do you get when you put a massive, 350-pound NFL defensive tackle in-between two petite Pro Bowl cheerleaders? This picture.

    It's Shaun Rogers, who last made the trip to Hawaii with the Cleveland Browns in 2008, causing this memorable picture with the two beauties.

    That's a hell of a lot of meat in that sandwich.

LaMarcus Aldridge

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    It must be nice traveling on a private plane—especially when you're 6'11" LaMarcus Aldridge, who was able to lounge and stretch out on this flight a couple of months ago.

    Not only do most pro athletes have a lot of money to pay for things like this on the reg, but, seeing how they're bigger and wider than the average person, it's almost out of necessity that they do.

Andre Drummond

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    One of the emerging centers in the NBA, the Detroit Pistons' Andre Drummond has proven to be an intimidating force anytime he's close to a basketball hoop.

    His opposition might not be as fearful of the dude if they knew that he had this small, fluffy dog to hang out with regularly.

    I mean, really, he couldn't get something a little bit bigger to match his size?

Tony Picard

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    Does this seem a little unfair to anyone else?

    Although there are few—if any—pro football players who weigh in at 400 pounds, high school athlete Tony Picard doesn't just sit in the trenches to take up space as a lineman, but actually carries the rock as a running back.

    Needless to say, it takes plenty of average0looking high school kids to take him down.

    As big as he is, though, Picard is actually a big sweetie beneath it all, helping to inspire others to fight back against bullying in schools.

Shaquille O'Neal's Suit Jackets

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    For normal-sized people like you or me, trying on clothes can always be a bit of a pain in the ass.

    Struggling to find that perfect fit that forms to your body, sitting in a dressing room for 10-15 minutes comparing how a small or medium fits is never fun.

    One person who knows exactly what size he is is Shaquille O'Neal, who showed late-night talk-show host Jimmy Fallon that he should never try to wear a 7-footer's blazer—unless it's to be used as a robe.

Robert Bobroczky

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    Middle school can be an awkward time for anyone, but imagine being a 7'4" kid who is just 13 years old, standing among classmates who are probably under 5'0".

    That's what Robert Bobroczky is dealing with, as he's by far the biggest middle-schooler I've ever seen—and he sticks out like a sore thumb on the basketball court because of it.

Roy Hibbert

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    I understand why a pro athlete would enjoy getting in the cockpit of an airplane and being in control of a plane, but not when that player happens to be the 7-footer Roy Hibbert.

    Hibbert got the chance to fly the plane while visiting the Himalayas a couple of months ago, saying that it was quite the experience.

    I, however, think he had to be the most uncomfortable person on the planet, because it doesn't look like he had much room to move in there.

Manny Yarbrough

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    JEFF CHRISTENSEN/Associated Press

    Nicknamed Tiny, there isn't an athlete on this planet who probably looks as out of place on an everyday basis as much as Manny Yarbrough.

    A sumo wrestler, Yarbrough tips the scales at an insane 719 pounds—not only making him the world's heaviest athlete, but also the biggest guy in every single room that he walks into.

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