Large and In Charge: The 10 Most Influential Fat Figures in Sports Today
In America, sports and gluttony often go hand in hand. Super Bowl feasts, Bottomless brews as a baseball game, the two seem to be nothing short of a match made in heaven.
Rare is it that the gluttony makes its way past the grandstands and onto the field. However, a select few individuals are able to perform the tasks intended for the physically fit while resembling Jabba the Hut.
It is high time that we celebrate these characters.
10) Mark Mangino
Not because Kansas is an elite program. Not because Mangino is an extraordinary coach. Just because he is that big.
While there is not an exact public record of Mangino's weight, estimates range in the 400-500 pound range. He has made efforts to drop some of it, but there is a long way to go until he falls off of this list.
Not to be forgotten, Kansas has made two consecutive bowl appearances under Mangino (not someplace that many would like to be). They emerged victorious from both, including a 2007 FedEx Orange Bowl win.
9) Romeo Crennel
Clearly not slighted on this list due to lack of size, Crennel would have placed higher had he kept his job coaching the Cleveland Browns.
Crennel did play both defensive and offensive line for Western Kentucky in the 1960's, but has likely lost a step since he picked up the clipboard. Nonetheless, he has had a hand in five Super Bowl victories and certainly impacted the NFL like few others.
8) David Ortiz
Fitting both the terms of influential and fat makes Papi an ideal candidate for this list.
While steroid allegations certainly diminish his standing in the world of baseball, they do little to impact where he falls on this list. If they are true, he is an integral part of an era of cheaters. If they are false, he is one hell of a hitter.
Regardless, Ortiz is a large man whom everybody knows. The list would be incomplete without him.
7) Sebastian Janikowski
He doesn't really look THAT fat, does he?
Yes folks, the 6-foot-2 Polish fella with a rocket launcher for a leg is a portly 250 pounds. I'll give you a hint-- it isn't all muscle.
And despite the fact that his girth pales in comparison to Weis and Crennel, he is an actual NFL football player. He is supposed to be in shape.
When he isn't kicking field goals, Janikowski likes to kick back a few brews. His checkered past includes arrests for both bar fights and DUI's.
6) Booby Jenks
Jenks, while built like an offensive tackle, brings his imposing presence to the mound.
At 6-foot-3, 275 pounds, he brings the Chi Sox a whole lot of relief. His 22 saves are the sixth highest total in the AL to date.
And at just 28 years old, Jenks has a long time to further his impact.
5) Zach Randolph
Randolph, the consummate NBA journeyman, has not had all that illustrious a career, but certainly has thrown his weight around NBA locker rooms from coast to coast.
Now a member of the Memphis Grizzlies, the 260 pound Randolph is entering his fourth NBA city and has spread conflict and drama at each of his previous destinations.
Weight has always been a concern of his players and coaches, but has not stopped Randolph from producing (at least on the offensive end). He has averaged a strong 16.7 points and 8.3 rebounds per game through eight NBA seasons.
4) C.C. Sabathia
While at 6-foot-7, Sabathia is obviously taller than most, he is still undoubtedly carrying around a spare tire or two on his 290 pound frame.
Simply put, the Yankee's ace east up a lot more than just innings.
Sabathia, 29, is a big star in a big market with an even bigger contract. His signing was the splash of the 2009 off-season and his career is presumably nearing its peak.
3) Phil Mickelson
He'll often try to hide it by wearing black, a vest, or sometimes even a green jacket, but we have all witnessed the man-boobs of Mickelson at one point or another.
Rest easy Phil, you did not make this list solely because of your flab. Your high position is mostly based on your ability to do so well despite being a pudgy guy.
I bet that Tiger couldn't swing a club that gracefully with love handles.
2) Prince Fielder
The only number more impressive than Fielder's batting totals over the last four years is his BMI (37.4).
Fielder, who is listed at 5-foot-11 and 268 pounds is in part the victim of large genes. His father, Cecil, was six-foot-three and 240 pounds. However, we can safely assume that he doesn't shy away from second helpings at the dinner table.
Kiddings aside, Fielder is having an incredible 2009 campaign, batting .304 with 25 home runs (7th in NL) and 89 runs batted in (2nd in NL) this season. Heck, he even stole a base.
His plate presence is nothing short of commanding and his talents, awe-striking.
1) John Madden
A staple of NFL football for the past 50 years. The voice of the game for the last thirty. The face of America's video game industry for the last twenty.
John Madden's impact on the world of sport as well as the American culture as a whole is something that nobody on this list could even imagine mirroring.
The fact that he is a big guy is just icing on the cake (pun intended.)
Grandparents to young children, nearly every American male has had some form of Madden experience. That says a lot. His retirement this year means the end of an era in sports broadcasting, but he will remain influential for decades to come.