Donovan McNabb, Baron Davis and the Most Out-of-Shape Pro Athletes
Donovan McNabb's "cardiovascular endurance" issues got us to thinking about other pro athletes who are or have been notoriously out of shape.
Indeed, when it comes to professional sports, anybody who can let themselves get so far out of line with their conditioning deserves equal parts scorn and ridicule.
So for your reading pleasure, here are the most notorious fatties the sports world has ever known.
20. Babe Ruth
Who needs steroids when you have booze, hot dogs and plenty of women?
This is perhaps the ultimate moral of Babe Ruth's career.
Excessive weight and lifestyle notwithstanding, Ruth barely makes the list because he was definitely a great ballplayer. He was the first person to hit 60 home runs in a season, and he was the home-run king for quite a while before Roger Maris and Hank Aaron came along.
In addition, did you know that he has 10 steals of home plate to his credit?
19. Diego Maradona
The most recent coach of the Argentine national team was quite the soccer player in his own day, playing in four World Cups between 1982 and 1994. He was the star of the Argentine team that won the 1986 Cup.
London-based newspaper The Times recognized him as the greatest World Cup player of all-time earlier this year.
In short, Maradona was no lightweight. Figuratively and literally. Just look at him. While it may be rash to say that he would never make it in today's game... well, he would never make it in today's game.
18. Bengie Molina
The eldest of the catching Molina brothers, Bengie might weigh more than Yadier and Jose combined.
Well, not really, but there's certainly no denying that the current Rangers backstop is a little on the heavy side. Watching him run the bases is hilarious, and it's very rare that you see the home plate umpire's legs when Molina is catching.
But he's pretty low on this list because he can surprise you. He stole second base in the ALDS against the Rays, and he hit for the cycle at Fenway Park back in July.
He may be big, but he's a damn good ballplayer.
17. Shaquille O'Neal
When it comes to Shaq's girth, pictures don't cut it. But this video, in all its glory, does.
Like Babe Ruth, Shaq doesn't deserve to be scrutinized all that much. He is, after all, one of the great centers in NBA history.
But just look at all those doughnuts...
16. Miguel Cabrera
Credit where credit's due: Miguel Cabrera actually looked like he was significantly slimmer in 2010 than he was in his first couple seasons with the Detroit Tigers.
Nevertheless, this is a guy who was bulbous enough when he first came over from the Marlins to make his manager move him from third base to first base, where he wouldn't have to be as quick on his feet.
And then there was all that drama at the end of the 2009 season, in which Cabrera got drunk and was involved in an altercation—proof positive that Miggy is a classic case of a man of impulse.
Still, he is good enough to deserve a spot near the bottom of the list.
15. Donovan McNabb
When Donovan McNabb was benched by Mike Shanahan in favor of Rex Grossman in the final minutes of the Redskins' loss to the Lions this past Sunday, the initial explanation was baffling.
Apparently, according to Shanahan, Grossman had a better grasp of the two-minute offense.
He must have realized that nobody bought that, so he came up with an even worse excuse when he said that McNabb didn't have the "cardiovascular endurance" to withstand a late-game surge.
Because Shanahan is talking about a quarterback who made a name for himself as a scrambler who was very hard to bring down, this is just plain funny.
In reality, McNabb's struggles are probably more a matter of age than they are of conditioning.
14. JaMarcus Russell
So who are the Redskins looking to for help in the event of another benching of McNabb for being too fat?
Why, to JaMarcus Russell of course.
The former No. 1 pick from the 2007 draft was released by the Raiders during the offseason mostly for being a hopeless failure of a quarterback. But it wasn't exactly a secret that one of the biggest reasons for this was because Russell just didn't work very hard.
Among the bullet points in Russell's depressing biography were reports that he arrived at the Raiders' most recent training camp at a preposterous weight of 290 pounds. Then he was arrested for possession of codeine syrup after his release.
13. Baron Davis
Baron Davis has always been one of the more powerful guards in the NBA during his tenure, but he's also undoubtedly been one of the thickest.
B-Diddy is officially listed at 215 pounds. For a man who spends most of his time as a one guard, that's pretty big. Compare him with a guy like Rajon Rondo, who checks in at just over 170, and you get an idea.
The knocks about Davis' shape have followed him his whole career, ever since he came out of UCLA. And the hits just keep coming.
Davis sat out the Clippers' game against the Spurs with a bum knee, but his coach told it like it was.
“He got out of shape pretty bad," said Clippers head coach Vinny Del Negro. "He’s not in great physical condition."
Thank you, Vinny.
12. Sebastian Janikowski
Honestly, what is it with the Raiders?
Janikowski has been one of the bigger guys in the league ever since he was drafted 17th overall by the Raiders in the 2000 NFL Draft.
There's just one problem: he's a kicker. A 6'2", 250-pound freakin' kicker.
Commitment to excellence, my backside. How about a commitment to doughnuts? Maybe Shaq can help out with that.
11. Eddy Curry
The Knicks backup big guy is officially listed at 7-feet even and 295 pounds.
But look at that picture and tell me Curry doesn't tip the scales at at last 320.
By the way, that picture is from two years ago.
Curry is sitting out with a hamstring injury that he suffered during training camp, but Knicks coach Mike D'Antoni is hoping he can practice in a couple days.
He better hope that Curry's hammy can bear all that weight.
10. Mo Vaughn
The man they used to call "The Hit Dog" had a pretty successful major-league career: a.293 career batting average, 328 home runs, 1,064 RBIs. He was also a three-time All-Star and the 1995 American League MVP.
But thanks in large part to his unique hunched-over batting stance, it was pretty hard for Mo to hide the fact that he was one big dude. He was actually pretty slim when he first came up with the Boston Red Sox, but you can clearly see the extent to which he ballooned by the time he ended up on the Mets.
9. Albert Haynesworth
What is it exactly with Mike Shanahan and conditioning?
Most recently, he benched McNabb. But you no doubt remember how he put All-Pro defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth in his doghouse when Haynesworth showed up to training camp out of shape.
Or at least, this is what Shanahan thought. Haynesworth had, after all, skipped offseason workouts.
Then came the infamous conditioning test: a 300-yard shuttle run with 25-yard increments to be completed in 70 seconds or under, and then a 3.5-minute break. Then Haynesworth had to do it again in 73 seconds or less.
Haynesworth failed the test the first two times he tried to pass it.
And then there were "Fat Albert" jokes. Lots of 'em.
8. John Kruk
Before he was a fat analyst on Baseball Tonight, John Kruk was a fat first baseman for the Philadelphia Phillies and then a designated hitter for the Chicago White Sox.
The good thing about Kruk, however, is that he's always embraced his large figure. Personally, I'll never forget when he once got into an argument with Harold Reynolds about conditioning on an episode of BBTN.
"This is baseball!" said Kruk, "Tell the kids to have a hot dog and drink a beer!"
Reynolds was speechless. Also, you have to love a guy whose ESPN column is called "Chewing the Fat."
7. Charles Barkley
While we may all know Charles Barkley as "Sir Charles," he was also called the "Round Mound of Rebound" in his day.
Can you guess why?
Barkley was definitely a big dude, both vertically and horizontally. Love it or hate it, his personality is also big. Before he was ripping LeBron James, he was famously stating that athletes should not be considered role models.
"A million guys can dunk a basketball in jail," he said, "Should they be role models?"
The only question is whether or not any kid ever looked up to Barkley in the first place.
6. Tony Stewart
If you ever needed an arguing point that NASCAR drivers are not athletes, take a look at Tony Stewart. Trying to imagine this guy doing anything but turning left for 500 laps fairly boggles the mind.
The worst part about Stewart is that he always seems to be rubbing his girth in our faces. There's that commercial with the giant bowl of cereal, the one where he's walking out a convenience store with a slushie, the Burger King commercials...
And just look at him in this picture. The least he could do is shave when he wakes up in the morning, for Pete's sake. It's like he's trying to be a disgusting slob.
5. Shawn Kemp
Remember all those highlight-reel dunks turned in by Shawn Kemp during his early seasons with the Seattle Supersonics? Those were awesome.
Remember when he showed up for camp with the Cleveland Cavaliers in 1998 at a whopping 275 pounds?
And that's where it stops being funny. In addition to his weight, Kemp had problems with alcohol and cocaine, and his career ended prematurely in 2003 because of his struggles.
He attempted to make a comeback with the Mavericks in their Finals season of 2005-2006, but he failed to show up for a workout for then-coach Avery Johnson. He was later busted in June of that year on a drug arrest.
Oh Shawn, we hardly knew ye.
4. Jared Lorenzen
The coach who looked at Jared Lorenzen and decided he should be a quarterback instead of a lineman needs to have his head examined. Or at the very least, an eye exam.
Indeed, this former Kentucky quarterback is gigantic, nearly tipping the scales at JaMarcus Russell territory.
There weren't many Jared Lorenzen sightings during his time in the NFL. He was signed as an undrafted free agent by the New York Giants before their 2005 season. But he did well for himself, as all he had to do was ride the pine behind Eli Manning and Anthony Wright to get a Super Bowl ring.
He went on to have a brief stint with the Colts, but he's currently the quarterbacks coach at his alma mater, Highlands High School in Fort Thomas, Kentucky.
3. David Wells
Do you remember that article about David Wells from Sports Illustrated a few years back?
It was the one that started, "David Wells is fat. Not p-h-a-t. F-a-t."
That just about says it.
He was angry about it, of course. But that's the kind of treatment you get when you admit to being "half drunk" during a perfect game and then publishing a book with you looking like a fat jackass on the cover.
To be sure, Wells was a pretty decent pitcher in his day. But now he's an annoying analyst for TBS.
And he's also good enough for third on this list.
2. John Daly
John Daly is golf's answer to the great Babe Ruth. He drinks, he eats, he smokes and he hits long drives.
The only problem is that he seems more proud of the former three things.
When Daly was recently asked to comment on his two years of sobriety, Daly said: "I was happy when I was a miserable drunk. I played better when I was drunk."
All you can do is shake your head...
1. Andre Smith
The former tackle for the Alabama Crimson Tide didn't exactly have a good showing at the 2009 NFL Combine, which is the source of the hilarious picture occupying the better part of your screen.
The best part is that Smith initially announced that he wasn't going to workout at the NFL combine, saying that he wasn't in the shape he wanted to be in. When he did participate, he weighed in at 332 pounds and could do only 19 reps of 225 pounds on the bench.
He was eventually drafted sixth overall by the Bengals in the 2009 NFL draft, and would go on to miss all of his first training camp.
Ultimately, can't you just picture R. Lee Ermey from Full Metal Jacket yelling at this guy and calling him a "fatbody"?
And that's why Smith is tops on this list. The other 19 guys may have been out of shape, but they didn't do it as big as Smith.