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12.23.2004

Living off the fat of the land Paul Zimmerman, Sport Illustrated, 12/23/2004

The subject is fat guys in the NFL, particularly fat defensive linemen.
...
Tony Siragusa was a serious, technically correct, run-stopping 296-pounder when the Colts signed him as a free agent in 1990. He had something to prove. I remember covering an Indianapolis practice in his second or third year and he approached me in the locker room and asked, "Can I talk to you for a minute?"

So we went into the weight room and a minute stretched into 40, and we went through almost all the keynote interior defensive linemen in the league -- which one was a dedicated run-stopper, who worked hardest, who was merely a sack artist who didn't bother with the run. It troubled him that this area of the game was so neglected, that people didn't really understand who was working at his trade and who wasn't. He wanted to be known as a guy who worked it.

Fast forward to January, 2001, Super Bowl week in Tampa, Wednesday media session. The Baltimore Ravens' Siragusa, his 350 pounds occupying what looks like half the interview table, is holding court. They are packed around him two deep. He is a personality, in quotes, king of the one-liners. Someone asks him if this is the best defense ever.

"Well, who was better?" he says.

"Steel Curtain Steelers," I say.

"What are you, from Pittsburgh?"

"No, from Jersey, same as you."

They switched the topic and afterward Siragusa came over to me and said, quite annoyed, "What are you trying to screw up my act for?"

"You don't remember me, do you?" I said.

"No, should I?"

"Not really. Just asking."


The article really nails Tony Siragusa to the wall. The transformation from young hungry rookie to Fat New Jersey Tony apparently didn't take too long.

The article is really worth reading, however, to get a sense of how big these guys are getting.

Posted by DOC
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