Over the years there have been all kinds of athletes that will throw on a few pounds later in their careers. Most of the time this is looked at as a lack of effort or passion for the game. In my opinion weight is like sombrero you find at a Mexican bar when you’re about fifteen Coronas deep, you’re just gunna put it on. Now not all sports need a chiseled or athletic build. For years fat pitchers in the MLB have been making a killing going out there and dominating hitters. Am I saying that adding a little cushion for the pushin’ is a performance enhancer? Yea maybe but oh well here’s my top five fat athletes of all time.
5. Shaquille O’Neal
Shaq is funny in all kinds of ways. We can pick on him for his voice, his weight, his inability at the free throw line or his Buick commercials. Now Shaq’s highest listed playing weight was 324 lbs and standing at seven feet one inch that would make him one of the most intimidating athletes to ever live. Another easy indicator of his mammoth size was his ability to literally bring the hoop down with him. You stack that kind of mass with the strength and an encyclopedia of post moves and you have one of the best big men the NBA has ever seen.
4. David Ortiz
David Ortiz will go down as one of the greatest sluggers in MLB history. With his clutch at bats in big games and his lovable personality he quickly became the face of the Boston Red Sox throughout their success through the 2000’s. Ortiz’s highest playing weight was only recorded at 230 lbs which is bullshit because in 2012 he told ESPN a different story.
“Ortiz, who says his weight is down to around 250 pounds, carries a business card-sized list of foods he cannot eat on his diet, which he started, he said, for reasons that had nothing to do with baseball. His cholesterol had risen to dangerously high levels. “Over 300,” he said.”
OVER 300!!!???? Now according to some health site I read the “safe” cholesterol levels for a male adult is any number under 200. This dude was pushing 300!?! How as a pro athlete who has professional trainers and meal coaches around him does he let himself go that bad? Luckily for all, David did cut back on his eating habits and got back to dominating American League pitching instead of dominating the all you can eat buffet at Golden Coral.
3. Diego Maradona
I’m not a big soccer guy. Like most Americans I like my soccer how I like my relationships. Four years apart and only a month long. For soccer players it seems like every single one is ripped and can run like a horse. When we occasionally get to see a chubby one it’s one of the most entertaining spectacles in sports. To see someone out of shape in a sport that is 95% running or jogging is pure comedy and Maradona was no different. Diego is a national hero in Argentina and believe it or not he was more beloved than Messi is now. This mostly being due to the 1986 World Cup title team that he led. There was also a dark side to Maradona that is sometimes overlooked. Throughout his playing career he was known to have a love for two things, alcohol and cocaine. According to reports, Maradona began playing around in the booger sugar in the early 80’s (Like many people). The fun habit became a nasty addiction that would lead to the end of his career. At his heaviest Diego was weighing upwards of 220 lbs. It may no seem like much but he was only five foot, five inches. His weight apparently, after retirement reached as high as 280 lbs. Recently he has gotten a surgery and his weight it back down to healthy numbers.
2. George Foreman
How could I leave the godfather of the George Foreman Grill off of my list?! Now Foreman wasn’t always a big guy. When he won his gold medal in the ’68 Olympics George was fighting in the 200 lb range but he was a very muscular 200. The George Foreman I’m talking about is the second comeback Foreman. He took ten years out of the ring before returning to fight in 1987 at 38 years old. Then, in 1991, Foreman was given the opportunity to challenge Undisputed Heavyweight Champion Evander Holyfield, who was in tremendous shape at 208 pounds, for the world title in a Pay Per View boxing event. Very few boxing experts gave the 42-year old Foreman a chance of winning. Foreman weighed 257 lbs and lasted all twelve rounds but ended up losing. George bounced around boxing until 1997 where he finally hung up the gloves at a ripe old age of 48. His final record was 76-5. Ironically once he retired he started pushing his own “lean mean fat grilling machine” a.k.a the George Foreman Grill.
1. Babe Ruth
Now again, baseball players don’t need to be in great shape to dominate the sport. Nobody has personified that more all time than The Babe. Arguably the greatest baseball player of all time Babe carried quite the gut around with him during his career. His highest listed playing weight was 254 lbs but legend has it he was closer to pushing three bills. Babe was a known partier. He loved his booze, cigars and he loved his prostitues. There were all kinds of old stories about him eating and drinking booze during games. Nobody cared because this guy hit 714 home runs and won seven world series titles. If anyone had the perfect party and work balance there’s no doubt Babe Ruth takes the cake. Literally.