Commentary: Are NFL players too big?

Confession. I’m too fat. I eat too many cookies, too much ice cream and, when I can find where my wife hides them, chocolate bits.

That’s why I’m fat.

I’m going to guess football players get fat other ways — and just plain heavier — including on drugs.

And that’s part of the reason why three starting quarterbacks are out this week with concussions and another won’t play with a sprained shoulder.

My theory? The heavier the object that falls on you, the more damage.

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According to research done by others, from 1920-84, covering 40,000 NFL players, no more than eight at a time weighed more than 300 pounds.

In 1970, there was one 300-pounder on an NFL roster. In 1980, the scales moved to three. In 1990, it jumped to 94. In 2000, it was 301.

In 2011, the average NFL player weighed 247 pounds, very few of them quarterbacks, running backs, wide receivers or defensive backs.

I do not believe for a minute NFL players eat well or don’t take muscle-inflating drugs. We’re obsessed with size, and while bigger seems better in sports, it can lead to other problems. I’ve seen training tables with more food on them than buffet restaurants. I’ve seen NFL players finish a meal by visiting a fast food hamburger joint.

Let’s cut back on the Ding Dongs and HGH. Let’s assume we can cut back on some injuries — and that doesn’t even include long-term health — just by reducing some size of the linemen busting guts over their pants belts.

How many 200-pound quarterbacks have to go down after being mowed over by 300-pound linemen?

If this many quarterbacks are out, something’s wrong, although I see no immediate solution. Too bad. Even with the evidence walking the sidelines Sunday, “getting small” is not in our mentality.

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