Someone said that the picture at the top of this page doesn't look like a fat white guy (information relayed by the Judge). Well, let me say this, in college there are basically two types of linemen: the "Eats" and the "Eat-Nots." I have been fortunate (and unfortunate) enough to call myself an "Eat." I literally tear through every piece of food in sight, sucking the calories right out of it, usually in vain. Our team nutritionist has me trying to eat close to 8,000 calories a day. Try doing that while trying to cut out refined sugars and trans fats. My metabolism is so high that I can't put on weight. I peak at about 285. Although I will admit, and my license picture will show, that after going 4-8 it is possible to swell to 300. But I simply couldn't move, and the ability to put that weight on comes only from having Indiana be a marquee victory. Anyway, the truth is, I may not be "fat" by college football standards, or even the current standards of the American public (thanks Morgan Spurlock).
But, there are several reasons why I consider myself fat and white.
- I'm white
- I'm fat
- Okay maybe fat isn't the word...but analyze the picture below (from my senior year of high school). The changes are shocking, and may cause blindness, stomach ulcers, night sweats, and compulsive eating:
- I have "Fat Kid Tendencies." What are these, you ask? Well, I see "all you can eat" as a challenge. I wonder why Joe Chestnut and Kobyashi puke. I love hot dogs! (Kidding, they are disgusting.) I measure my hunger and subsequent effort from couch to TV as a "Risk-Reward" analysis. Risk: Our fridge might just be stocked full of condiments and string cheese, and I'd have to exert effort, and thus calories to look. Reward: Maybe my girlfriend, or roommate's girlfriend, left something edible in there. Maybe I didn't actually eat that entire package of Oreos last night (I did). When you start seeing your movements as calories in/calories out, something is a little off in your head. (I DON'T CARE WHAT YOU SAY, TONI LITTLE!) It really is the nexus of the universe, and what makes America great, when you have a house, and food, and hunger but you are just too lazy to actually eat.
- I reported to my freshman training camp at 237. I am holding around 285 now. FIFTY POUNDS. To do that in 5 years, in a healthy way, maintaining speed and strength (but not my hair...damn it) requires a serious shift in thinking and your general outlook. Which is why I never did, but now do consider myself a Fat White Guy.
And those were my thoughts.
Fade to black.
...aaaaand we're back.
I need to touch on something else quickly. Desmond Conner (from the Hartford Courant) and I did a phone interview a few days ago regarding a shirt I was wearing that had an anti-racism theme, and said "Jena 6." I'll let his article quote me on my thoughts on that situation, and why I was wearing the shirt, and even my thoughts on race in general (he was pretty thorough).
But he asked me an interesting and poignant question, "Why is it that young men in your position, who have access to the media and credibility don't speak on issues such as race or social injustice more often?"
I answered him point blank by saying that people come to interview us most often on sports, not on our political or social opinions. I told him that a lot of the time there is a feeling of "don't bite the hand that feeds you." But there is something that I didn't say to him, that after some thought, I think, better answers that question.
When we are interviewed during game week, to talk about anything other than our teammates, or opponent, or our athletic mentality would be a distraction and a disruption to the incredible amount of focus it takes to win games at the Division I level. I think that there is a time and a place for that sort of thing. But I would never make my social or political views known or an issue at the expense of my teammates.
That being said, I am more than happy to share my "story" (which I think Dez grasped), with the sincere hope that it can enlighten or inspire others.
At this point, you're probably wondering when I'll talk about my and others' pregame rituals. Soon, I promise.
Sox beat the Blue Jays and Yankee Stadium is out of commission.
Yah, that just happened.