Sometimes, even athletes have fat days. And those days are only increasing for larger NFL players thanks to Nike’s new uniforms. All 32 NFL teams adopted the form-fitting uniforms this year, but it seems that some of the less svelte players are uncomfortable in the skintight gear.
“I hate them. They are built for thin guys,” Alex Boone, a 300-pound starting guard for the San Francisco 49ers, told the Wall Street Journal. “It makes me look like I have big old love handles.”
Boone recalled that his wife once joked that the new uniform makes it look like he “ate a small baby.”
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Although Nike claims the body-contouring material has four-way stretch and a lighter weight, the shrink-wrap fit may be more suited to slimmer players — kickers and wide receivers and the like — than to heftier linemen.
“I don’t really care for the new jerseys,” Terrence Cody, a 349-pound defensive lineman for the Baltimore Ravens, told the Journal. “I feel like they should put different material in for the big guys.”
For its part, Nike insists the uniforms come in a variety of sizes and cuts that can suit players of various shapes. But Cody says the uniform constricts when it gets wet and rides up his body throughout games. And some NFL defenders say the sleeker uniforms offer less material for linemen to grab when they’re trying to keep a hand on their opponent.
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Other players say that the uniform’s detractors should be less concerned with appearances. Baltimore’s 334-pound lineman Ramon Harewood told the Journal that complainers just “like to look pretty.”
“They say you have to look good to play good—I don’t believe that,” Harewood said.
Still, for players topping 300 pounds, it is probably safe to say that an overly snug fit makes for genuine fashion victims. Leonard Davis, San Francisco’s 6-foot-6, 355-pound offensive guard, said his jersey often un-tucks in games “and I don’t even play that much.”