- 1 Which members playing football
- 2 Who is this football legend
- 3 Why is football called soccer
- 4 How many football fans in the world
- 5 Are fat football players healthy
Which members playing football
Playing Positions in Football A football team is typically made up of 11 members: 1 goalkeeper and 10 outfield players who take on defensive, midfield and attacking positions. Goalkeeper
- Unlike other players on the field, goalkeepers do not change positions or occupy large stretches of the field.
- Goalkeepers usually stay within the penalty area.
- Goalkeepers have to prevent balls from entering the penalty area and stop the opposing team scoring.
- They are the only players on the field allowed to use their hands.
- Goalkeepers wear gloves to protect their hands and often wear a different coloured jersey to avoid confusion with the other players
The role of defenders on a football team is to intercept the attacking team’s ball and make opportunities to pass the ball to their own team mates.
- Centre back defenders stop opposing players striking, and get attacking balls out of the team’s penalty area.
- Centre backs need to be able to tackle well. These players also need to have an intelligent grasp of game play, allowing them to predict and intercept the opposing team’s attack.
- Defending sweepers intercept the ball if an attacking team gets it over the home defense line.
- Unlike the other defensive positions, sweepers have no designated opposing team player to mark, giving them more room for maneuver.
- Sweepers must possess the ability to read and predict game play.
- Defending full backs aim to protect the center backs from attack.
- Full backs usually prevent attacks from opposing wings.
- Defending wing backs occupy the outer areas of the field.
- Wing backs place heavy emphasis on attack (despite being a defensive position).
- Wing backs need a huge amount of stamina and will typically race up and down the field. Wing backs have the most physically demanding role in football.
- Good wing backs possess superior intercepting skills.
Midfielders occupy the central portion of the field. They are positioned between attack and defense. Their job is to gain possession of the ball and determine the direction of play.
- Centre midfielders fight for control of the ball.
- Of all the players, centre midfielders have the best vantage of the whole game.
- Good centre midfielders are skilled in understanding and interpreting game strategies.
- Defensive midfielders are positioned in front of the defenders, and screen opposing defense by tackling the other team.
- They put players against the opposing striker.
- Defending midfielders also focus on any strong attacking player from the opposing team.
- Defensive midfielders need to be able to accurately assess the game and make selves available to carry through their teams direction of play, as well as intercept and disrupt the opposition’s.
- Attacking midfielders are usually positioned behind the striker in the midfield section.
- ttacking midfielders are tasked to create opportunities for their team to strike.
- Wide midfielders are positioned in the outer sections of the field.
- They act to give width to the midfield section, which can be used for tactical passing or to advance the direction of play.
These players are stationed near the goal. All attacking positions will attempt to score goals. The combination of positions can be used tactically to create the best pattern of players and skillsets to achieve a goal.
- Also known as the strikers, centre forward attackers’ sole task is to score goals.
- Successful strikers make the most of their talents: pace is important, as is strength and power. Ball control and aim are critical.
- Skillful strikers possess quick thinking and the ability to fool opposing players about direction of play.
- The players behind the striker have a vital role of providing a buffer for the striker.
- These players are the striker’s “wing men”.
- Second strikers need to have excellent perception and be very quick off the mark.
- More typically considered part of midfield, attacking wingers occupy the outer sections of the field.
- Speed is important to wingers. If they are able to intercept the ball, they can have a powerful impact on play by racing down the sidelines.
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Who is this football legend
The list of all-time great footballers includes legends like Pelé, Diego Maradona, Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Johan Cruyff, and many others. These players are celebrated for their extraordinary skills and achievements.
Who among this is a famous footballer?
Top 10 football players of all time
Why are football players so big?
Different positions – different requirements – In the sport of football, some player positions demand disproportionate amounts of weight to excel. For example, offensive linemen need to be too big to push and to be effective. Also, defensive linemen need to be too big to be stopped.
- The problem is that an average human cannot build sufficient muscle mass to become so heavy.
- The best example is sumo.
- The bigger a sumo wrestler is, the more powerful he is; it is more difficult moving him.
- Basically, it is the same principle.
- Being big makes blocking easier, especially pass protection.
These so-called fat guys in the offensive line are usually 6′4″ to 6′9″ between 300–350 pounds, with long arms, and solid. Think of this five-person unit as an impassable brick wall; if it breaks down, the whole team breaks down. If their quarterback stays upright and manages to pass the ball, then they’ve done their job successfully.
Why is football called football?
The exact etymology of the word ‘football’ is slightly unclear, but many historians say the term dates back to the late Middle Ages, when it was used to refer to any sport that was played on foot, as opposed to sports played on horseback.
Why is football called soccer
World Cup 2022: Is it soccer? Is it football? Does it matter? In the anthem “Tokoh Taka”, US rapper Nicki Minaj proclaims: “Some say football, some say soccer.” While many fans around the world find the term “soccer” strange, if not objectionable, that’s what Americans – as well as, South Africans and some Australians and Irish – call the sport.
- As the took on England in their second match in Qatar, the familiar football-versus-soccer debate was reigniting off the pitch.
- Ahead of the US-England game on Friday, and memes stressing that “it’s not soccer” flooded social media, and a shared by the publication Sports Illustrated showed US fans chanting, “It’s called soccer”.
- Here, Al Jazeera looks at the origins of the discrepancy in what the two English-speaking countries call the sport.
It may sound counterintuitive, but the term “soccer” was not originally American. Like the modern sport itself, the name originated in Great Britain. As authors Silke-Maria Weineck and Stefan Szymanski explain in their book, It’s Football, Not Soccer (And Vice Versa), the formal name of the sport is “association football”.
- British university students in the late 19th century nicknamed it “soccer”, a twist on the second syllable of “association”.
- But while British people stopped using the nickname decades ago, Americans stuck to it.
- In an interview with Al Jazeera, Szymanski, a professor of sport management at the University of Michigan, stressed that as much as Britons may loathe the term “soccer”, its origins are indisputable.
He tracked its use in the United Kingdom well into the second half of the 20th century.
- For example, the 1973 autobiography of the legendary Manchester United coach is titled Soccer at the Top: My Life in Football.
- Szymanski has a theory to explain the decline of the word “soccer” in England: “anti-Americanism”.
- “When it became widely known in the UK that Americans called it soccer, it suddenly becomes what we call an ‘exile word’ in British English,” he said.
- Throughout sports history, the term “football” has been used to describe several sports involving a ball and running, including rugby, which is formally called rugby football.
As association football and rugby football were taking shape in the UK in the 1800s, another football genre was developing in North America, combining elements from both sports. It came to be known as gridiron football. Several versions of gridiron football would spring up, including Canadian football, but became the dominant one.
- So as the world largely moved on from the word “soccer”, for Americans, another sport had taken the honour of being called football.
- “Calling soccer ‘football’ would invite confusion” in the US, said G Edward White, a law professor at the University of Virginia and author of Soccer in American Culture: The Beautiful Game’s Struggle for Status.
- White pointed to gridiron football’s prevalence in many US institutions, where it is “played extensively in high schools, colleges and the professional “.
With the Hispanic population among the fastest-growing demographics in the US, an increasing number of Americans know the sport not as “soccer” but as “futbol”. The Spanish word is becoming more popular among non-Spanish speakers as well. But efforts to rebrand “soccer” are still a long way from making a meaningful dent in the term’s use.
After all, the official name of the American team playing in Qatar is the “United States Men’s National Soccer Team”. Szymanski dismissed the entire football-soccer debate as silly. “In countries where you have other versions of football, the word soccer is just the most sensible word to use,” he said.
“And that’s the funny thing about it. Why would you object to people trying to avoid confusing language? So it’s all part of the craziness.” Source: Al Jazeera : World Cup 2022: Is it soccer? Is it football? Does it matter?
Who is No 1 football king?
Lionel Messi – The King of Football Lionel Messi is an unstoppable football player from Argentina.
Who is Zeus in football?
Zamir Alexza White, nicknamed ‘Zeus’ (born September 18, 1999), is an American football running back for the Las Vegas Raiders of the National Football League (NFL).
Who is the richest player in the world?
Brunei’s prince Faiq Bolkiah is the number 1 richest footballer in the world. He has a net worth of $20 billion.
How many Messi fans?
4. Ronaldinho –
- Brazilian legend, Ronaldinho is in the 4th place with more than 160 million total followers.
- Facebook: 55 M
- Instagram: 71,1 M
- Twitter: 21,5 M
- YouTube: 12,8 M
- Total: 160,4 M
How many football fans in the world
Football is the world’s most popular sport simply because it has the most fans (3.5 billion) and has active players in almost every country in the world. – Almost every country also has a professional league, with the English Premier League and Spain’s La Liga being the 2 most well-known.
Is Pele better than Maradona?
Maradona – 11 – Pele won more titles than Maradona during his playing career. Both players have been awarded a host of unofficial individual awards and magazine accolades over the years.
Who is better Pele or Ronaldo?
On the international stage – Ronaldo has recently set himself apart as the most prolific international player in history, surpassing the record previously held by Iran icon Ali Daei. He’s sat on 118 goals for Portugal, having made his debut back in 2003.
Messi, like Ronaldo, is his country’s leading scorer but his Argentina total sits at 98. Pele remains – just – Brazil’s joint-leading scorer. Neymar recently equalled his record of 77 goals in his 124th cap whilst at the World Cup in Qatar, albeit the legendary figure scored that many in far fewer games.
His haul came in 92 outings – giving him a strike ratio of 0.84. Ronaldo’s is 0.6 whilst Messi’s is 0.56. Pele claimed three World Cup triumphs ( Image: John Varley/REX/Shutterstock) The World Cup is the only stage all three can somewhat be compared on equal footing.
Messi recently joined Pele as a World Cup winner – a claim Ronaldo cannot match. The Argentine has scored more World Cup goals – 13 – than his two rivals, though he’s played more games. Pele hit 12 goals at the World Cup and Ronaldo has notched eight times. Pele’s ratio, though, sees him come out on top again; 0.86 compared to Messi on 0.5 and Ronaldo on 0.36.
This means that once the club and the international stages come together and the calculators are whipped out, across their careers, Ronaldo has scored more than Messi and Pele. He has notched 819 times, with Pele sat on 786 and Messi bagging on 793 occasions.
Are tight ends fat?
TODAY’S FOOTBALL ATHLETE – Despite significant increases in size, a comparison of the results from the two most recent studies shows that “mirroring” or similar body types still exists in opposing positions (Dengel et al., 2013; Kraemer et al., 2005).
This is likely due to the offensive and defensive play interactions which occur in the sport as suggested by Kraemer et al. (2005). In the most recent study, Dengel and colleagues (2013) assessed the body composition of 411 NFL players just before draft or before the start of summer camp using dual X-ray absorptiometry (DXA).
The use of DXA technology will be described later, but briefly DXA is a three-compartment model for body composition (fat mass, lean mass, bone mass), which allows segmental analyses to assess where lean and fat mass is accumulated. It must be noted that since all of the players were recruited for a particular team, their body composition may be biased toward that team’s type of play (Kraemer et al., 2005).
- Still, given the large sample size and the extended period in which body composition was assessed (6 yr), the results from that study provide the most comprehensive look at today’s NFL player body composition.
- Offensive and Defensive Linemen Offensive and defensive linemen have previously been reported to be fairly similar in body mass with slightly higher body fat (Kraemer et al., 2005).
The study by Dengel et al. (2013) is in agreement with previous reports (Kraemer et al., 2005) suggesting that offensive and defensive linemen are somewhat similar (Table 2). Offensive linemen were significantly taller and heavier than the defensive linemen in the most recent study. Tight End, Linebacker and Running Back The Dengel at al. (2013) study also measured the body composition characteristics of tight ends, linebackers and running backs (Table 3). Tight ends were more closely related to offensive linemen in height, resulting in players in that position being taller than the linebackers and running backs.
- Running backs were the shortest of all three positions and the reported heights are similar and in the same hierarchical pattern as those reported earlier (Kraemer et al., 2005).
- The same pattern was observed in body mass with tight ends having a greater body mass than linebackers, who had a greater body mass than running backs.
All three positions had similar percent body fat and fat mass. Tight ends had a greater amount of lean mass and this was primarily located in the upper body. However, despite some differences in upper body lean mass, the upper to lower lean mass ratio was not significantly different among tight ends, linebackers and running backs. Quarterback and Punters/Kickers The body composition of quarterbacks and punters/kickers was also measured by Dengel et al. (2013) (Table 4). For the most part, the heights and body masses for these positions are similar to those reported in an earlier study (Kraemer et al., 2005).
Of interest is the greater body fat percentage reported in both positions compared to the previous study in which fat percentages of 14.6 ± 9.3% and 11.4 ± 8.3% were reported for quarterbacks and punters/kickers, respectively. This may be attributed to the difference in technology (discussed later) for assessing body composition.
Thus, it is unlikely that significant changes over the last several years have occurred in these positions. Defensive Backs and Wide Receivers In the Kraemer et al. (2005) examination, similar height, body mass and percent body fat were observed between defensive backs and wide receivers, leading the authors to conclude that mirroring held true in these positions.
- The authors also highlighted a strategy observed in the preceding years in which teams were trying to break the mirroring of these two positions by utilizing larger wide receivers.
- However, despite the strategy, that study reported similar body composition in those positions.
- In the Dengel et al.
- 2013) report, wide receivers were taller and heavier than the defensive backs reported earlier.
However, both had similar percentage body fatness, fat mass and lean mass (Table 5). Thus, despite being taller and heavier, differences were not observed when examining body composition. In summary, few changes have been observed over the last ~8 yr in body composition of professional football athletes. Professional football players are substantially taller and heavier, but the mirroring effect is consistent with previous reports. Interestingly, based on BMI alone, all positions would have been categorized as overweight or worse (moderately obese or obese), demonstrating the problem with using BMI for classification of body composition in this unique population of athletes.
- Although the data presented here are representative of one team, the similarities between the two most recent studies, in which different teams were utilized and there was a large sample size, suggest that the present data gives insight into current body composition norms for the NFL.
- As previously mentioned, similar and more drastic observations have been made at the college and high school level (Melvin et al., 2014; Noel et al., 2003; Olson & Hunter, 1985).
However, the size of these athletes still remains smaller than the professionals as only those elite athletes make it to the professional stage.
Are fat football players healthy
The N.F.L.’s Obesity Scourge (Published 2019) The effects of head trauma have gotten much of the attention, but huge weight gains have also damaged N.F.L. retirees. The former N.F.L. players Derek Kennard, left, and Vaughn Parker, right, are among those who have struggled to shed weight they once needed to do their jobs. Credit. Caitlin O’Hara for The New York Times; Brian L. Frank for The New York Times; Getty Images An insidious scourge that has nothing to do with head trauma is ravaging retired N.F.L.
Players. In the past few decades, the N.F.L.’s emphasis on the passing game and quarterback protection has led teams to stock their offensive and defensive lines with ever-larger men, many of them weighing well over 300 pounds. But their great girth, which coaches encouraged and which helped turn some players into multimillion-dollar commodities, leaves many of them prone to obesity problems.
In retirement, these huge men are often unable to lose the weight they needed to do their jobs. Without the structure of a team and the guidance of coaches for the first time in decades, many of them lose the motivation to stay in shape, or cannot even try, as damage to their feet, knees, backs and shoulders limits their ability to exercise.
- This is a big reason that former linemen, compared with other football players and the general population, have higher rates of hypertension, obesity and sleep apnea, which can lead to chronic fatigue, poor diet and even death.
- Blocking for a $25-million-a-year quarterback, it turns out, can put linemen in the high-risk category for many of the ailments health experts readily encourage people to avoid.
“Linemen are bigger, and in today’s world, rightly or wrongly, they are told to bulk up,” said Henry Buchwald, a specialist in bariatric surgery at the University of Minnesota who works with the, a nonprofit organization that provides free medical tests to former N.F.L.
Players. “Their eating habits are hard to shed when they stop playing, and when they get obese, they get exposed to diabetes, hypertension and cardiac problems.” Many linemen say they were encouraged by their high school and college coaches to gain weight to win scholarships and to be drafted by the N.F.L., where a lot of players were required to become even bigger.
In some cases, players were converted from tight ends to down linemen, and needed extra weight to play the new position. Coaches often leave it up to the players to decide how to gain weight. Joe Thomas, an All-Pro lineman with the Cleveland Browns, said that as a freshman in college he ate every few hours to gain the 40 pounds he needed to get to 290 pounds.
- He gobbled burgers, frozen pizzas and large bowls of ice cream.
- It was see food, eat food,” Thomas said.
- The Living Heart Foundation has examined several thousand former players since it was formed in 2001 with financial backing from the N.F.L.
- Players’ union.
- About two-thirds of those players — not just linemen — had a body mass index above 30, which is considered moderately obese.
A third of those screened were at 35 or above, or significantly obese. The index, which is viewed as a general indication of weight relative to size, does not take into account muscle mass. Linemen have been getting heavier, faster. From 1942 to 2011, they have gained an average of three-quarters of a pound to two pounds a year, about twice the average gain for all N.F.L.
- Players, according to a study published in The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research.
- Another study showed that the average weight of offensive linemen ballooned 27 percent, from 249 pounds in the 1970s to 315 pounds in the 2000s, as the passing game evolved.
- The consequences can be dire.
- A study found that for every 10 pounds football players gained from high school to college, or from college to the professional level, the risk of heart disease rose 14 percent compared with players whose weight changed little during the same period.
Plenty of linemen do lose weight. The former linemen and shed dozens of pounds after retiring and publicized their achievement. Thomas, with the Browns, gained roughly 30 pounds after entering the N.F.L. He has since lost about 50 pounds by eating less and eating healthier.
- I reversed everything I was doing,” said Thomas, who weighed about 320 pounds in the N.F.L.
- No more freezer pizzas before bed.
- I dialed back the carbs, added whole grains, couscous, quinoa.” The N.F.L.
- And the players’ union, recognizing more must be done, offer retired players medical exams, health club memberships and other services.
Dozens of retired players, for instance, get free health screenings at the Super Bowl. Still, many players are unreachable, said and retired heart surgeon who started the Living Heart Foundation. “If you don’t guide players through it, they won’t show up.
If we can’t get them to follow through, they won’t get the health care they deserve.” Many former linemen said they woke to the dangers of being obese when the Hall of Famer Reggie White died in 2004 of cardiac arrhythmia. White also had sleep apnea. Linemen are prone to the affliction, in which a person’s breathing repeatedly stops and starts because the muscles in their neck press against the breathing passage as they sleep.
This cuts off the flow of oxygen and wakes the player, often for a second or two. The continual sleep interruptions can make it difficult for those with sleep apnea to feel fully rested. Derek Kennard played in the N.F.L. from 1986 to 1996, with the Cardinals, the Saints and the Cowboys.
Credit. David Phillip/Associated Press Years of sleep deprivation led to Kennard’s health problems. “I had so much death in my life, I could see it in front of me,” he said. Credit. Caitlin O’Hara for The New York Times Former linemen have big necks, and as they age their throat tissue becomes flabby, so their tongues can block their airways, said Anthony Scianni, a dentist who runs the Center for Dental Sleep Medicine, which works with former N.F.L.
players. The lack of oxygen, Scianni said, stimulates the body to produce more sugars, which can cause Type 2 diabetes and lead to overeating and other problems. Derek Kennard, a guard for 11 seasons with the Cardinals, the Saints and the Cowboys, has battled to reverse this cycle.
He snored so loudly — a common symptom of sleep apnea — that his roommate in his last season asked for a different room. After Kennard retired in 1996, the years of sleep deprivation led to other problems. He ate poorly and gained 100 pounds. He took Vicodin to deal with the pain of his football injuries.
The pain, lack of sleep and extra weight made it difficult to exercise. His cholesterol levels and blood pressure jumped. He would fall asleep behind the wheel while stopped at traffic lights. “You’re not sleeping well, so your body is not healing itself,” said Kennard, whose son Devon is a linebacker for the Lions.
- After his brother died in 2009, Kennard, who is 6-foot-3 and whose weight peaked at 465 pounds, sought help.
- He was tested for sleep apnea and was told he woke 77 times per hour.
- One episode of not breathing lasted 1 minute 32 seconds.
- Because he flips in bed as he sleeps, Kennard had trouble wearing the mask of a CPAP machine, which delivers continuous positive airway pressure and is the standard treatment for sleep apnea.
He switched to a mouthpiece that kept his airways open. He now wakes just twice an hour, and sleeps about seven hours a night. His weight fell to about 350 pounds, and he stopped taking painkillers. “A hundred pounds came off quickly because I had energy to do exercise,” he said at a conference for retired players in Phoenix, where he lives.
Ennard urges other former players to be checked for sleep apnea, and tries to convince them that wearing a mask does not make them weak. “I had so much death in my life, I could see it in front of me,” he said. Vaughn Parker, a tackle who played 11 years, mostly with the Chargers, struggled with overeating, and after a dozen surgeries on his shoulders, ankles and triceps, he had a hard time exercising to shed weight.
He also got busy. Parker invested in real estate in San Diego until the market collapsed in 2008. He had two children, split with his wife and studied for an M.B.A., which he finished in May 2017. The stress led him to eat more, and before he knew it, he had added 90 pounds to his 6-foot-3 frame and weighed more than 400 pounds.
- Vaughn Parker, who played 11 N.F.L.
- Seasons, mostly with the Chargers, has struggled to get his eating under control. Credit.
- Otto Greule/Getty Images Weight gain and health worries motivate Vaughn Parker to keep exercising.
- How many 400-pound offensive linemen are walking around in their 50s?” he said.
Credit. Brian L. Frank for The New York Times “Everyone has their cross to bear,” said Parker, 47, who also has high blood pressure. “For some people, it’s gambling or alcohol. For me, it’s food.” In 2013, Parker received a phone call from Aaron Taylor, a former teammate, who encouraged him to work out with other retired N.F.L.
- Players who received free gym memberships from, a group started by the N.F.L.
- And the players’ union to assist retirees.
- Parker started driving 40 minutes to Carlsbad, north of San Diego, several times a week to EXOS, a high-end fitness club, where a trainer tailored workouts to his abilities and injuries.
Afterward, the handful of former players discussed their progress and drank nutritional shakes. They learned about portion control and shopping for healthy food. Parker knew he had lost his best chance to become fit, which is right after retirement, but he tried to catch up.
- His workouts were exhausting, but he stuck with the program, in part driven by the camaraderie of the other ex-players, and shed nearly 100 pounds the first year.
- There wasn’t a day I didn’t sit at the edge of my bed and say I’m not going today,” Parker said.
- Eeping the weight off has been a challenge.
At home, he drinks protein shakes and eats made-to-order meals. But he also likes sugary drinks, and eating healthily on business trips has been tough. When he dines out with friends, he eats nachos, chicken wings and fried foods. But the prospect of cascading health problems motivates Parker to keep exercising.
- He recently re-enrolled in a six-week training program at EXOS.
- How many 400-pound offensive linemen are walking around in their 50s?” he said.
- Linemen are not the only players who need to keep the pounds on to play their position.
- Tight ends and linebackers often do as well.
- That was true for was one of the best blocking tight ends of his day.
Nearly 30 years after he retired, Giles, who lives in Tampa, Fla., where he starred for the Buccaneers, checks in at roughly 350 pounds, about 100 pounds above his playing weight. After 13 years in the N.F.L., ending in 1989, he had done lasting damage to his back, knees and feet.
He had regular headaches, the result of about a dozen concussions. When he retired he took up golf to stay in shape. But the effects of his football injuries added up, limiting his activity. He had four degenerative disks in his back and no feeling in his right leg, and he had sleep apnea. His inability to exercise exacerbated his problems.
“It’s not like I gained 100 pounds right away,” he said. To relieve the pain in his back, Giles received five epidurals a year, an ordeal he gave up when he started taking painkillers. But they can be highly addictive and caused sluggishness. Tight end Jimmie Giles took up golf after retiring from the N.F.L.
in 1989, but the effects of his football injuries began to limit his activity. Credit. Vernon Biever/Associated Press Giles is about 100 pounds over his playing weight, and now swims for an hour several times a week. Credit. Eve Edelheit for The New York Times “That’s not living — that’s surviving,” Giles said in his family’s insurance office in Tampa.
About two years ago, Giles quit taking painkillers. He now receives cortisone shots instead. He said he does not even take aspirin “because I want to know when I hurt.” “As long as I’m at a 5 out of 10 in terms of pain, I’m all right,” he added. Giles, though, has put off back surgery for as long as possible, wary of the side effects.
Every six months or so, he also receives to deaden the nerves in his left leg, where he suffers shooting pain. Giles’s father died from a heart attack, and his brother, who had congestive heart failure, is also dead. So Giles, who receives disability benefits from the N.F.L., regularly visits doctors to keep his high blood pressure and other vital signs in check.
Losing weight has been difficult. He rode a bicycle until it affected his prostate. Now he swims for an hour several times a week. He tries to eat moderately, and he avoids sweets and breads. “It’s hard for him,” his wife, Vivian, said. “It’s not the food — it’s the injuries.” When David Lewis played linebacker in the 1970s and early 1980s, he was 6-foot-4 and weighed 236 pounds.
- By about 40, he was receiving disability payments, and he has qualified for the 88 Plan, a league and union benefit that pays for medical care for players with dementia, including Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
- Unable to run or exert himself much, he now weighs about 300 pounds.
- “As time went on, all the sickness started to add up,” he said.
The sickness includes Type 2 diabetes, a kidney ailment and a congested heart from hypertension. He receives iron transfusions to correct a deficiency. He takes a half-dozen pills each day. The Buccaneers’ David Lewis, left, played linebacker in the N.F.L.
In the 1970s and ’80s. “As time went on, all the sickness started to add up,” he said. Credit. Associated Press Lewis said his heart condition kept him from having a knee replacement, but eating healthier has helped him lose about 30 pounds in the past year. Credit. Zack Wittman for The New York Times Aside from taking medicine, combating those problems has not been easy.
Lewis said he needed a knee replacement which should allow him to exercise more. But he said he could not have the surgery because of his heart condition. He goes to a Y.M.C.A. to walk on the treadmill and ride a stationary bicycle. He has also tried to eat healthier, like dropping sausages in favor of oatmeal, egg whites and fruit.
- This has helped him lose about 30 pounds this year and ease the stress on his knees and back.
- Lewis knows he has to keep moving.
- Metabolically, the more weight you have, the harder it is to lose weight because the fat cells replicate, said Rudi Ferrate, a doctor who helps players with sleep apnea.
- We’re designed to store energy,” he said.
Willie Roaf knew it was time to retire in 2005. After 13 years at left tackle with the Saints and the Chiefs, he was destined for the Pro Football Hall of Fame, which he entered in 2012. Many of the 189 games he played were on unforgiving turf, and his body was breaking down.
- Roaf, 48, tore his hamstring and had back and knee injuries, episodes of gout, a staph infection and periodic lymphatic swelling in his leg.
- Prediabetic, meaning his blood glucose levels were higher than normal, he was determined to keep his weight down and went to the gym after he retired.
- He weighed about 320 pounds, similar to during his playing career.
But within a few years, he became less mobile. Doctors told him he had spinal stenosis, a narrowing of the spinal canal. In 2013, a doctor told him he had the back of a 70-year-old. He had surgery to relieve pressure on the sciatic nerves. He wanted to keep the pounds off, but working out was difficult.
“I can’t do anything more than stretching,” he said in his Florida kitchen. He takes medicine to prevent gout and to regulate his blood pressure, cholesterol, arthritis and uric acid. Offensive lineman Willie Roaf retired after the 2005 season. He played 189 career games over 13 seasons. In 2013, when he was barely in his 40s, a doctor told him he had the back of a 70-year-old.
Credit. Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images Roaf’s injuries still limit how much he can do, but “the more I move around, the better my numbers,” he said. Credit. Scott McIntyre for The New York Times His mobility has increased, and he has returned to the gym, where he does 30 minutes on the treadmill or elliptical machine several times a week.
- “The more I move around, the better my numbers,” Roaf said.
- Still, his injuries limit how much he can do, which has made it hard for him to lose 50 pounds to reach his target of 300 pounds.
- “If it’s a bad day, I’ll just sit in the recliner and not go anywhere,” he said.
At the end of an hourlong conversation, Roaf’s Fitbit buzzed to remind him to get up and move. He got out of his chair, walked to a couch in the living room and sat again. The gym would have to wait. A correction was made on : Because of an editing error, an earlier version of this article misstated the average weight of offensive linemen in the 1970s.
- It was 249 pounds, not 240.
- How we handle corrections covers the N.F.L.
- He joined the Sports section in 2009 after stints in Metro and Business.
- From 2001 to 2004, he wrote about Japan in the Tokyo bureau.
- A version of this article appears in print on, Section SP, Page 1 of the New York edition with the headline: The N.F.L.’s Other Scourge: Obesity,
| | : The N.F.L.’s Obesity Scourge (Published 2019)
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