NFL lineman comes up big: no fat lies


Nobody has hit .400 in baseball since the late Ted Williams in 1941.

Nobody has ever hit 400 in football - 400 pounds, that is - but Aaron Gibson is knocking loudly at the door.

Gibson weighed in at Dallas Cowboys training camp late last month at 410, or 422 according to some reports. If the fourth-year offensive tackle makes the team and keeps the weight, he would become the heaviest player in NFL history, according to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Officially, that is.

"I'm not the first 400-pound player," Gibson said. "I'm just the first one to admit it."

Indeed, Oakland Raiders guard Lincoln Kennedy weighed 415 pounds at a 1994 minicamp with the Atlanta Falcons. When the regular season began, he weighed 358. Today he's "listed" at 340.

Any player claiming to be between 375 and 399, Gibson said, is a candidate for the Fibbers Club.

The most likely candidates appear to be Green Bay Packers defensive tackle Gilbert Brown (339), Cowboys offensive lineman Char-Ron Dorsey (347), Chicago Bears defensive tackle Ted Washington (355) and Buffalo Bills rookie right tackle Mike Williams (375).

"There are probably quite a few guys in the NFL who are a biscuit away from 400," Cowboys defensive lineman Brandon Noble said.

"Aaron is just the first guy who is going to have it written down in the program."

Super-size that?

NBA players are getting heavier, too.

Los Angeles Lakers star Shaquille O'Neal reportedly weighed in at 382 this past season, making him the heaviest player in league history - though many observers believe that Oliver "The Really Big O" Miller carried more pounds in 1999.

"For Shaq, a balanced meal is a Whopper in the left and another Whopper in the right," said Magic vice president Pat Williams, who was the Orlando general manager when the team made O'Neal the No. 1 pick of the 1992 draft.

"If there's lettuce on it, that's a salad."

Head games

Even the players' heads are getting bigger nowadays.

According to the New Era Co., which manufactures baseball caps for major-league teams, Texas Rangers rookie outfielder Kevin Mench and San Diego Padres manager Bruce Bochy have size-8 noggins, the largest hats the company has ever made.

The smallest size in the files belongs to former infielder Joey Cora: 6 5/8 .

Baseball expansion

David Whitley in The Orlando (Fla.) Sentinel: "According to media reports, which are never wrong, Barry Bonds' hat size grew by two sizes last year.

"Medical experts say that kind of skull expansion for a 37-year-old man can only happen if he is taking steroids, or he's paid $18 million and allowed exclusive use of three lockers, a lounge chair, a television and a personal trainer and French chef in the clubhouse."

Compiled from wire reports and Web sites.

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