I have great respect for people whose physical shape (shape meaning both "condition" as well as literally their shape -- oval, circle, pear, etc.) belies their athletic performance.
For years, I've contended there should be a television show that takes all of the athletic or aesthetically active endeavors ("Aesthetically active" is my phrase for activities like ballroom dancing or pilates.) we watch during our daily lives, and replaces the athletes with people completely out of shape. That show would have
very chunky legs for at least a season or two.
The caveat is this -- the out of shape people need to be good at what they do. Nobody wants to see a heavy person practically dying when he or she is required to perform a task like walking at a brisk rate. (Louie Anderson's appearance on Splash as a high diver proved this. That was sad.)
But heavy people who destroy at their sport, that's awe inspiring, like watching a baby elephant somehow escape four lions in the wild on the Discovery Channel.
Which brings me to Jared Lorenzen...
If you recall, Lorenzen was a quarterback for the Kentucky Wildcats in the early 2000's, the heir apparent at the time to Tim Couch. The contrast between the two was stark, to say the least. Couch was selected first overall in the 1999 NFL Draft. He was a big, strapping prototype quarterback with the exact height and arm strength teams were looking for in a franchise guy. (For the record, Couch would wind up being a miserable failure as an NFL quarterback.)
Lorenzen, on the other hand, was also that exact prototype....if you were looking for an ideal nose tackle. He was a biscuit shy of 300 pounds with nimble feet and a plucky demeanor. He also endured a coaching change and the inherent disadvantage of being surrounded by other Kentucky football players to break virtually all of the school's passing records.
And he was FAT! It was awesome, a truly glorious time for sandlot players whose only physical activity was sandlot football! Lorenzen was the patron saint of weekend warriors, and I still contend that he was a more bionic athlete than any shredded, cardio beast.
As proof, here is YouTube footage of one of Jared Lorenzen's finest hours, a 406 yard, 5 touchdown performance against Casey Clausen and the Tennessee Volunteers in 2001:
Lorenzen went on to somehow survive all of the great cuisine in the tri-state area long enough to have a four year career with the New York Giants, even getting a Super Bowl ring in the 2007 season. (And now that I think about it, how did we never get a season ofHard Knocks
involving the corpulent Lorenzen and the former military man, his head coach Tom Coughlin? I feel robbed!)
After his time in the NFL ran out, Lorenzen found his true calling, as a legendary quarterback for indoor football leagues with the state of Kentucky in their footprint, including a stint as a general manager for the Northern Kentucky River Monsters of the Continental Indoor Football League that ended when Lorenzen decided to make himself the starting quarterback instead, which is maybe the greatest "If you suckholes can't do this, I'll do it myself" moment since Sgt. Hulka decided to shimmy up the rope climb on Stripes to prove a point.
Well, today, after a few twists and turns, Lorenzen is still the quarterback of the River Monsters, and I bring it up because yesterday this Vine footage found its way onto the internet:
Yes, Lorenzen is now pushing 350 pounds, a Yokozuna in cleats. And guess what? He's still as nimble as Fred F-ING Astaire! Incredible.
On February 22, at Rice University, SportsRadio 610 will be holding an NFL style combine at Rice Stadium with events like the 40-yard dash, pull ups, vertical jump, broad jump, three cone drill, shuttle run, and the Wonderlic test. Listeners over the age of 21 will be allowed to participate and we on-air personalities from 610 will also be participating.
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To be clear, other than the Wonderlic, I am petrified of all of these events. Seriously, I think I'd rather have a sex tape of me leak onto the Internet than have people watch me attempt a pull up in public. But, it is what it is.
For now, as I work out in preparation for February 22, I will have the Vine of Jared Lorenzen's nifty CIFL footwork playing on an endless Vine-y loop in front of me, a source of inspiration for out of shape middle aged guys everywhere.
WWJLD. What Would Jared Lorenzen Do.