New Fat-Hugging Jerseys Are Destroying NFL Players' Self Esteem

This year, the NFL unveiled new, sleeker uniforms to help the players give each other concussions with less wind resistance. But the Nike jerseys aren't very popular among one subset of football players — large, heavy linemen who complain that the snug fit makes them feel like big fat babies.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the new design was introduced after a decade of using the same Reebok jerseys. But what Nike calls an improved "Body Contour Fit" is more like a shrunken sausage casing on larger players, many of whom tip the scales at more than 350 pounds. And it's giving some of them a complex.

Yes, like a gang of middle school girls upset that the clothes at American Apparel make them look like big fat hookers, NFL linemen are having serious body confidence issues. Lumps are poking out in places that were once thought to be svelte. Stomachs are hanging out of the bottom of the shirts. Self esteems are in tatters.

One reported that after his wife saw him in his new jersey, she told him that he looked like he had eaten a small child. Others say that any moisture at all causes them to ride up, thus exposing mounds of athletic-but-bountiful flesh to millions of prying TV audience eyes. It's like going to the beach that summer after you first got your "Woman Body," but for giant millionaire dudes.

On one hand, I feel a little guilty about being so tickled by reports of the lineman complaints about too-tight jerseys being unflattering. After all, being forced to parade around in public in an outfit that makes you feel ridiculous is not a fun experience, a fact with which most bathing suit averse women are painfully aware. But on the other, misery loves company.

Maybe this is just Nike priming the pump for its new line of gigantic athletic Spanx.

[WSJ]