Professional athletes or even an amateur athletes who take part in significant competitions have to keep themselves in top shape 12 months out of the year. Doing so helps them be at their best during matches, and it also helps prevent serious injuries that can slow athletes down and even, in some cases, end careers. The list of athletes who did not take advantage of physical gifts that were granted to them is long, and it is one that is filled with cases of individuals who wasted opportunities to become worldwide superstars who also could have made millions upon millions of dollars.
Then, there are the athletes who found great successes even though they failed to routinely hit up the gym. Take Babe Ruth as an example. Ruth ate whatever he wanted whenever he wanted. He was notorious for his drunken nights. He had a gut. He is nevertheless widely regarded as the greatest overall baseball player of all time and one of the greatest athletes in the history of North American pro sports. Ruth is an icon and a once-in-a-generation personality that transcends baseball and the sports world. As the saying from The Sandlot taught: Heroes get remembered, but legends never die.
It is somewhat false advertising to claim that any of the ten athletes showcased in this piece are in “terrible” shape. They are, after all, athletes, individuals who are paid large amounts of money because of the fact that they are more physically gifted than is the guy who sits on his couch eating potato chips and watching live sports every weekend. All ten of them could, however, stand to lose a few pounds and tone up, for both health reasons and to help them maintain their top form during seasons. We are not picking on anybody here; just looking out for you guys.
10 Jameis Winston
Whether or not Winston deserves to be on this list depends on if you believe that a certain picture that hit the Internet in the winter of 2015 is actually real, and if you think that he will not put in the work once he is drafted. He appeared to be in better shape at the NFL Draft Combine in February, but there are a fair amount of supposed football experts who are convinced that Winston will balloon once he is paid National Football League money as did JaMarcus Russell once he was awarded with millions of dollars by the Oakland Raiders. Prove the haters wrong, Famous Jameis, and keep yourself out of trouble and become the winner that you were in college.
9 C.C. Sabathia
Sabathia currently features for the New York Yankees, but it was during his days with the Cleveland Indians when he first headlines because of his physical features. He would routinely show up to spring training horrendously out of shape, and Sabathia being over 300 pounds in February and March was commonplace while he was with the Tribe. Sabathia worked hard to take the weight off, but he has recently claimed that he purposely put the pounds back on. The hope, according to the pitcher, is that the additional weight will help Sabathia get back to his best form and also help him avoid injuries. Whatever works for you, C.C..
8 Bartolo Colon
Colon has been a member of Major League Baseball “All-Fat” teams throughout his career, and he has more than earned that honor. One has to give Colon credit for not only being comfortable with his appearance but for not being shy about how he looks. Search for GIFs and video of Colon literally shaking his belly fat as if he was Santa Claus if you are unaware of what is being referenced. When you are done with that, look up videos of Colon taking at-bats as a member of the New York Mets. Be prepared to laugh and laugh hard at what you find.
7 Glen Davis
It feels as if we cannot go a year without learning that Davis is “in the best shape of his life.” That right there is telling about the man's physical condition. Davis was nicknamed “Big Baby” at a young age, and he has earned that label throughout his basketball career. To his credit, Davis has taken steps to lose the extra and unnecessary weight and get himself in better basketball shape, but injuries have played a role in his being unable to do so. Davis has also earned himself a reputation for being one of the worst floppers in all of the National Basketball Association.
6 Vince Wilfork
Wilfork offers a reminder that you don't have to be lean and mean to be a star in the National Football League who wins championships and makes a fortune. The big bad defensive tackle has two Super Bowl wins on his impressive resume, and he has been named to five Pro Bowl squads. Wilfork featured for the New England Patriots from 2004 up through the 2015 edition of the Super Bowl, but the two entities have since parted ways. He will not be looking for work for long, and thus Wilfork will likely be an eligible candidate for next year's list.
5 Sebastian Janikowski
Janikowski has really figured this life thing out. He is a placekicker in the National Football League, and thus he can afford to have a little – and sometimes more – extra weight on him and still be effective at booting the ball down the field and through the uprights. He is paid millions of dollars to execute kicks that are, for him, as simple as is typing a sentence via a keyboard for the rest of us. Janikowski is a hero and a role model for the kids out there who want to have it all.
4 Prince Fielder
There is something to be said for a person being comfortable in his own skin and not being afraid to put it all out there for the world to see. With that said, we are confident in suggesting that the majority of readers would be just fine if ESPN The Magazine chose to never again feature Fielder in its annual “Body Issue.” Fielder is a talented hitter when he is healthy and able to feature in the starting lineup for a Major League Baseball team, but one cannot help but wonder just how much better he would be if he toned up even a little bit. Like father, like son goes the old adage.
3 Johnny Manziel
Is this one a little mean? Perhaps, but the harsh truth on the subject is that Johnny Football has earned all of the criticism that he has gotten since being drafted by the Cleveland Browns in May of 2014. Manziel reportedly did not fully embrace all that being a NFL quarterback means, and his partying ways during and after the season resulted in the Cleveland quarterback electing to voluntarily enter rehab due to a believed alcohol dependency. Here is hoping that Manziel soon works himself off of this list. The Browns need him to be at his best in 2015.
2 John Daly
Daly is really a national treasure, a throwback to a time when athletes did not care about being criticized by fans or by the press. The golfer who can hit the ball a mile has even recorded a country music album that includes a song in which he defends the way that he lives his life when off of the golf course. While we cannot say for sure since we did not speak to him in the creation of this piece, it is not a stretch to suggest that Daly would prefer puffing on cigarettes and sipping the alcoholic beverages of his choice during PGA events; allegedly.
1 Phil Kessel
The forward for the Toronto Maple Leafs of the National Hockey League is notorious for letting himself slide out of shape during offseasons. One such instance occurred in the summer of 2014 when he claimed that he had skated a total of ten times. Kessel being bashed by analysts and hockey experts has become a mainstay of NHL seasons, as have pictures of Kessel appearing to be overweight showing up on the Internet. What particularly annoys fans about Kessel is that he had not been shy about the fact that he could not care less about what anybody thinks of his physical form.