Super Bowl Sunday is coming, so I just have to say it. I've got a beef with football.
The beef is not with football's violence. Rugby is equally violent, and strikes me as good clean fun. No, my real beef is about, well, excessive beefiness. Over the past three decades football has become the American version of sumo wrestling.
Consider the offensive line of the 1967 Green Bay Packers, winners of Super Bowl I. Eventual Hall of Fame tackle Forrest Gregg and his compatriots played in the big game at an average weight of 246 pounds. That's 246 pounds of 100 percent tough, worked out manly man.
Now fast-forward to Super Bowl XVI -- that would be 16 to those of you who forget your Roman numerals. At an average of 261 pounds, the offensive linemen who protected Joe Montana in the 49ers' first Super Bowl victory were beefier, but not really that much beefier, than the men who protected Bart Starr in Super Bowl I.
Now fast-forward yet again. The offensive linemen protecting Alex Smith on this year's 49ers weigh, on average, 322 pounds.