Why do athletes have hard time staying in shape?

Wed, Aug 18

Winning a championship isn't enough motivation these days.

It can't be with football players from the college and professional ranks showing up to camp out of shape. An incredibly large NFL salary apparently isn't much of an incentive either.

The conditioning battle between Redskins coach Mike Shanahan and Albert Haynesworth has raged for weeks. The defensive tackle only recently satisfied his coach's physical requirements, but on Tuesday stopped practicing after just a few snaps because he wasn't feeling well.

Now Rich Rodriguez is battling a similar problem with some of his own team. The Michigan coach has employed a version of the scarlet letter for out-of-shape players: helmets without wings.

He said several Wolverines would not "have the opportunity to wear the winged helmet" for their season opener against Connecticut on Sept. 4 if they weren't in proper shape.

We at Page 2 just don't think running shuttles or not getting to wear wings on your helmet is enough incentive for these athletes. If team pride and wanting to be the best aren't motivation enough, then what is?

Our answer: shame.

Maybe facing potentially embarrassing and uncomfortable consequences for arriving out of shape will get these athletes' attention.

Haynesworth is a proud man. Too proud to play nose tackle evidently. If he wants to spend the offseason crushing Cheetos and donuts, then let him work those calories off in a speedo on the sideline.

Michigan players can't run a decent 40? Make them wear Indiana helmets. The Hoosiers were the only Big Ten football team with a worse overall record than the Wolverines last season.

Sure, Tony Dungy wouldn't approve, but we have a feeling Rex Ryan would.