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  1. #1
    HUbison's Avatar
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    Belly up! McCollum is proud of his

    Belly up! McCollum is proud of his

    Of the Post-Dispatch

    Andy McCollum insists he's not the only Ram with a big belly: "These guys are just afraid to show theirs."

    Players come and go. Coaches, too. Storylines change, as do the team’s fortunes. But for seven summers now, there has been one constant to Rams training camp:

    When the temperature goes up, so does the front of Andy McCollum’s jersey, exposing a large . . . pale . . . belly.

    “When the flap’s up, it’s definitely for temperature relief,” offensive guard Adam Timmerman said. “When it reaches a certain temperature, it comes up.”

    Amazingly, once the flap is up, the jersey almost never falls down. Not in one-on-one pass-blocking drills. Not in 11-on-11 “team” periods. Not in technique drills. The jersey stays up and the belly stays out, massaged by the summer breeze.

    “It actually works, and he obviously has no inhibition to show it,” offensive guard Tom Nutten said. “I think it has some kind of a gravitational pull, because everything does go towards him. That’s why he is the center, and he is in the middle.”

    The sight was unnerving to teammates, coaches, and onlookers alike when McCollum, a center from Akron, Ohio, joined the Rams in 1999.

    “The first time I saw it, it was like a car wreck,” Timmerman said. “I just couldn’t take my eyes off of it.”

    “It’s a spectacle,” coach Mike Martz concedes.

    As Nutten puts it: “It’s big, and it’s white, and it’s just right there.”

    It’s big, all right. Which raises the question, if some people have six-pack abs, how would one categorize McCollum’s stomach?

    “A keg,” Timmerman said. “Or Coors Light used to have the Party Ball. Something like that. It’s really quite round when you look at it.”

    Over the years, teammates have teased him about it. Coaches have chastised him over it.

    “I told him today, ‘Cover that belly up,’ ” offensive line coach John Matsko said recently. “ ‘Please. All the fans are here, watching that big belly you got.’ ”

    McCollum remains unfazed and set in his ways.

    “Don’t let anybody fool you,” he said. “I’m not the only guy here with a big belly. These guys are just afraid to show theirs. I’m kind of proud of mine. I worked hard on it.”

    Grudgingly, some teammates and coaches have come to appreciate it.

    “I think it’s a trophy,” Martz said. “It’s taken him many years to get to that point and develop it. That’s a lot of hard work there.”

    Lately, McCollum has spawned imitators. Second-year center Larry Turner, for example, has been noticed lifting his jersey during practice to expose his stomach this training camp.

    “He’s a wannabe,” McCollum sniffs. “He was trying to tell me how to do it. He’s got to have a little help holding his up, because he doesn’t have the mass I have right here.”

    To emphasize the point, McCollum grabbed his stomach with both hands.

    Although many teammates have come to grips with it, some mysteries remain. Why for example, does the belly stay so white despite all that exposure to the sun?

    “It’s very white,” Timmerman said. “Very milk white.”

    What about it, Andy?

    “Every now and then, you’ve got to spread a little sun block on there,” McCollum explained. “It starts to get little red. I don’t do anything under 50 SPF. I’m very fair-skinned.”

    And one other thing: Is there more to its bulk than just doughnuts and fast food?

    “Maybe there’s like a little person in there,” Nutten said. “We don’t know.”

  2. #2
    txramsfan's Avatar
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    Re: Belly up! McCollum is proud of his

    That has to be one of the funniest articles about the Rams I have read....ever.

    I just spewed water over my new flat panel screen....


  3. #3
    AvengerRam's Avatar
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    Re: Belly up! McCollum is proud of his

    I like big guts and I cannot lie!
    So pass another piece of pie!
    And top it all off with some Krispy Kremes,
    And a cheesburger on the side!

  4. #4
    ZigZagRam's Avatar
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    Re: Belly up! McCollum is proud of his

    I agree Tx. What a brilliant piece of writing. With everybody writing about the same thing over and over, this was a welcomed refreshment.

    "It's a spectacle." Hilarious. LOL

  5. #5
    BobNWeave Guest

    Re: Belly up! McCollum is proud of his

    Funny article. I think they ought to get McCollum and big Claude together and do a little sumo wrestling after practice.


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