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Former Baltimore Ravens C Matt Birk is now a chiseled 235 pounds

Matt-Birk-weight-loss

Former Baltimore Ravens offensive lineman Matt Birk was one of the best centers in the National Football League. He appeared in every game for the Ravens from 2009 through 2012, helping the team win a Super Bowl title last February. After winning his first championship, Birk retired from the NFL. From there, he began losing weight like a mofo.

According to the Ravens official website, Birk is aiming to become the next Body By Visalus cover model. He has lost 75 pounds since he retired eight months ago, bringing him down to about 235 from his playing weight of 310. Fans who would like to see Birk on the cover of The Challenge Magazine 2014 can vote here. Body By Visalus, the company that runs the publication, has a mission of trying to end obesity.

“I don’t really think of myself as a model. Maybe a glove model,” Birk joked. “I never thought I would pose for a picture with my shirt off. But I wanted to show people that it can be done and that we’re all in this together.”

The 37-year-old said he knew it would not be healthy to remain as heavy as he was during his NFL career.

“I wasn’t going to go to Chipotle and get two burrito bowls at 9:30 at night anymore,” he said. “All I knew was being big. Now I’m not so big and I’m loving it. I think I’ve really developed a lifestyle that I can sustain now. I feel great physically, and I’ve got tons of energy. It really has changed my life that I used to know.”

Good for him. Some players go the opposite after retirement, ballooning into out of shape middle-aged men because they are no longer working out. For comparison, here is what Birk used to look like.

Matt-Birk-Ravens

Matt Birk writes column in opposition of gay marriage

Gay marriage has become a hot topic among some NFL players, and Baltimore Ravens center Matt Birk is the latest to engage in the discussion.

The issue became publicized when a Maryland politician sent Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti a letter requesting that he prevent Ravens linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo, who supports gay marriage, from expressing his divisive political views. Vikings punter Chris Kluwe responded by writing a profane column published by Deadspin in support of Ayanbadejo and gay marriage.

Now Birk, a St. Paul native, wrote a column for the Minneapolis Star Tribune in opposition of gay marriage.

Birk, who graduated from Harvard in 1998, believes that NFL players should have the right to voice their opinion, but he wants society to promote specific marriage values.

[Read more...]

Matt Birk Compares Patriots to Yankees, Patriots Fans Quiver

To everyone who is already talking about the inevitable rematch between the Patriots and Giants in this year’s Super Bowl: stop. Before next weekend is over, the No. 2 seeds from both the AFC and NFC might have something to say about that. The Niners already beat the Giants at home once this year. The Patriots put a beating for the ages on the Broncos Saturday night, but the Ravens are not the Broncos. Baltimore knows what type of task lies ahead in the AFC Championship game. In fact, Ravens center Matt Birk even praised the Patriots in a way that may make New England fans extremely uncomfortable.

“Yeah, I mean, they’re the Patriots,” Birk told reporters after the Ravens’ win over the Texans on Sunday, according to the Boston Herald. “They’re like the New York Yankees; great team, been great for a long, long time, and we’re going up there to play them. But the road to the ultimate goal for any team is very hard, very difficult, and you have to meet all the challenges.”

Take that, Patriots fans.  The Yankees are probably the last team on earth New England fans would want to be compared to, but Birk has a point.  Both teams have dominated the last decade in their respective sport.  The Patriots have faced questions about their horrendous defense and weak schedule all season long, yet somehow they are once again the Vegas favorites to hoist the Lombardi Trophy in a few weeks.

As cliche as it sounds, the games are played for a reason.  The media would love to see a rematch between New York and New England, but that is a long 120 total minutes of football away.  If you’re not a Yankees fan, you’re a fan of whoever they’re playing.  The same is true for the Patriots.  The Ravens beat New England two years ago in Foxboro with America on their side.  There’s no reason to be certain history won’t repeat itself on Sunday afternoon.

Ravens Center Matt Birk Fined $5,000 for Not Wearing Microphone

The NFL is a great place to go if you want to be fined.  Roger Goodell hands out fines for just about everything. From big hits to punches thrown to criticizing the officials, you can receive a fine for doing or saying just about anything.  You can even be fined for not doing something, as Ravens center Matt Birk learned when he chose not to wear a microphone against the Jets during Baltimore’s game before the bye week.

As Pro Football Talk pointed out, the NFL now requires offensive linemen to wear a microphone during games to enhance the fan experience for television broadcasts. As you might imagine, this has created a problem with teams who are nervous that too much information is being relayed to the viewing audience. Bird was fined $5,000 for choosing not to wear a mic against New York.

While hearing the cadence likely reveals very little about a team’s offense, you can see why it would aggravate coaches who value secrecy.  Teams are probably overreacting a bit by refusing to comply, but I don’t see why the microphones are necessary.  I have noticed that you can hear the quarterback’s calls more clearly when watching a game on TV, but in no way does that make watching the game a better experience.