Originally written on The Other Paper  |  Last updated 10/4/12

The NFL finally put that whole replacement referee thing behind them but it didn't take long for another issue to arise — and this a big one. Specifically, a 300-pound problem.

After a decade of wearing Reebok-made jerseys, the league switched to Nike's "body-contoured fit" models. Now NFL linemen are complaining that they make them look plus-sized, according to The Wall Street Journal.

While the new form-fitting tops may look good on the sculpted bodies of a 200-pound running back, the new tops have the full-figured linemen asking their teammates: Does this make me look fat?

"I hate them. They are built for thin guys," said Alex Boone, a 300-pound guard for the San Francisco 49ers. "It makes me look like I have big old love handles."

Boone complained that the new jerseys make his stomach hang out at the bottom and makes him self-conscious.

"It makes me look fat," he said. "And I'm not fat."

After Boone's wife saw her husband in the new uniform, she told him, "You look like you ate a small baby." Ouch.

The players know the new tops are more function than fashion but still want to look good on the field. You need something to cover up those 6,000-calorie meals.

"I don't really care for the new jerseys," said 6-foot-4, 349-pound Ravens defensive lineman Terrence Cody. I feel like they should put different material in for the big guys."

Ravens 315-pound lineman Arthur Jones claims it's hard for most normal-sized people to understand what goes into fitting into a jersey comfortably. He said it needs to be "huge."

Not all NFL linemen are as vain about how they look in the football trenches. Ramon Harewood, a 334-pound Ravens lineman said the new jersey fits him fine and that the guys who complain "like to look pretty" and be "swagged up."

"They say you have to look good to play good," snorts Harewood. "I don't believe that."

No linemen have registered any complaints with the Gridiron Uniform Database, a fan-run site concerned with uniform design debates such as colors and striping, but when the big guys are mad — get out of the way.

It looks like NFL commissioner Roger Goodell might have another mess on his hands — replacement jerseys.

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