In late July when players first report to training camp, we always get the obligatory pictures of grown men checking into rooms which are only slightly larger than their pants. It’s a very humanizing experience, because when millionaire football players are hauling around over-sized duffel bags or borrowing TVs from local fans, they’re just like us, and it’s almost as if they’re real people too.
The teams that put their players in dorm rooms seem like they’re reaching for more team bonding when none is needed. Surely bashing the snot out of each other for three weeks is enough, no? As we’re seen on Hard Knocks, the Dolphins provide posh hotel rooms for their players, so logically the defending champs must get similar accommodations.
The Giants are indeed sleeping in dorm rooms at the University of Albany. During university I spent two years in a dorm room, which is one year more than most, and I did it because I wanted to have easy access to, um, class, and books, and stuff. Yep.
Anywho, I’m quite familiar with the cozy confines of dormitory imprisonment, and I remember the great convenience of being able to open my door and fall into my bed. That’s because my door was right beside my bed, and my bed was right in front of my window, and my window was about 10 feet in front of my door.
For a cheap/broke student who was more than happy to live on a steady diet of Dad’s Cookies and club soda, those dimensions were more than sufficient. As Mike Garafolo of the New York Daily News writes, they’re something less than ideal for massive football players.
Specifically — and more seriously — the beds are a major problem.
The beds they’ve been sleeping on in the dorms at the University at Albany are apparently too small and too hard, according to several players who have complained about their accommodations this summer. The result has been far too many players who have woken up with sore backs.
“Everybody’s been complaining about their backs because the bed in the dorm is kind of hard,” defensive tackle Linval Joseph said on Tuesday. “My back hurts too, but I think it’s just the bed.”
A lot of people think it’s the beds, including left tackle Will Beatty who has aggravated a back injury that he suffered this spring and tackle James Brewer who has missed several practices with a bad back. Cornerback Terrell Thomas hurt his back during his first practice, and more recently defensive tackle Marvin Austin was sent for tests on his now-injured back and defensive tackle Martin Parker needs surgery on a herniated disc in his back.
Dorm room sizes vary, but it’s a general rule that the beds make plywood look soft by comparison, and it takes some pretty creative feats of engineering to get a 300-pound lineman into one. That’s resulted in great joy with the Giants’ Albany portion of camp coming to a close today, because large football players enjoy the simple things in life. Like proper bedding.
Martellus Bennett explained the fundamental problem with the dorm beds as only Martellus Bennett can.
“I mean, we’re big humans. Every bed is small. You can’t put a damn dinosaur in a twin-sized bed, you know? Unless you’ve got a California king the bed’s going to be small to these guys. If you’re a normal sized human jumping into a normal sized bed, it fits perfectly. Large, big human jumps into a regular-sized bed, the bed’s too small.”
Dinosaur beds. That’s the answer.