The Local Media’s Obsession with Mingo’s Weight is Creepy


Jun 4, 2013; Berea, OH, USA; Cleveland Browns linebacker Barkevious Mingo (51) during minicamp at the Cleveland Browns Training Facility. Mandatory Credit: Ron Schwane-USA TODAY Sports

Barkevious Mingo is not applying for a job at Hooter’s; he is a football player.  The local media’s obsession with his weight has gone from ridiculous to creepy in short order.  Considering the history with Mingo that started with a reporter’s extremely uncomfortable question at the press conference when he was drafted about where he got his smile, it is getting to the point where Gloria Allred may be coming to Cleveland shortly to sue members of the local media for sexual harassment on Mingo’s behalf.  Everyone in the Browns organization is aware of Mingo’s weight, has been aware of it since they drafted him and is obviously going to work on adding weight, but it is a process and short of adjusting gravity or putting weights in his pockets, it is not going to happen overnight and the only thing asking him about it every time he is available is going to do is give him an eating disorder or some type of complex.

The fact the local media has cannot get over Mingo’s weight and addresses it to him every time they see him or anyone who is connected with the organization goes to show why referring to them as the ‘local media’ is not a term of endearment.  The media could not resist asking defensive coordinator Ray Horton about Mingo’s weight today at his press conference.  Not surprisingly, he did not care what Mingo weighs.  Like anyone with sense, Horton is worried about how Mingo is going to play and specifically for him, how Mingo is going to get after opposing quarterbacks.

Not only does the fact that the local media cannot stop worrying about Mingo’s weight come off as creepy, but it also provides a great argument as to why people in football insist the media knows nothing about the sport, because they have nothing else worthwhile to ask a player like Mingo.  Situations like this are how that reputation is earned.  Mingo is already clearly annoyed as the last time he was asked about his weight, he merely said he was going according to the plan prescribed by the team and did not give them a number.  At this point, there is probably a switch in Mingo’s brain that immediately goes off to no longer care about questions being asked when the issue of weight comes up.  So, if the answers to the questions asked after anything to do with his weight are bad, that might be the reason why.

Maybe the local media should educate themselves on the situation.  Mingo is a lean player and he is going to be a lean player who is working on bulking up throughout the year and going forward.  As he told the Bull and Fox when he was asked about this stuff in April; “Watch the tape”.  He played power end in the SEC in the 230lb range and he was good at it.  Somehow, when he was matched up against players like Jake Matthews and D.J. Fluker last year, he managed to somehow give them a great matchup despite giving up practically 100lbs and closer to 110lbs in the case of Fluker.  Mingo should have had about 4 sacks in the game against Texas A&M.  Perhaps the question to be asked is what he did to hold up against those types of players or what he is doing to make sure he closes the deal on the sacks he missed against the Aggies and Johnny Manziel.  That type of insight might get Mingo to be engaged and actually be interested in what he’s being asked rather than simply waiting for the interview to end.  Give him something to talk about or think about that has him talk about football.  He might have something interesting to say instead of being stonewalled because he is bored to death by the same terrible questions.

Browns’ security should simply escort the next person to ask Mingo about his weight off the premises with a chorus of heads shaking and face palms by the rest of the media.  Everyone in the Browns organization wants Mingo to get up to around 250lbs, but they want him to do it the right way and not have a negative impact on the areas that make him special as a player.  If he added weight and looked sluggish, the media would jump all over him for being heavy.  He cannot win in that situation.  Maybe just maybe he gets a chance to play a little football before the media insists they know more than he and the organization does about how to handle him.  It is lazy journalism and the actions of the few are making the group look ridiculous and now crossed the line into weird.  Ask football players football questions.  It is not difficult to dig a little deeper and get some genuinely good information.  This is embarrassing.