Editor’s note: Wilfork announced his retirement from the NFL on Thursday, and so we’re bringing back his Body Issue Q&A from the summer of 2016. Check out the 2017 edition of the Body Issue here.
This is an online exclusive story from ESPN The Magazine’s Body Issue 2016. Subscribe today!?
If you watched HBO’s “Hard Knocks” last year — or, really, if you’ve watched any football at all the past 12 seasons — you’re probably familiar with veteran tackle Vince Wilfork, as well as his wife, Bianca, who’s never far from his side. The two-time Super Bowl champ sat down with the Body Issue’s Morty Ain — and Bianca — to talk about body image, “runner calves” and schooling Randy Moss on routes.
Morty Ain: Why did you decide to pose for the Body Issue?
Vince Wilfork: I just think it’s a good idea for people that are bigger-boned. If people can look at me, a guy that’s 325-plus, doing an issue like this, I’m pretty sure that they might have a little confidence. There will be critics, just like with everything else. I think a lot of people will get a laugh out of it, I’ll tell you that. I’m looking forward to what the locker room’s going to say. But at the end of the day, I’m perfectly fine with who I am as a person and what I have accomplished. It shows a lot of my personality.
MA: So what do you hope that these photos show about your body?
VW: A lot of people look at me as a big person. Some people consider me to be obese. Some people consider me fat and sloppy. But I think this shoot will give people a different look at what I am. Everybody knows that I have a big stomach, but I think sometimes that overshadows everything else on my body — from my calves to my back to my shoulders to my biceps, you name it. What people go to the gym and work for, I have. The only thing I don’t have that they got is six-packs. But I really don’t care about six-packs.
Bianca Wilfork: And let’s not forget that in the football world, you’re considered old as well. Old and maybe washed-up by some standards.
VW: Yep. The one thing about me is, I don’t care what people think. It all starts with yourself. I believe in myself. I love myself. So it’s kind of like, they can shove it up their you-know-whats.
MA: How is the Vince on the football field different from the Vince off it?
VW: A lot of people tell me that off the field I’m more of a loving person.
BW: A gentle giant.
VW: I love to have fun. I do my own shopping. I do my own yardwork. I like to garden. I…