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When he got lean, he wasn't mean
Douglas S. Looney
August 27, 1984
Kansas City defensive end Art Still dieted so much he was a pushover
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August 27, 1984

When He Got Lean, He Wasn't Mean

Kansas City defensive end Art Still dieted so much he was a pushover

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Hello, new diet, just in time for the 1981 season. By camp he was 252, and on Sept. 20 against San Diego he strained a ligament behind his right knee. That was his first NFL injury. He had only 68 tackles that season and his weight kept sinking. Last year he had 96 tackles and just three sacks.

Being tactful, Mackovic says, "He played a little on the light side. In football you're dealing against the mass of others, force against force. If both players are strong and both have ability, but one is bigger, bigger will win quite often." Yet the Chiefs tried to be understanding. As Mackovic puts it, "We say you should be in this stance. We say you should protect this part of the field. But we don't say what you should put in your stomach."

Now Still has found new motivation to stuff that stomach. His first child, Afa, a boy, was born last June, and he and Lizbeth hope to have, oh, eight or 10 more and perhaps adopt some as well. They are building a $250,000 house near Liberty on 35 hilltop acres Still bought for $50,000, and while surveying the property recently, he said, "I need to play well so I can pay this off in two years." With that, he shared a few—a very few—of his plums and nectarines with two horses that had wandered up.

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