Dontari Poe, American hero: gives up barbecue to lose weight for his job

Look, we overuse the word "hero" in modern American society, but we feel safe in saying that Dontari Poe, Kansas City Chiefs nose tackle, might well be the greatest American hero of our age.

Why? Because his dedication to his job is such that he not only lost weight, he did it by giving up barbecue. This is a man who was raised in Memphis and now lives in Kansas City. Giving up barbecue for him is like giving up air for most of the rest of us.

And it's working. Poe, the Chiefs' No. 1 draft pick in 2012, has dropped about 20 pounds and now, according to KC camp observers, is practically unstoppable off the line.

Here's the evidence. This is Poe last year:

And here he is at camp this week. Maybe it's the angle, but he looks a bit leaner, a bit meaner, and definitely sauce-free:

“I feel like I can play more plays, without getting as tired or exhausted,” Poe told the Kansas City Star. “My mind is staying strong out there. And I can play faster."

So how's he doing it? Diet and exercise, baby. “I eat a lot of eggs in the morning, eat a lot of protein, grilled chicken, grilled fish, stuff like that,” he said. “I’m trying to cut out the beef and the pork and stay away from the fried foods. And stay away from the barbecue.”

Godspeed to you, sir. Godspeed.

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