The Media is Twisting Stories of Players Leaving Football

The Narrative

4 players walked away from their NFL careers the past 2 weeks without being cut.

Of course all the news stations that rarely cover sports are jumping on this as “the end of the NFL and football!”

The Truth

I beg to differ with their conclusions.  Each one of these is different and unique on its own.

  • Patrick Willis played 8 all-pro years and wanted to continue but said his “feet could no longer keep up with what’s necessary in the NFL”, that he loved the game and gave it all he had.  His injured feet did not respond and heal.
  • Jason Worilds of the Steelers decided to retire at the age of 27 as CBS Jason La Canfora said ” he had a spiritual awakening and wanted to concentrate more on his faith” (Jehovah’s Witness).  He also left the door open that he might return. It had nothing to do with concussions or disliking football.
  • Jake Locker, of The Tennessee Titans, though a high draft pick in 2011, never lived up to expectations and missed half his career games due to shoulder, hand, thumb and foot injuries.  He said he just lost the “desire to play the game for a living”. And he knew football is not a game to be played without total passion and hard work especially as a pro QB.  He was not willing to do that anymore.
  • Chris Borland, a tough undersized LB that was a third round pick because of the question of his body holding up in the NFL.  He had a great 8 games when put in and then got injured so he said he had been thinking about quitting since last training camp. He said he only had 2 concussions, 1 from soccer, and didn’t even start playing football until freshman year In high school.  He made the decision being proactive in his mind and I wish him nothing but the best, but it’s nothing like the other three players that quit.

Commentators seem to forget many players that left football early:

  • George Sauer Jr.
  • Barry Sanders
  • Jimmy Brown
  • Robert Smith
  • Tiki Barber
  • Brad Butler

They were all healthy and did it for their own reasons. And many players had to cut their NFL careers short like Patrick Willis because of injuries.

Please stop trying to kill of the game that this nation has proclaimed “America’s #1 sport”.  There’s danger in skiing, car racing, extreme games, MMA, boxing, etc.

It takes a special tough person to play football, and it’s given many and their families a great life and a way out of tough childhoods and areas as well. Plus I sure do see tons doing well on radio and TV sports shows across the USA!

These players have left the game, but there are thousands that would jump to take their place, risks and all.

Connie Nicholas Carberg grew up around the New York Jets with her father as the team’s internist for 26 years (Dr. Calvin Nicholas). In 1974, she joined the Jets as a secretary. In 1976, she was named the first female scout in NFL History. Her contributions led to a number of top drafts culminating with her discovery of a little known defensive end, Mark Gastineau. ConnieScouts shares her memories and blessings over the years.

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